How to Braise Beef Short Ribs for Perfectly Tender, Fall-Off-The-Bone Meat

Beef short ribs are considered a tough, inexpensive cut of beef, but when braised slowly and properly, the meat becomes insanely tender and juicy. The process of braising transforms the ribs into a succulent, richly-flavored main course. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to braise short ribs to perfection.

What are Beef Short Ribs?

Beef short ribs come from the rib section of a cow. They consist of pieces of rib bone with meat attached. Short ribs contain a lot of collagen which needs to be broken down through moist cooking methods to make them tender.

Compared to meatier beef ribs or bone-in ribeye steaks cut from the same part of the cow, short ribs contain more bone vs. meat. The upside is short ribs are an affordable cut great for braising.

Why Braise Short Ribs?

Braising is a moist-heat cooking technique that breaks down tough meats and yields incredibly tender, fall-apart texture. It involves browning the meat first, then slow-simmering it in flavorful liquid like broth, wine or beer.

For short ribs, braising melts away the fat and connective tissues. The bone imparts extra meaty flavor. After 2-3 hours of braising, the ribs become succulent and literally fall off the bone.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Braising Short Ribs

Follow these simple steps for fork-tender braised short ribs every time:

1. Prepare the oven and season the ribs

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Generously season ribs all over with salt and pepper.

2. Brown the ribs

  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or braising pan over medium-high heat.
  • Brown ribs well on all sides until a nice crust forms, about 15 minutes total.

3. Cook aromatics

  • Add chopped onions and garlic to the pot. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

4. Add braising liquid

  • Pour in broth, wine, beer or a combination, about 3 cups. Bring to a simmer.

5. Braise in the oven

  • Transfer pot to the oven, cover, and braise for 2-3 hours until fork tender.

6. Let ribs rest

  • Once tender, remove ribs from oven and let rest 20 minutes before serving.

7. Remove congealed fat (optional)

  • For less greasiness, chill ribs overnight then scrape off the layer of hardened fat from the top.

8. Reheat and serve

  • Gently reheat ribs in the braising liquid before serving.

Tips for the Best Braised Short Ribs

  • Buy ribs with meaty sections – less bone means more tender meat.

  • Trim excess hard fat before cooking but leave some for moisture.

  • Use a Dutch oven or heavy braising pan with a tight-fitting lid.

  • Don’t skimp on browning – it builds tons of flavor.

  • Cook low and slow. Braising longer yields more tender results.

  • Add aromatics like garlic, onions, herbs for flavorful braising liquid.

  • Chill the ribs overnight for the richest, non-greasy texture.

Sample Braising Liquids to Use

  • Beef broth or stock
  • Red wine or port
  • Stout beer or Guinness
  • Vegetable or mushroom broth
  • Apple cider

Flavor the braising liquid boldly since the meat will soak up the flavors. Try adding a splash of balsamic or soy sauce for extra depth.

Serving Suggestions for Braised Short Ribs

These tender, saucy ribs pair perfectly with:

  • Buttery mashed potatoes
  • Egg noodles or pasta
  • Roasted vegetables like carrots or Brussels sprouts
  • Risotto or creamy polenta to soak up the braising sauce
  • A crisp green salad to counter the richness

With minimal hands-on time but impressive results, braised short ribs make a special meal for company or perfect Sunday supper. Follow these simple steps for your best beef short ribs ever.

How to Braise Beef Short Ribs – Food Wishes


How much liquid do you use to braise short ribs?

You want liquid to come about a quarter and no higher than half way up the side of the meat. Because of the curvature of the dino ribs, we’ll be cooking them on their sides, so they make a crescent in the pan. Then, of course, you must cook them.

Should you sear short ribs before braising?

Short Ribs & Braising: Braising is a cooking method where you brown the meat and simmer it on low heat. You don’t need any special equipment to braise ribs. First, brown or sear the ribs at a high temperature then cook them in liquid at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.

Should short ribs be submerged when braising?

Short ribs that are cooked completely submerged in liquid will come out with a thin, watery sauce, while those cooked in just a thin layer of liquid—enough to provide a moist environment under your Dutch oven’s lid—will produce a rich, flavorful sauce.

How long does it take to braise beef?

The liquid level needs to remain the same, so add more if necessary. It will take about 1 1/2 to 3 hours to become fork-tender. As soon as it’s fork-tender, it’s done. Cooking any longer will dry out the meat.

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