Braised short ribs is what I call cold weather comfort food at it’s best. Meaty short ribs that braise in a hearty red wine, a little broth, roasted garlic and thyme. The meat becomes so tender and fall off the bone delicious, and the best part is you only do a minimal amount of work to get them ready then the oven takes over for a while.
In the meantime your house is guaranteed to smell amazing!
I mentioned roasting garlic for this recipe, it’s a MUST, you have to do it because when your meat is done braising you’re going to smash the sweet mellow cloves right into the liquid and then strain everything so you have a nice smooth sauce that’s packed with so much flavor you can’t even imagine!
To save time I recommend roasting the garlic a couple of days ahead and storing it away in your fridge, I always make a little extra to use in other things like mashed potatoes, sauteed greens or simply smeared on crusty bread.
You can serve this on top roasted garlic mashed potatoes, some thick eggy noodles or pappadelle pasta, or my favorite… creamy polenta, (too die for!) In fact the other day I posted a picture of just that, a juicy, tender short rib on top of creamy polenta with a layer of roasted garlic sauteed kale on my Instagram, check it out here.
Now go grab a heavy pot and start braising!
- 4 whole heads of garlic, cut in half
- 6 large meaty short ribs
- hearty red wine
- beef or chicken broth
- ¾ of a cup of tomato puree, finely diced tomatoes, marinara or a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste
- cremini mushrooms, 12 oz. package, cut in half
- 1 small pack of pearl onions, blanched and peeled
- (optional, for a little spicy heat, a teaspoon of harissa or Calabrian chili paste, I used harrisa, but again not needed just optional)
- fresh thyme
- olive oil, salt and pepper
- fresh parsley for garnish or chopped scallions
- Roast the 4 heads of garlic the day before by cutting them in half, drizzling them with olive oil adding fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Wrap in heavy foil and roast 45 minutes to 1 hour at 400 degrees
- Season short ribs with salt and pepper all over.
- In a heavy bottomed pan like cast iron get it nice and hot then drizzle with olive oil and add in the ribs and start searing them.
- Let ribs get a deep golden brown all over, not moving them too often, letting the fat render out.
- Remove ribs and pour off all extra fat, leaving brown bits on the bottom.
- Add ribs back in and add your tomato ingredient and optional extra spice, let it cook a bit.
- Pour in the wine enough to cover almost half up the sides of the short ribs, let it bubble and cook down for a little while, it should reduce a little.
- Add in the broth, again enough to reach halfway up the sides of the short ribs.
- Add in one whole head of the roasted garlic, two halves.
- Throw in some fresh thyme.
- Cover with lid or heavy duty foil and place into a hot, preheated 300 degree oven, they will take around 2½ hours.
- Half way through add in the onions.
- In a skillet, saute your mushrooms on medium high heat, set aside.
- When short ribs are finished cooking, and have become tender and fall off the bone, remove them gently from the pan as well as the onions.
- Smash all the garlic that came out of the head with a fork into the gorgeous liquid, it will be chunky looking.
- Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer, pushing and scraping the bits to get all the juice extracted, discard all pulp from garlic, you are left with a smooth sauce.
- Place smooth sauce back into the pan, add the short ribs and onions back in, at this point you can skim more of the fat off if you like, I did.
- Add the sauteed mushrooms and some fresh thyme.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and chopped scallions.
- Serve over creamy polenta, egg noodles, pappadelle pasta or roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
- Delicious with sauteed greens on the side.