Oven-Braised Short Ribs

These short ribs aren’t going to win any beauty contests, but I definitely wasn’t going to let that stop me from sharing them with you because I am not exaggerating when I tell you this was one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a while. As a general rule, short ribs are a once, maybe twice, a year treat at our house. Since having made this recipe, though, I can’t help but want to put this meal on the menu once a week. I won’t, but I’m insanely tempted.

It wasn’t intentional, but the timing of this meal worked out perfectly. The short ribs were on the menu for last Saturday, which just so happened to be the same day as that October snowstorm of which we won’t speak. Short ribs scream comfort food to me, what could be more perfect for a snow day? And here’s another thing to love about this dish – you only need one pan and about 10 minutes to take care of the prep. Honestly, it couldn’t be more simple. The short ribs are marinated in a combination of red wine, soy sauce and some veggies for at least 6 hours (so you do need to plan ahead) and then they head straight for the oven for a long, slow braise. It’s pretty typical to brown the short ribs before cooking them, but that step is skipped here, and I didn’t miss it one bit. Maybe that’s just because I hate the splattering oil that comes with browning, but these ribs develop so much flavor in the oven, as well as a nice crust, that there isn’t a huge need to brown them. If you want, you can peel a few potatoes and throw them in toward the end of the cooking time too, and why wouldn’t you? They soak up some of the amazing glaze that’s sitting on the bottom of the pan and are infused with its flavors, it’s a complete win.

Oven-Braised Short Ribs

The aroma of these short ribs cooking away in the oven taunted me for hours, so I was beyond excited to finally get them on my plate and dig in. First, though, I ran upstairs to take a few pictures. I always ask Shane to start eating without me when I take the photos (no need for both of us to eat lukewarm food…) and I’ve started to form judgments on how much he likes a dish based on how much of it is left on his plate when I come back down. Not only had he made significant progress on these ribs, but he must have said 2 or 3 times “this meat is so tasty.” Trust me, that’s high praise. I completely agreed with him. The meat was incredibly tender and so flavorful. It blew my mind that the dish was so good based on how little effort it took to get it on the table. The odds of me trying other short rib recipes this winter aren’t high, this is the one.

Oven-Braised Short Ribs
from Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys, by Lucinda Scala Quinn

1 onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 leek, cleaned and finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
2-3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)

Combine all of the ingredients except the short ribs and potatoes in a large roasting pan (it should be large enough that the ribs fit comfortably in a single layer). Add the short ribs and turn to coat with the marinade. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or even overnight. Flip the ribs a few times (if possible – if you can’t, don’t sweat it) while they marinate (I marinated mine for 6 hours and flipped every 2 hours).

Remove the short ribs from the refrigerator 30 minutes to 1 hour before you plan to cook them so they can come up in temperature a bit. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 F.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and braise for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and continue cooking for another 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and uncover. Flip the ribs over and add the potatoes. If too much of the liquid has evaporated from the bottom of the pan you can also add some water. (These are very forgiving, don’t worry.) Continue cooking for another 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Serve drizzled with the glaze in the bottom of the pan. (Those veggies that have been cooking with the meat the whole time were delicious too, though quite broken down.)