Braised Short Ribs: a step by step tutorial

In this next Project Food Blog challenge we were asked to create a step-by-step instructional photo tutorial demonstrating one of our favorite recipe. The photos need to guide the reader through many winding roads so i’m crossing my fingers that none of you will get lost in the jungle and get eaten by piranhas. One is never too careful around here. There are still a few readers unaccounted for from last time i attempted something like this so if you make it to the other side i hope you will consider voting for me so i get a chance to advance to the next challenge.

If you don’t make it to the other side.. err.. it was nice knowing you!

This is a good recipe. And i mean the jump-on-the-table-and-do-the-happy-dance kind of good but there are enough steps to give Sandra Lee a panic attack so i will need your full attention. Let’s see if we can make one of my favorite recipe work for you as well.

To make braised beef short ribs you need… [drumrolls] beef short ribs. If you don’t have them, go to your butcher now and while you’re at it have him trim them and cut them into 3-inches cubes on the bone. Two of those make a perfect portion, i think. Go ahead, i’ll wait for you right here. [tap tap tap]

Start by making a mirepoix of onions, celery and carrots and sweat them in a pot with olive oil and garlic heads cut in half. When they get all nice and comfy together (aka: sticking to the pot) you deglaze the pot with two bottles of wines. When choosing a wine for cooking remember to pick something that’s affordable, but good enough to drink.

Yes, go ahead. Have a glass. Nobody will notice.

“[hic] You.. you bring the boil..err.. [hic] to the wine.. [burp] and let it alcohol for ..err.. 10 minutes to burn the cook. [hic] I know, what a waste of perfectly good alcohol, riiiight? [hic]”

Next, you leave the wine mixture cool completely before submerging the beef short rib pieces in the liquid. You cover the pot and place it in the refrigerator overnight, or for a maximum of two days. That’s when the wine, the short ribs and aromatic vegetables get to know each other. And boy, i can tell you they have a lot of things to tell each other.

After a good hangover night of sleep, come back to your short ribs and remove them from the wine mixture and pat them dry. Strain the liquid into a large saucepan and keep the vegetable on the side. Place the saucepan with the wine mixture over medium-high heat and reduce for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large sautee pan. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and sear them in the hot oil, a few at the time, until brown on all sides. Reserve them on a tray. Make a bouquet garni with leeks, parsley stems, thyme and bay leaves and tie them all up together in a bundle. Also cut a few slices of lemon skin and reserve a handful of olives.

Return the short ribs, the wine mixture, the demi-glace and veal stock to the pot as well as the lemon skin, the bouquet garni and the olives. Bring to a boil over high heat and cover with aluminum foil and place in an oven preheated to 325’F. Close the door and let them mingle together undisturbed for about 3 hours.

Yes, i know. Even beef short ribs need some privacy. No peeking!

While the short ribs are slowly braising you can work on garnishes such as potato puree and vegetables. Steam the vegetables separately and reserve them on the side until ready to serve. You can keep the potato puree warm on top of the stove. The vegetables need a quick sautee in olive oil at the last minute.

When the braised beef short ribs are ready (they will be falling-off-the-bone delicious at this point), remove them from the braising liquid. You can refrigerate them or serve them right away. Strain the braising liquid in a chinois and discard the vegetables, skim off the fat and return the liquid to the pot and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon.

At this point you should have a deep, robust and luscious wine sauce. You could enrich it even more by whisking a tablespoon or two of butter in it before spooning it over the braised short ribs. Evil, i know.

Are you still there? Alive and well? Pfewww..  What a ride!

Take a moment to feel very proud, my friends, but not too long because voting is only open from 6AM October 11th (Pacific Time) through 6PM October 14th (Pacific Time). Thank you and enjoy!

  • Braised Short Ribs: the recipe

  • Serves 4
    • For the braised short ribs:
    • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
    • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
    • 2 heads of garlic, split in half
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 bottles red wine
    • 8 pieces beef short ribs, trimmed and cut in 3 -inches cubes
    • 1 bouquet garni
    • 2 cups veal stock
    • 2 cups demi glace
    • 1/2 lemon peel
    • handful of nicoise olives
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • For the garnish:
    • mashed potatoes
    • steamed vegetables such as carrots, radishes, artichokes and asparagus
    • olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • For the braised short ribs:
    • Dice the onions, celery and carrots. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven and add the vegetables and garlic heads cut in half. When the vegetables are translucent and softened (about 10 minutes later) deglaze the pot with two bottles of wines. Let the wine come to a full boil and cook it down for 10 minutes to burn the alcohol. Let the wine cool completely.
    • Add the short ribs pieces to the cool wine mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 2 days (the longer, the better).
    • Remove the short ribs from the wine mixture and pat them dry on paper towels. Strain the liquid into a large saucepan and keep the vegetables on the side. Place the saucepan with the wine mixture over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and reduce for 30 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large sautee pan. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and sear them, a few at the time, until they’re brown on all sides. Place them on a tray. Make a bouquet garni with leeks, parsley stems, thyme and bay leaves and tie them all up together. Slice the zest of 1/2 lemon and remove as much of the white pith as you can.
    • Return the short ribs, the wine mixture, the strained vegetables, the demi-glace and beef stock to the pot as well as the lemon zest, the bouquet garni and the olives. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil. Place in an oven preheated to 325’F. Braised for 3 1/2 hours to 4 hours, or until meltingly tender.
    • When the braised beef short ribs are ready, remove them from the braising liquid. Strain the braising liquid and discard the vegetables, skim off the fat and return the liquid to the pot to reduce over medium-high heat until it coats the back of a spoon.
    • If not serving the dish the same day (recommended!) you could let the short ribs cool in their braising liquid, the next day scoop out and discard the solidified fat on top. Remove the short ribs. Strain the liquid. Reduce the sauce and heat-up the short ribs in the sauce until glossy, rich and very tender.
    • To assemble:
    • Place some mashed potatoes on a plate. Top with two pieces of braised short ribs. Add vegetables and sauce and serve.
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  • mayssam

    That is one long ride, but what a fun one it is! Who can get lost with such precise, GPS-like directions :) Looks amazing as usual, must make this soon!

  • Kaveyf

    Fantastic tutorial, lovely pictures, making me so hungry!

  • Lemons and Anchovies

    I read every word and even bookmarked the recipe…so there! I’d say you need to start planning for round 5.

  • Karen | C&C

    I think I will have 2 glasses thank you! 😛

    Awesome recipe and stunning photos as usual. I’m loving your Project Food Blog entries. All the way Zen! 😀

  • beaulotus

    Yum yum, long but délicieux!

  • Karen

    OO that looks sooo good…. drooling… Love braised anything!

  • Anonymous

    You make me cfrave beef even though it’s going to be close to 100 degrees here today! Good luck!

  • sippitysup

    Strangely I came home from the store with short ribs. I swear I bought them before I saw this. But that does mean this recipe is going to get tested sooner rather than later, while there is still time to vote. GREG

  • Whit @ Amuse Bouche

    We both did short ribs!!! great minds think alike my friend! congrats on a great post, the pictures are gorgeous!

  • Su-yin

    Love the step by step tutorial! This dish looks perfect for the colder autumn/winter days, will have to keep this in mind. First I need to find where to get some beef short ribs though!! 😛

    I hope you get through to the next round, am really enjoying your PFB posts!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve tried this before, but not with the lemon peel and olives. I look forward to trying this recipe in the coming winter months.

  • Frank Fariello

    Now this is my kind of cooking. Looks absolutely superb!

  • Bunkycooks

    This recipe is very similar to the one I use, but different enough to try it the Fall. I always think your dishes are inspiring and wish you the best of luck going forward in the challenge.

  • Elin

    Who can get lost unless they were drunk half way LOL! Thanks for the clear step by step tutorial. Wish you all the best in the challenge :)

  • Amelia from Z Tasty Life

    wonderful. magazine worthy.

  • jenjenk

    is it my imagination or is that the most perfectly cut up veggies EVER??

    freak!! :)

    i think it’s time to stalk you again and this recipe may be the perfect opportunity! :)

  • Jeannie

    Perfect navigation on your side, so whoever got lost deserved to be lost? hehe!

  • Lana (aka. bibberche)

    After the success with your braised lamb shanks (my father was an Ob-Gyn in Serbia, and he is the lamb aficionado, believe me – he said that you dish ranks among the best he had anywhere in the world:), I am eager to commence the long voyage to perfect braised short ribs. Already looking forward to it!
    Good luck in the contest! I do not doubt for a second that you would move forward, again and again.

  • chriesi

    Simply gorgeous!

  • wiffy

    the final plate with the ribs and the vegetables is nothing short of a work of art. so gorgeous! love the detailed tutorial and your witty write up =)

  • Marta´s Kitchen

    Congratulations!! this dish looks absolutely fabulous!

  • Heather


  • Duchess

    Stunning, bravo!

  • Duchess

    Stunning, bravo!

  • Amy (Sing For Your Supper)

    I love this post! Funny, informative and beautiful!!! You have my vote!! Best of luck!

  • junebu8


  • Gastronomicduo

    Really nice images! Great work.

  • jacobskitchen

    Gorgeous photos as usual. Nice clear tutorial. Definitely makes me want to get into the kitchen. Nicely done. I voted for you again!

    Good luck! Hope to see us both in round 5!!! =)

  • thelittlefoodie

    Bee-yoo-ti-ful. I didn’t know you could take such good pictures of meat (since it’s BROWN), but look at that. You’ve gone and done it. Bravo.

  • Marie (Food Nouveau)

    Beautiful pictures, gorgeous plate, I can almost smell it.

  • Magic of Spice

    Wonderful post…looks terrific :)

  • Artistta

    Look wonderful and totally wishing I could have a bite. You’ve got my vote!

  • Cekayser

    I wish I had found this a couple days ago – I attempted to cook short ribs on my own and my recipe only called for 1 measly cup of wine. Mine turned out a bit tough. Next time I follow your recipe! (I voted for you)

  • Asha@FSK

    Seriously, you made this in the 36 hours you had?!!! WOW!!! You rock! gorgeous dish and lovely tutorial!

  • Wheels and Lollipops

    All I can say is that I’m bookmarking this for use in the very near future ! Bravo et bon courage pour la suite.

  • Margaretmt66

    Wow, that looked delicious! Great post and photos. You made me drool! (VOTE!)

  • Jeremy

    Nice work amigo, they’re good in beer too! I mean braised and served with beer!

  • Stay-At-Home-Chef

    I think I was salivating the entire time I read your post…yup…definite signs of salivation. Oh and good news! At no point did I get lost in the jungle or eaten by piranhas :) Good luck and hope to join you in the next round!

  • The Cuisinerd

    Taking slow food to another level – these look delish, I love me some short ribs! Nicely done!

  • Joy

    I love short ribs. I only made a recipe similar to this but yours is so much better.

  • alice

    you make me want to go and buy some photography lighting… these are crazy sharp and creative. damn you! :)

  • Sues

    Totally bookmarking this recipe!! I had short rips in my freezer for months and had no clue what to do with them. Finally had to throw them out when I moved. But now I wish I made this. It looks beautiful!! :)

  • angi c

    Marinating the short ribs in aromatic wine before braising is such a great idea – I love it! I don’t even have to taste this to know it’s awesome, but you know, if you do have leftovers, I wouldn’t turn them down… :) Good luck this round!

  • Colloquial Cook

    Ohh les bons délicieux souvenirs. Ben tu vas pas me croire, je sens que ça va encore être la croix et la bannière ici pour esspliquer à mon boucher les short ribs. Pff.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, fantastic. Love the way you plated it too. Great job!

  • Oui, Chef

    Boulud’s recipe has been my go-to for years, but I love your added step of marinating the meat for a few days, and the flavor pop offered by the olives and lemon zest. Think I’ll need to give this beauty a try. You have my vote, of course. – S

  • Chris

    Wow! Loved the images and the humor in your post. Got my vote! -chris (

  • Crystal’sCozyKitchen

    I sent a little red heart your way – Good luck!

  • The Short (dis)Order Cook

    Great recipe. Funny. Easy to follow. Nothing complicated. Best ofall, you taught me a new technique with the whole cooking the wine and veggies and letting the meat sit in the liquid thing. Absolutely delicious.

  • Joanne Bruno

    Hey, it was great meeting you the other day at the POM dinner! I didn’t realize you were a PFB contestant as well! I love the way you’ve presented and written about this dish! So funny and yet so delicious. You’ve made making short ribs look totally doable and that is quite a feat. Definitely warrants a vote from me!

    If you want, you can check out my entry: