Braised Short Ribs are the ultimate indulgence. When cooked low and slow in a flavourful and aromatic broth, the meat gets so incredibly tender that it just about melts in your mouth. This recipe keeps things very easy and simple, but thanks to fundamental technique and a couple of secret ingredients, it packs a serious punch of flavour.
What You Need For Braised Short Ribs
- Beef Short Ribs: Short ribs can be cut in a variety of ways. For this recipe, I prefer bone-in English Cut Beef Short Ribs between 4″ and 5″-long. You get added flavour from the bones and longer strands of beef.
If you can’t get your hands on some short ribs, you can substitute beef chuck roast, bottom blade, osso bucco, or even ox tails.
- Aromatics: Carrots, celery, onions and lots of garlic form the flavour base for this dish. You can add mushrooms to the mix as well.
- Mushroom Powder: For an extra boost of umami, I highly recommend adding a spoonful of Magic Mushroom Powder. This spice blend originally created by Nom Nom Paleo is available for purchase online and adds an incredible depth of savoury flavour.
- Beef Broth: A quality beef broth or bone broth, like the ones from Kettle & Fire will make a big difference in flavour. Homemade is usually best and most affordable, but high-quality packaged ones that are shelf-stable make life very convenient.
- Herbs: I like using a mix of fresh thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. If you don’t have fresh, you can use dried but the flavour profile and aromas won’t be exactly the same. If using dried herbs, aim for around 1/4 the amount of fresh.
- Tomato Paste: For added colour and flavour, I like to add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. I find that if you add more than that, you start to enter into Ragu territory, which is not necessarily a bad thing!
Do You Need Red Wine for Braised Short Ribs?
Red wine can certainly be used to make these braised short ribs. However, I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. Especially if you’re using a high-quality and flavourful beef stock. Red wine does not help break down the intramuscular fibres of the meat or make it more tender. The only way to achieve fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth short ribs is through time. Unless, of course, you have a pressure cooker. In which case you can cut down the cooking time by more than half.
Can I Make Braised Short Ribs in My Instant Pot?
You most certainly can cook this recipe in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. The ingredients and measurements should stay the same, except that you will require slightly less cooking liquid (beef broth), since the pressure cooker does a better job of trapping steam.
If you use an Instant Pot, you should still brown the meat and sauté the vegetables before cooking the short ribs under pressure. This will ensure maximum flavour.
Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your short ribs. You should aim for around 60 minutes under high pressure. You can manually or naturally release the steam after cooking.
Braised Short Ribs – Whole30, Paleo
- 4 Bone-In English-Cut Short Ribs around 4 pounds, or substitute boneless
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 large carrots – cut into 3-inch pieces
- 2 medium yellow onions – roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks – roughly chopped
- 1 head garlic – peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon mushroom powder optional, see notes
- 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 32 ounces beef broth or 4 cups
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme plus extra for garnish
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- Line a sheet pan with a wire rack. Liberally season all sides of the short ribs and place them bone side-up the rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, 1 hour to overnight. Remove from fridge and let the meat come to room temperature before cooking, around 1 hour.
- Preheat a Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the avocado oil and heat the oil until shimmering. Pat the short ribs dry with paper towel and carefully add them to the pan. Cook until browned on all sides, around 12 minutes total. If necessary, brown the meat in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.
- Transfer the short ribs a bowl and set aside. Add the carrots, celery and onion. Season with a pinch of salt and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until slightly softened, around 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 60 seconds. Add the mushroom powder, if using, and cook, stirring 60 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring to combine, 1 minute.
- Add 1 cup of the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to lift any brown bits. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and short ribs. Top with the remaining broth, bring the liquid to a steady simmer. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and cook until the meat is fork-tender, around 2.5 hours.
- Transfer the short ribs and carrots to a tray and discard the bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Using an immersion blender, blend the remaining liquid until smooth. Return the short ribs and carrots and cook until the meat is falling off the bone, around 30 more minutes. Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve the short ribs, gravy and carrots over a bed of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or cauliflower purée.