Riad's Braised Short Ribs


Once considered a peasant dish, short ribs—rectangles of beef usually taken from the chuck cut—are gaining increasing popularity and a newfound appreciation. Unlike back ribs, which have more bone than meat, short ribs consist of generous layers of meat and fat, and require long, slow, moist-heat cooking to release the beef’s succulent flavor. This recipe comes to us courtesy of chef Riad Nasr, of Balthazar restaurant in New York City.


  • 6 pounds short ribs

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 6 shallots, peeled and quartered

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • ½ cup ruby port wine

  • 4 cups full-bodied red wine, preferably Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 2 sprigs rosemary

  • 10 sprigs parsley

  • 8 sprigs thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise

  • 4 cups veal stock


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Tie each short rib with kitchen string, and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and brown short ribs on each side. Remove short ribs, and cook carrots, celery, onions, and shallots until onions and shallots turn golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and flour, and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Return short ribs to the pot, and deglaze with port and red wine. Cook until wine is reduced by 2/3. To make the bouquet garni, bunch rosemary, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together, and tie the bundle with kitchen string. Add bouquet garni, garlic, and stock to pot. Bring to a boil, and cover. Transfer to oven, and cook until meat is fork-tender, about 3 hours.

  3. Transfer short ribs to large platter. Strain sauce through a fine sieve or cheesecloth into a medium-size saucepan. Reduce sauce over medium heat until it thickens to a gravylike consistency. Adjust seasoning to taste, spoon sauce over short ribs, and serve.

Cook's Notes

When preparing this recipe, first brown the short ribs to render the excess fat and build a strong foundation for the dish; the juices and pan scrapings will be used to enrich the cooking liquid. Then, braise the short ribs to yield the most tender, flavorful meat.

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