The Secret to Short Ribs

I like to plan my menu a week ahead of time. That way I know what I need to get ingredient wise or there is sufficient time to thaw something from the freezer, etc. I like to be totally prepared when the day arrives. So the menu plan for yesterday was Braised Short Ribs. Little did I know that it would be about 85 degrees that day – so it was a bit warm in the apartment since I had to have the oven on for hours at a time. But the end result was quite worth it!

I was looking at several different recipes to see which one I should try, and I choose Anne Burrell’s  Braised Short Ribs from Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. She shares with us her Secret to Short Ribs!


  • 6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
  • 2 bay leaves


Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.

Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

My thoughts…

I thought these were very good! I served them along side of mashed potatoes. Putting everything together wasn’t that bad – it sounds like a pain to blend the vegetables, etc but it really wasn’t. I didn’t feel like messing around with my huge food processor so I used my Vitamix to puree everything. It worked perfectly!

A few notes…I only had a 6 oz can of tomato paste and that worked just fine. I really don’t think it messed anything up. Instead of adding water into the dutch oven I added in beef broth.  I thought it would give it a more robust flavor that way.

I would definitely make this again! I think I’ll wait until the fall or winter when it is much cooler though! 🙂 I loved how tender the ribs got. And the sauce thickened up nicely when it reduced. I used a Cabernet Sauvignon wine (3 cups) and I was very happy with how it came out!

Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell
Show: Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
Episode: The Secret to Short Ribs
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  1. mmmm…i love braised short ribs. now that my thyme plant is florishing, maybe i’ll try this soon. 🙂

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