Red Wine and Tomato Braised Short Ribs

Mkay, so what we have here is a VERY involved recipe. So involved, in fact, that it will be written in 2 parts.

It’s taken equal parts from Serious Eats, Pioneer Woman, and my mom’s brisket recipes.

It takes forever to make and it isn’t especially cheap, but wow does it deliver for a big dinner party.

Red Wine and TomatoBraised Short Ribs with Gremolata, Part 1:

short ribs cuke soup Ingredients:

6 lb.s bone in short ribs, salted and peppered

zest or peel of 1 orange

2 cups red wine

2-4 cups beef stock

2 onions, diced

1 bunch celery, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

3 bay leaves

a few sprigs each rosemary and thyme

1 cup flour, to dredge

1 small can tomato paste

3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup ketchup

1 glug balsamic vinegar

1/2 package bacon

IMG_0990 1. Put the bacon in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed, oven safe pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook it slowly over medium heat until the fat is totally rendered and the bacon is quite crispy. This should take about 15 minutes – when the bacon is finished, take it out of the pan with a slotted spoon, turn off the oven, and leave the grease in the pan. Put the oven to 325F.

IMG_0987 2. Toss the short ribs in the flour so they are all totally coated. Turn the greased pot back on high heat until it smokes.

IMG_0995 3. Put the short ribs in the pot, 2 or 3 at a time so they don’t touch each other, and sear on each side for about 2 minutes. This is just to sear in the juices, not to cook the meat. Then, remove them to a plate and turn the heat slightly down to medium high.

IMG_1018 4. Add the celery, onions, and garlic, and cook until they are translucent and softened, though not browned. This should take about 10 minutes.

IMG_1024 5. Add the wine, cooked bacon, tomato paste, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, orange peel, and herbs. Turn the pot on high and bring to a simmer.

IMG_1036 6. Add the beef and…

IMG_1040 the stock. Make sure that the bones are 100% or almost 100% covered.

IMG_1055 7. Cover and cook for about 3 hours, or until the beef slips off the bone easily and is incredibly tender.

IMG_1087 8. Pick out the bay leafs and the herb stems. They are usually pretty easily found, but if it’s driving you up a wall, don’t worry about it.

IMG_1092 9. Take out the meat and the bones – by this point, the meat may have fallen off of the bones. Or, if you want, you can slip the bones out – they should slide out quite easily.

IMG_1103 10. Using a stick blender, puree the broth completely. It will turn quite frothy. Then, skim the fat (mostly that upper frothy stuff, and taste for seasonings.

20140803_202314 11. Serve with polenta, garlicky spinach, and roasted carrots.

These are just delicious. Tender, hearty, and bursting with flavor. The faint backnote of orange is sweet; it melds with the tangy balsamic vinegar and jammy tomato paste. The sauce develops its salty flavor as it sits, especially overnight, so be judicious with that Worcestershire sauce. Speaking of which, this is GREAT as a make ahead dish – it’s even better as leftovers than it is the day that it is made. The gravy is thick and hearty – perfect with some creamy polenta. And that ketchup is the secret ingredient – it adds a sweet, tangy dimension that brings in some bbq flavor.
20140803_202321 The only thing it’s missing is some brightness. But…oh wait…what’s that on top?

Stay tuned.


  1. Serious question: I have my own braised short rib recipe that I swear by and make every so often, but I have never floured the ribs. What is its purpose?

    **While I was typing this, I was thinking about my beef stew recipe, which involves flouring the beef cubes before searing and remembered that though a lot of recipes say it’s to ‘lock in the juices’ but it’s really to thicken the sauce later. So… just kidding?

    XOXO!! This sounds amazing!!