Slow-cooked in a rich red wine sauce these Beef Short Ribs will have your guests raving. The beef is tender, succulent and best of all … the oven does most of the work!
Mother’s Day has come and gone for another year. While we don’t make a big fuss about it in my household, l do look forward to the warm feeling of being loved just that little bit extra on the day. With their permission, here’s part of what my daughters wrote on my Mother’s Day card.
“Thank you for spoiling our taste buds daily with your delicious cooking (even if it’s the same recipe 10 times in a row).”
Let’s just say, l get better each time 😉
For such an incredibly delicious dish, the list of ingredients is quite modest. Aside from the beef short ribs, much of what is required can probably be found in your fridge or pantry.
The star ingredient, Beef Short Ribs are larger and meatier than pork spare ribs. They require long periods of cooking to break down the connective tissue and make the meat tender. Thanks to all that marbling, the meat is beautifully succulent.
Although my list of ingredients is relatively short, my instructions are probably longer than l would have liked. But don’t panic, there’s nothing tricky or cumbersome about them. They are long partly because l have given you a couple of options, which you can always leave out without compromising the dish.
- Step 2: Involves tracing the pot’s lid with baking/parchment paper and cutting it out. This is then placed on top of the the beef/liquid just before l put the lid on. By doing this, the lid remains relatively clean during the cooking process (the less scrubbing the better).
- Step 5: I add a light coat of flour to the beef, just before l brown them. The flour helps thicken up the sauce.
- Step 17: For a glossier, even richer sauce, l add a little knob of butter.
I recently came across a quote that said something like, “Cook like there are no rules”.
That’s the type of cooking l love the most because it comes from instinct.
Not a bad thing to aspire to.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 – 3 hours
Servings: 4 – 5
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 – 6 beef short ribs (note 1)
- salt & pepper
- Optional: 1/4 cup plain/all purpose flour
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp grated garlic
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups of red wine
- 2 cups of beef stock
- 1 tsp mixed herbs (note 2)
- Optional: 1 tsp butter (note 3)
- Preheat oven to 170 C / 340 F.
- Optional Step: Trace the lid of the pot you will be using with baking/parchment paper. Cut it out. Set aside (note 4).
- Heat oil in a large pot over moderate-high heat.
- Season ribs with salt and pepper.
- Optional step: Lightly dust the short ribs with flour (note 5).
- In 2 batches, cook the short ribs until well browned on all sides. You may need to add a little more oil for the second batch. Transfer short ribs to a plate.
- Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pot. Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies have softened.
- Add the grated garlic and saute for a further 30 seconds.
- Stir through the tomato paste and cook until it turns a deep red (2 minutes).
- Add the wine, stock and herbs. Stir until the tomato paste is dissolved.
- Return the short ribs to the pot. The liquid should just about cover the beef.
- Place the baking paper directly on top of the beef/liquid. Cover with lid.
- Transfer pot to the oven and bake for 2 1/2 – 3 hours (note 6). Check after 2 1/2 hours. Slide a small knife into the thickest part of one of the short ribs. If it pierces the meat easily, they are ready.
- Remove ribs carefully. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Strain all the liquid from the pot. Press the veggies using back of a spoon to get all the juices.
- Place 1 1/2 – 2 cups of the liquid into a small saucepan. Simmer over moderate – high heat until it reaches the desired thickness (about 8 minutes for me). HAVE A TASTE and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Optional step: Add a small knob of butter to the sauce (roughly 1 tsp). Whisk until dissolved.
- Serve with mashed potato and red wine sauce spooned over the top of the short ribs. Heaven!!
- Make sure your beef short ribs are of similar size. I always aim to buy thick ribs, but it depends on availability. The ribs l used in this recipe weighed approximately 300 g/10 oz each.
- Mixed herbs are an easy way to add a lot of flavour. Please feel free to use fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano and bay leaves if you prefer.
- A little knob of butter will make your sauce richer.
- The first time l made this dish, the underside of the lid of my pot was difficult to clean due to splattering from the sauce. The baking paper fixed that.
- I include this step when l’m not in a massive hurry; so it’s totally optional. The flour will help thicken the sauce a little.
- The timing depends on the thickness of your ribs. Thick ribs will need the full 3 hours.