upclose image of slow cooked ribs in a bowl with mashed potatoes

Braised short ribs are a special treat; boasting rich, melt-in-your-mouth meat that falls off the bone. This classic dish shows how slow cooking can transform a dish.  Let’s get started on demystifying the art of achieving perfectly tender braised short ribs right in your own kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home-cooking enthusiast, this step-by-step recipe will equip you with the skills needed to create a dish that’s sure to impress. It’s the perfect addition to any holiday meal such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

overhead image of uncooked short ribs with vegetables, herbs and spices in the background.

Selecting the Perfect Short Ribs

Start by choosing the right cut of meat. Opt for bone-in beef short ribs, as they promise the most succulent and flavorful results. Look for well-marbled cuts with a good balance of meat and fat. The marbling ensures tenderness and imparts a depth of flavor that is essential for a truly exceptional dish.  It guarantees both tenderness and a rich, beefy flavor.

Preparing the Short Ribs

Before the magic of braising begins, it’s important to properly prepare the short ribs. Start by trimming any excess fat on the top of the ribs.  Don’t worry, this won’t affect the outcome, but it will remove any excess grease.  Then generously season them with salt and pepper, ensuring each piece is evenly coated. Next, sear the ribs in a hot skillet or Dutch oven with a small amount of oil. This step locks in the juices and creates a beautiful, caramelized crust that will add layers of flavor to the final dish. Take your time with this step, as it sets the stage for the depth and richness of the braising process.  Be sure to brown the short ribs on all sides. 

overhead shot of braised short ribs on a bed of mashed potatoes

Building Flavor with Aromatics

Aromatics are the backbone of any braised dish, they infuse the dish with an additional depth of flavor. Add a medley of aromatics such as onions, carrots, garlic, and herbs like rosemary and thyme. Allow them to caramelize and release their essential oils, creating a fragrant foundation for the braising liquid. This base will elevate the entire dish, imparting even more flavor into the braised short ribs.

Making the Braising Liquid

The braising liquid is adds another layer of flavor that transforms ordinary short ribs into something extraordinary. Choose a combination of beef broth, and tomato paste to create a robust, flavorful broth.  You can also add red wine to the braising dish or even vinegars such as red wine, apple cider or balsamic vinegar. As the short ribs braise, the broth will infuse them with a deep, savory essence. Be sure to deglaze the pan to capture all the flavorful bits from the searing process. Slow cooking the ribs in the oven will ensure that it absorb the rich flavors, resulting in meat that is tender, succulent, and utterly delicious.

tender short ribs plated with mashed potatoes

Slow Braising to Perfection

The secret to achieving the perfect braised short ribs lies in patience. Cover the Dutch oven and transfer it to a preheated oven set at a low temperature, typically around 325°F (160°C). Allow the ribs to braise for several hours, letting the low, slow heat work its magic. This gentle cooking method breaks down the collagen in the meat, rendering it tender and mouthwateringly juicy. Periodically check on the ribs, ensuring they are bathed in the sumptuous braising liquid.

What to serve with Braised Short Ribs

Get the Recipe Braised Short Ribs


  • 4.5 lbs short ribs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 15 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp flour


  • Preheat oven to 325
  • Trim short ribs of excess fat then season on all sides with salt and black pepper.
  • In a dutch oven, add 1 tsp oil over high heat. When oil is hot, all ribs and brown on all sides. Make sure not to crowd the ribs so that it sears properly. Place browned short ribs on a plate.
  • Remove excess oil for dutch oven, leaving 1-2 tsps. Add celery, onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes just until the vegetables have softened.
  • Add crushed garlic and cook for about 30 seconds then add tomato paste and smoked paprika and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and beef broth to the pot and stir to remove the bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil then add short ribs with the meat side down.
  • Cover the dutch oven and place into preheated oven and let cook for 3-3 1/2 hours until meat is tender.
  • Remove short ribs from the pot. Strain the liquid and add to a fat separator to remove excess fat.
  • In the same pot, add 1 tsp fat from the short ribs gravy with 1 tbsp flour and cook for about 2 minutes then add strained liquid. Stir with adding to prevent any clumps. Add additional beef broth is there isn't enough liquid. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Serve short ribs with gravy over rice.


Author: Jehan Powell