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Braised Beef Short Ribs with Gnocchi

Suitable for any special occasion, these rich and succulent Braised Beef Short Ribs cook in a red wine broth until they are so tender, they literally fall off the bone!

Classic comfort food at its best, this beef short rib dish is as tasty as those you’ll find at any fine restaurant and is easier to prepare than you may think!

Braised beef ribs are first seared on the stovetop then finish slow cooking in the oven in a braising liquid that begins with mirepoix (caramelized onion, carrot, and celery) — the foundation for delicious flavor and aroma.

braised beef short ribs over gnocchi in a white bowl on a wooden table

Although red wine braised short ribs is a decadent main dish, preparing them is really a simple process. If you’re looking for a special beef recipe for the holidays, short ribs are a great choice!

Plus, I think today’s recipe is the best beef short ribs recipe for beginning and accomplished cooks alike.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

How does being nestled up with a good book while dinner cooks itself sound? It’s entirely possible when you braise short ribs!

Prep and sear the short ribs. Dice and sauté onions, carrots, and celery. Then add red wine along with the remaining ingredients and the beef back to the pot. Cover it with a lid and pop it in the oven.

Just like that, you’ll get three hours of reading time and dinner will be ready like magic!

raw beef short ribs on a white plate on a wooden table

What are short ribs?

Short ribs are cut from the rib area of cattle, normally into a 4- to 6-inch length, not the full length of the rib. Also known as an English cut, beef short ribs may be called barbecue ribs, braising ribs, or fancy cut ribs.

What does it mean to braise ribs?

With the braising technique, beef ribs are browned on all sides first on the stove top before adding cooking liquid to the pot (normally a Dutch oven). The dish is then covered tightly and finishes cooking low and slow in the oven until the beef is tender and cooked through.

How to braise short ribs

  1. Pat the beef short ribs dry with paper towels—this will create better browning—and season them on all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat, then sear the short ribs on all sides until they are a nice dark caramel color.
  3. Remove the ribs and drain off the grease, leaving about a tablespoon. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the diced onion, carrot, and celery for about 10 minutes, until tender and caramelized.
  4. Stir in tomato paste and cook for another minute, then add red wine and beef stock, bringing the mixture to a boil.
  5. Return the beef short ribs to the pot and add the thyme (or fresh sage leaves) and bay leaves. Cover with a lid and transfer to a 350-degree oven and bake for 3 hours, until tender.
beef short ribs in braising liquid in a Dutch oven

Should the braising liquid cover the meat?

There is no need for the short ribs to be fully submerged in the braising liquid. You don’t want the meat to boil, just simmer with the lid on in the oven. Too much liquid and the sauce will not be as rich.

The braising liquid for this recipe is a mixture of beef stock, red wine, and tomato paste. I like to think of it as braised short ribs with wine gravy!

braised beef short ribs on a white platter on a wooden table

“I made these for dinner Friday night and my husband proclaimed them the ‘best thing’ he’s eaten in a long time! Very easy and delicious!” —Julie

Do you have to brown short ribs?

It’s not entirely necessary, but please don’t skip the browning step. Browning the meat first adds texture and depth of flavor. Also, the browned bits in the bottom of the pan add even more delicious flavor to the sauce.

Should I cut the fat off short ribs?

Only remove the thickest layers of external fat if the ribs haven’t already been trimmed by the butcher. Unlike with pork ribs, there’s no need to worry with removing the silverskin or membrane that holds the meat to the bone. Also, the fat or connective tissue that runs through the meat adds flavor, so leave it intact.

How do you heat up braised short ribs?

Reheating cooked short ribs is best done in a covered pot over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. You may also reheat short ribs in a 350-degree oven for the same amount of time.

braised beef short ribs over gnocchi in a white bowl on a wooden table

Can you braise short ribs in a slow cooker?

To make this an easy weeknight meal, first sear the short ribs on the stove top as directed in the recipe below. Add the remaining ingredients except for the fresh thyme leaves to the slow cooker and stir. Nestle the short ribs into the sauce and top with the fresh thyme leaves. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Serving suggestions

As the ribs cook, a thick and rich sauce will form. My preference is to serve braised beef short ribs over a bowl of hot and steamy potato gnocchi and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

I use a shelf-stable potato gnocchi which cooks in boiling water in about 3 minutes—so quick and easy! Of course, you could make your own gnocchi from scratch, too.

Other delicious serving options include ladled over mashed potatoes, buttered noodles, or polenta.

close up of braised beef short ribs over gnocchi in a white bowl

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Yield: 4 servings

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Gnocchi

braised beef short ribs on a white platter on a wooden table

Suitable for any special occasion, these rich and succulent Braised BeefShort Ribs cook in a red wine broth until they are so tender, they literally fall off the bone.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. bone-in short ribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme or sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (16-oz.) pkg. shelf-staple potato gnocchi
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pat the beef short ribs dry with paper towels, then season them on all sides with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the short ribs and brown them on all sides. Transfer the ribs onto a paper-towel lined plate.
  4. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat out of the pot. Add the celery, carrots, and onion and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for one minute, then add the red wine and beef stock. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Return the beef short ribs to the pot and add the thyme and bay leaves (or sage). Cover and transfer to the oven.
  7. Bake for 3 hours. Midway through cooking, turn the beef ribs and add more beef stock, if needed.
  8. Remove the beef short ribs from the Dutch oven and discard thyme and bay leaves.Skim the grease off the top of the braising liquid and discard.
  9. If desired, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Return the meat to the sauce.
  10. Prepare the potato gnocchi according to the package instructions. Serve the shredded short ribs and sauce on top of the gnocchi, and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

Original recipe adapted from Chez Spence

Short ribs may also be served whole on the bone with sauce drizzled on top.

Reheating cooked short ribs is best done in a covered pot over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. You may also reheat short ribs in a 350-degree oven for the same amount of time.

To make this recipe in a slow cooker:

Sear the short ribs on the stove top as directed. Add the remaining ingredients except for the fresh thyme leaves to the slow cooker and stir. Nestle the short ribs into the sauce and top with the fresh thyme leaves. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

4 servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1099Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 260mgSodium: 546mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 6gSugar: 9gProtein: 70g

Did you make this recipe?

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sheila thigpen in her kitchen

Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Home Cook, Wife, Mom, Nana

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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