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Braised Short Ribs

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 190 minutes
Servings: 8

Short ribs are not a cut you will find in Italy, but this method of slowly braising beef in red wine is typical, especially in the north, where beef is more commonly eaten. The ribs can be cooked and refrigerated for up to 2 days before serving them. This recipe makes a big batch. If you have leftover ribs and sauce, you can bone the ribs, shred the meat and serve the meat and sauce over pasta or creamy polenta. 


  • 8 beef short ribs, each about 10 oz.
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped 
  • 2 carrots, chopped 
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped 
  • 2 cups dry red wine such as Barolo 
  • 1 can (28 oz.) plum tomatoes, chopped, with juice 
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth 
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs 


Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add as many ribs as will fit in a single layer and cook, turning as needed, until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the browned ribs to a bowl, and brown the remaining ribs in the same way. Spoon off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pot.

Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a simmer and deglaze the pot, stirring to scrape up any up any browned bits from the bottom. Add the tomatoes, broth and rosemary sprigs and bring the liquid to a simmer.

Return the ribs to the pot, bring the liquid back to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook the ribs, turning them occasionally, until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone, about 2 1/2 hours. Transfer to a warmed bowl and serve immediately. Serves 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).