As the cold settles in, my Beef Short Ribs Recipe with root vegetable puree is a perfect special occasion dinner to celebrate the holidays. The oven braised beef is literally “fall off the bone” tender, and is showcased on a bed of root vegetable puree, garnished with pearl onions, fresh rosemary, and a tangy balsamic drizzle.
This post is sponsored by Ohio Beef. As always, all opinions are my own.
We need to talk about Short Ribs. This underrated cut of beef has been glossed over for years while steaks and roasts soak up all the spotlight and glory.
Recently though, that’s been a’changing. Thanks to the efforts of some innovative chefs and recipe developers, we (the general public) are finally having a flavorful awakening to the beef short rib. Today we’re sharing this beef short ribs recipe as our pick for a special holiday dinner entree.
This holiday season, Ohio families will spend about $4 billion on beef. That’s a lot of beef, so you might find yourself assuming that all that meat must be coming from some huge “industrial farming complex.” But really the opposite is true!
In Ohio, 98% of beef farms are still family owned and operated. So, as you’re savoring this beef short ribs recipe with your family, it’s good to remember that there are 17,000 beef farming families in Ohio pouring their passion, commitment, and hard work into providing this premium protein so we can enjoy it. Learn more about a few of these families in this short video.
What are Beef Short Ribs?
If you find yourself asking, “What is a beef short rib?” don’t worry, you are not alone. Beef short ribs may not be a common sight in your pre-packaged grocery store meat section. And even if they are, there are actually several different cuts that share the name “short ribs.”
Calling an order into a butcher is your best bet for acquiring some beef short ribs. Most likely, your butcher will ask some clarifying questions, or, if they are as friendly as mine, they might just want to talk shop about meat.
Do you want bone-in or boneless short rib? (hint: for this beef short ribs recipe, you want bone-in for flavor and presentation.)
Do you prefer a specific grade of beef?
Grain finished, or grass-fed?
A lot comes down to your personal preferences when it comes to special ordering beef cuts. Either way, it pays to come equipped with some information. So, before we jump into the recipe, let me try to answer some questions and dispel some mystery around this bewitching cut of beef.
Why are Beef Short Ribs so expensive?
Beef short ribs are a flavorful premium cut (like a good steak), that is very tender when cooked properly, and presents beautifully on a serving plate.
All of this combined with their growing popularity means that their cost has increased as well. Still, short rib is cheaper than most premium steak cuts.
A good way to save some money on beef short ribs is to ask your butcher for a less “processed cut” of short rib.
For instance, if you ordered boneless short ribs, your butcher would have a lot more work to separate the meat from the bones and fat. That’s extra time and labor, so the meat will include that additional cost.
Also, those bones and fat add flavor and presentation, so why on earth would you want to remove them? (For this beef short ribs recipe, the finished product is going to be so tender that the meat melts right off those bones anyways).
Where is beef short rib from?
Beef cattle have 13 ribs on each side. Most often, the term “Short Ribs” refers to the meat that comes from the first 5 shorter and smaller ribs in the front shoulder section (called the Chuck) of a harvested beef animal.
Generally, beef from chuck has a few thicker bands of fat running through it that make it ideal for slow cooking, which is why so many good Roast Beef recipes come from a cut of beef chuck roast. Short ribs have similar flavor and texture characteristics as a really good chuck roast.
Beef Butchery 101: All the Ribs
Ok, so you know how I said that most often Short Ribs come from chuck? (and I really hope one of you has a butcher named Chuck). Well, here’s a curveball. Short Plate Ribs come from a different area (the belly of a beef cattle called the Plate section) where ribs join together forming a bone called the “Short Plate.” And this cut is sometimes abbreviated to just “Short Ribs.” Confusing, right? Here’s how to tell them apart from their chuck short ribs brethren:
Short Plate Ribs are also called Flanken Style Ribs or even nicknamed Dinosaur Ribs. That’s because the bones are so LARGE! The memory trick I use is “Flanken Style Ribs = Frankenstein Ribs.” You know, because they are monstrously big. (Please don’t ask your butcher for “Frankenstein Ribs” or he will justifiably hang up on you.) You will recognize these as the typical barbeque-style ribs you see sold as one hunk of meat with 3 huge rib bones sticking out. You know, like a monster claw! (I’ll stop now…)
The good news is this: No matter which kind of Short Ribs you end up with (Flanken/Short Plate Ribs or Chuck Short Ribs), the recommended cooking method is similar, so this recipe should work great either way.
The other beef ribs that you’re likely to come across are the top 7 ribs in the middle of a cattle’s back (called “Back Ribs”). These come in a “rack of ribs” and are from the Rib portion of a harvested animal. These bones are long and curved, and this cut of meat, while delicious, is not what we’re covering in this recipe, so we’ll save those till BBQ season when we can slather them with sauce the way nature intended.
How to Cook Beef Short Ribs
The recommended cooking method for any cut of beef is determined by 2 factors:
- Fat distribution (or how lean the meat is)
- The thickness of the cut
Because beef short ribs have large bands of fat, and are several inches thick, we want to cook them low and slow to let that fat break down and flavor the meat, creating some delicious drippings, and helping the meat take on a supernatural tenderness.
Now, if this were just another chuck roast recipe, the slow cooker would be our go-to appliance for this task, but since short rib is a special cut, this beef short ribs recipe demands a special cooking method to really take it over the top. I’m talking about Braising, people.
Short Ribs: To Chill or Not To Chill
Short ribs tend to be a pretty fatty cut of meat, which is a big reason why they’re so delicious! However, that also means finished short ribs render a lot of fat, which can sometimes leave the meat feeling a tad greasy.
Because of this, many recipes (including ours) advise chilling braised short ribs overnight, then removing the fat and reheating the dish before serving. This allows us all the wonderful tender texture of the beef without any unwanted greasiness. (I’m also convinced that this additional resting period makes it taste better. Magic fridge fairies or something…)
It also means these Short Ribs are actually optimal for making ahead of time, making them perfect for a stress free dinner party or holiday entree.
That said, there’s no reason why you can’t just dive right into the meat as soon as it’s cooked. We’ve certainly done it before and likely will again! They smell SO good, it’s tough not to scarf them up immediately!
Alright, for this beef short ribs recipe, we’re going to be braising.
What is braising?
Braising is a 2-pronged method of cooking meat where you first sear meat quickly at high heat, then finish cooking it over liquid for a longer period of time at a lower temperature.
Tips for braising:
- Use a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven to get a good sear on your meat.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. Individual pieces of meat shouldn’t be touching.
- Resist the urge to move the meat. Allow each side to sit undisturbed for a few minutes and develop a deep, caramelized crust, which seals in all those meaty juices.
- Deglaze the pan. Once your meat is seared, remove it from the skillet and add a splash of liquid (wine or broth are my go-tos). While the liquid is sizzling, use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up all the browned bits at the bottom.
- Return the meat to the skillet and add liquid. The liquid should touch, but not cover the meat. We’re braising, not making soup!
- Braises should be cooked at a low temperature for a long time, and should either be covered with a lid, or sealed tightly with saran wrap and aluminum foil.
Now, onto the recipe!
How to make my Oven Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe
- Unwrap fresh/thawed beef short ribs and place them on a large prep surface (like a cutting board). Season/Rub them on all sides with a generous amount of salt and crushed black pepper, (about ½ cup of salt and ¼ cup of pepper) and let the meat rest at room temp for about 30 minutes.
- Place 4 large peeled carrots, 1 cubed rutabaga, 1 head of peeled garlic cloves, and 1 bag of frozen pearl onions in a deep roasting pan. (Your container must be deep enough that the wrap can make a flat seal, and doesn’t touch the top of the meat). Top the vegetables with 3 bay leaves and 4 fresh rosemary sprigs. *If you’re using a dutch oven, place the vegetables aside for now. You’ll add them back in after searing your meat and deglazing.
- Heat an empty pan, skillet, or dutch oven to high heat on the stove, then add 1 Tablespoon of neutral oil.
- Sear each side of each piece of meat for 2-3 minutes, or until browned.
- Transfer the seared meat to your roasting pan on top of the vegetables. *If you’re using a dutch oven, set the meat aside for just a moment.
- Deglaze your pan by adding ½ cup of red wine and gently scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Pour the deglazed liquid over the meat and vegetables. *For dutch oven, add your vegetables now to the bottom. Then add the seared meat on top.
- Pour equal parts beef broth and red wine into the dish. Add just enough liquid to touch the bottom of each piece of meat (like a boot standing in a puddle). If you need more liquid, add the remainder of the bottle of wine and then add water if even more liquid is needed.
- Seal the top of your cooking dish with plastic wrap (*trust me on this), and then wrap again with a layer of foil. (For dutch oven, simply cover with the lid). Place in a 325 degree oven for 4 hours.
- Check for desired tenderness. The meat should be falling off the bone, and easy to pull apart with a fork. If additional time is needed make sure to rewrap the cooking dish, and cook in 30 minute increments until tender.
- Once cooked to desired tenderness, discard the bay leaves.
From here, you can either serve the beef with the whole vegetables like a traditional roast, OR you can chill the cooking dish in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. (This is our preferred method).
Once chilled, remove the top layer of fat from the liquid and discard. Reheat the dish for 20 minutes uncovered at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the vegetables from the roasting dish, setting aside just enough pearl onions to garnish each served short rib. Then continue on to the puree recipe below.
How To Make Root Vegetable Puree
- Puree the rest of the vegetables in your blender, adding in small amounts of the liquid from the roasting pan until the puree becomes smooth. We’re aiming for a smooth, mashed potatoes-like texture.
- Add in a Tablespoon of honey for every 2 cups of puree, and salt the puree to taste. It should taste earthy and slightly sweet.
- Serve each short rib individually on top of a healthy scoop of the root vegetable puree, garnished with pearl onions and a fresh sprig of rosemary. Drizzle with store-bought balsamic glaze to taste, or make your own using this homemade balsamic reduction recipe.
What goes with beef short ribs?
For a drink pairing, nothing beats a glass of red wine (like a bold Cabernet Sauvignon). Normally tender beef partners wonderfully with mashed potatoes (see: Red Wine Braised Short Ribs), but since this recipe has a built in side dish with the root vegetable puree, I would instead recommend pairing it with egg noodles, or serving it alongside a simple green (like a helping of that good salad).
And you can never go wrong serving bread with this beef short ribs recipe. A crusty, hearty bread that can sop up some of those delectable beefy, balsamic-y juices sounds perfect.
I hope that these braised beef short ribs warm your hearts and bellies, and make your dinner as special an occasion as possible. Happy Holidays from us here at NeighborFood!
- 6 bone-In beef short ribs (about 4.5 lbs)
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup crushed black pepper
- 4 large carrots, peeled
- 1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed
- 1 head garlic, peeled
- 1 12 oz. bag frozen pearl onions
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary (save 2 for garnish)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 1 bottle red wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup balsamic glaze
- Season fresh/thawed beef short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Place carrots, rutabaga, garlic, pearl onions, 4 sprigs of rosemary, and bay leaves in a deep roasting pan or casserole dish.
- In a hot skillet, add oil, and sear every side of each short rib about 2.5 minutes until browned.
- Add seared meat to your roasting dish.
- Deglaze your skillet by adding 1/2 cup of wine while still hot, and pour deglazing liquid into your roasting dish.
- Add beef broth and wine until liquid touches the bottom of the meat.
- Wrap the roasting dish with plastic wrap, and then foil.
- Cook at 325° Fahrenheit for 4 hours.
- Check for desired tenderness with a fork and ensure that internal temp of meat is at least 165° F. Rewrap roasting dish for any additional cook time if necessary.
- Remove the dish from oven, discard the bay leaves, and allow to cool.
- Chill the dish overnight in the refrigerator.
- Once chilled, remove the top layer of solid fat from liquid in the roasting dish.
- Reheat the dish for 20 minutes at 250° F.
- Set aside enough pearl onions to use as a garnish for each served short rib.
Root Vegetable Puree:
- Move the rest of the vegetables to a blender pitcher and puree them, adding liquid from the roasting dish until the puree is a smooth texture. Add honey and salt to the puree to desired taste.
- Serve each short rib individually on top of a scoop of root vegetable puree. Garnish with pearl onions, fresh rosemary, and drizzle with balsamic glaze to taste.
- This recipe is designed to be made ahead of time and chilled overnight. This allows for removal of fat from the vegetable puree. However it can also be served immediately out of the oven, though we would recommend serving the root vegetables whole in this case.
- If you prefer to use a dutch oven for this recipe, see the notes in the post above under the section "How to make my Oven Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe".
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 3 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 600