A recipe for the easiest braised beef short ribs with garlic, herbs and red wine — tender, delicious meat over creamy Parmesan polenta.
For months now, I’ve been wanting to share this incredibly simple method for making red wine braised short ribs, a recipe that requires just four main ingredients and an oven. But every single time I’ve cooked them my family magically made them disappear before I could take a photo to show you!
So here is the recipe, finally. I think this might be the best way to cook oven-braised beef short ribs ever. The results are delicious, and the process is as unfussy as it gets.
Making braised short ribs isn’t necessarily difficult. Depending on how they’re made, the cooking process can involve multiple steps, including either searing on top of the stove or over high heat on a grill, then hours of braising in the oven or on the stovetop.
It’s easy to make super-tender and tasty braised short ribs in the oven. I usually prefer to use a Dutch oven for braising meat. It’s how I make one of my other favorite slow-cooked beef dishes, French slow-cooked beef stew with red wine.
But for these short ribs, a rectangular baking dish or small roasting pan actually works perfectly — it just has to be large enough that the ribs can lay flat and remain mostly submerged in the braising liquid. Choose one that’s 14 inches long by 11 inches wide.
The savory juices and tender meat are so good over creamy, cheesy polenta. You can also shred the beef and use as a filling for pot pie, ravioli, or some killer tacos.
What makes these baked beef short ribs so easy to make?
- The meat doesn’t need to be marinated ahead of time.
- The short ribs sear and then braise entirely in the oven, making clean up so much easier.
- In addition to the meat, all you need to make this recipe is red wine, garlic, fresh herbs and salt and pepper. Keeping it simple allows the beefy flavor of the short ribs to shine.
The best red wines for braising short ribs are full-bodied varieties like zinfandel or malbec, or use an inexpensive blend from Cotes-du-Rhone or Bordeaux.
My favorite tools and ingredients to make braised short ribs:
For great texture and flavor, I love to use organic whole-grain cornmeal to make polenta.
A small heavy-duty roasting pan is versatile for so many uses in the kitchen – it’s perfect for braising meats, roasting vegetables, fish and chicken.
simplest red wine braised short ribs with creamy polenta
Yield 4 - 6 servings
For the short ribs:
- 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs (about 6 pieces)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups full-bodied, dry red wine such as Cotes du Rhone or Malbec
- 1 cup water
- 1 head of garlic, sliced in half horizontally
- Fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs, 3 or 4 each
For the polenta:
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups water
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 475 degrees.
- Put the ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the meat liberally on all sides with salt (I use 2 tablespoons Diamond brand kosher salt) and black pepper.
- Roast the ribs 20 minutes, until they're sizzling and forming a brown crust. Transfer the ribs to a roasting pan or 14" x 10" baking dish large enough to hold the ribs in one layer. Turn the oven down to 275 degrees.
- Pour 1/2 cup of wine onto the baking sheet and scrape up any brown bits, then pour it all over the ribs. Add the remaining wine and water. Toss in the garlic and herb sprigs.
- Cover the pan tightly with foil and return to the oven for 3 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender and breaks apart when prodded with a fork. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
- To make the polenta, bring the milk and water to a boil in a 2 or 3 quart heavy pot. Add 2 teaspoons salt and slowly stir in the polenta a little at time to avoid lumps.
- Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring frequently until the polenta thickens, about 25 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese. Cover and keep warm until serving.
Short ribs recipe adapted from Poole's: Recipes and Stories.
Courses main course/meat