Recipe: Wine-Braised Short Ribs with Mushrooms

When it’s cold outside, there are few things better than a hearty meal with plenty of flavor, and beef short ribs deliver! Imagine taking the best marbled parts of rib meat and mixing it with the beefier flavor of a chuck roast. This recipe from The Butcher’s Market, uses every flavor-building trick in the book to make this short rib dish as delicious as possible.

When deciding how to cook short ribs, what you need is a method that will slowly break down the collagen, yielding a silky sauce and fall-apart tender meat. Braising is just the ticket. The low and slow, moist cooking method is made easier with an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. You can also make these wine-braised short ribs in a Dutch oven or in your slow cooker. Present the meat on the bone or off. Either way, this meal is just as at home on your weeknight dinner table as it is on your dinner party menu.

3 pounds beef short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large or two medium carrots, peeled and diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, caps sliced and stems whole (optional)
3 sprigs Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, leaves and stems included
1 teaspoon each dried thyme and oregano, or 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon high quality fish sauce (optional)
½ bottle dry red wine
2 cups beef stock or water
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, including the juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional)

  1. Liberally season your short ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. With your Instant Pot on the saute setting, add the bacon fat or oil, and brown the short ribs in batches on all sides until nicely caramelized. Reserve the short ribs on a plate until all are browned.
  3. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the remaining fat. Saute the onions, celery, and carrots along with a heavy pinch of salt and pepper for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the garlic and the mushrooms, including the whole stems. You’ll be pulling these out because they are too woody to eat, but they will lend flavor to your sauce.
  5. Saute until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and it has evaporated.
  6. Add the parsley sprigs, the dried spices, Worcestershire and fish sauce.
  7. Cook and stir for a few seconds and then pour in the wine to deglaze. Stir up all the lovely browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock and the tomatoes.
  8. Return the browned short ribs to the pan and nestle them down into the sauce.
  9. Put the lid on your Instant Pot, make sure the vent is set to “Sealing” and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. When the cooking time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally, about 15 minutes.
  10. Carefully remove the lid from the Instant Pot. Remove the ribs to a plate and cover with foil. Strain out the sauce into a bowl or pan large enough to hold the ribs, pressing down on the solids. They have given their all, so compost or discard them.
  11. If you are planning to chill your ribs overnight, put the ribs back into the sauce. Cool, cover, and chill overnight. If you are planning on serving your short ribs the same day, use a fat separator to remove most of the fat from the sauce and proceed with step 13.
  12. The next day, you will find that all the fat has solidified in a raft on top of the sauce. Remove as much of that fat as you can. Reheat the short ribs and the sauce. Once the sauce has thinned out from heating, remove the meat to a plate. You may choose to leave the meat on the bone or not.
  13. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce slightly. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. If you would like a thicker sauce, stir the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water or stock together into a slurry and add to the pan. Bring to a boil so the sauce thickens. You can also reduce the sauce by about half and then taste and adjust seasonings.
  14. Stir the meat back into the sauce and heat through. Serve with pasta, polenta or mashed potatoes.

Slow Cooker Directions
Follow Steps 1-7 using a large, heavy-bottomed pot. After deglazing with the wine, pour everything into your slow cooker and add the beef stock and tomatoes. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Proceed with step 10.

Dutch Oven Directions
Follow Steps 1-7 using a 6-quart Dutch oven. After adding the beef stock and tomatoes to the pot, bring to a high simmer on the stove. Cover and put in an oven, pre-heated to 200 degrees F; cook until the meat is very tender, about 6 hours. Proceed with step 10.

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