Italian-style Short Ribs

Short ribs with carrot, onion, and herb garnish atop polenta on red plate with glass of red wine

Short ribs are the ultimate comfort food. They scent the house as they’re slow cooking all afternoon, and the combination of tender meatiness and gravy over a bed of mashed potatoes or polenta is perfection, especially on a chilly night. They’re delicious on the day of cooking, but they’re also excellent the next day. The key to any braise is to cook low and slow—the braising liquid should never boil. Instead, it should simmer slowly to break down the collagen and fat in the meat and deliver a falling-apart result.

4 servings

  • 4 pounds grass-fed short ribs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 cups red wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2-inch piece of Parmigiano Reggiano rind

Heat the oven to 275. 

Pat the short ribs dry with a paper towel. Mix together the salt, black pepper, and flour, and then rub all over the ribs.

Heat the oil until shimmering in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add the ribs and brown on each side. Remove to a plate and keep warm. 

Turn the heat down to medium and add the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic to the pot. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Pour the red wine into the pot and deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom. 

Add the rosemary, thyme, and sage to the pot, then stir in the broth and tomato paste. Add the salt. Return the ribs and their juices to the pot and make sure the braising liquid covers them. If necessary, add a little water. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano rind. Bring to a simmer.

Once the liquid is simmering, cover the pot and place in the oven. After about 15 minutes, check to see if the liquid is still simmering. If not, adjust the temperature by 15 degrees and check again in 15 minutes. The liquid shouldn’t be boiling. Cook for 2 ½-3 hours until the meat is falling from the bone. Remove from the oven.

NOTE: At this point, the ribs can be refrigerated overnight in the braising liquid. When ready to serve, remove any fat that has solidified on the top (with grass-fed there won’t be much) and then gently reheat.

Remove the ribs from the liquid and set aside, keeping warm. Bring the liquid to a boil for several minutes until it has thickened slightly. Adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Return the ribs to the pot.  

Serve over a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes. Pass grated Parmigiano Reggiano to garnish at the table according to taste.