Slow-Cooked Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs

Slow-cooked red wine braised beef short ribs are a delectable dish that combines succulent beef, aromatic herbs, and rich red wine into a melt-in-your-mouth experience. This article will delve into the intricate details of this culinary masterpiece, exploring the history, ingredients, cooking techniques, and serving suggestions that make this dish a true delight for the senses.

1. History of Slow-Cooked Beef Short Ribs:

The concept of slow-cooking meat has been prevalent throughout human history, with various cultures developing their own techniques. Beef short ribs, specifically, have been enjoyed for centuries. Historically, they were considered a cheaper cut of meat and were often braised to tenderize the tough fibers. Over time, the slow-cooking method evolved, and the addition of red wine brought a new layer of complexity to the dish.

2. Ingredients:

To create the perfect slow-cooked red wine braised beef short ribs, certain key ingredients are necessary:

a) Beef Short Ribs: Choose well-marbled, bone-in beef short ribs, as the fat and bone contribute to the richness and depth of flavor.

b) Red Wine: Opt for a full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. The wine’s acidity and tannins help break down the meat’s proteins and infuse it with a luscious flavor.

c) Aromatics: Onions, garlic, carrots, and celery form the base of the braising liquid, providing a savory foundation to the dish.

d) Fresh Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves add aromatic nuances that complement the beef and wine.

e) Beef Stock: Use a high-quality beef stock to enhance the meaty flavor and ensure a rich, flavorful sauce.

f) Seasonings: Salt, black pepper, and sometimes a touch of brown sugar or honey to balance the flavors.

3. Cooking Techniques:

Slow-cooking is the key to achieving tender, succulent beef short ribs. There are two primary cooking techniques to consider:

a) Oven-Braising: Preheat the oven to a low temperature, usually around 325°F (163°C). Sear the short ribs in a hot pan to develop a flavorful crust, then transfer them to a Dutch oven or oven-safe pot. Add the aromatics, wine, herbs, and beef stock. Cover tightly and cook in the oven for several hours, allowing the flavors to meld and the meat to become tender.

b) Slow Cooker: Alternatively, you can use a slow cooker for convenience. Sear the short ribs in a pan, then transfer them to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Set the slow cooker to low heat and let it work its magic for 6-8 hours.

Regardless of the technique used, the slow cooking process allows the collagen in the short ribs to break down, resulting in a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

4. Serving Suggestions:

a) Side Dishes: Slow-cooked red wine braised beef short ribs pair well with a variety of side dishes. Creamy mashed potatoes, buttery polenta, or even roasted root vegetables complement the richness of the meat. For a lighter option, consider serving them with a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables.

b) Sauce Reduction: After removing the beef short ribs from the braising liquid, strain the sauce and reduce it on the stovetop. This intensifies the flavors and creates a velvety sauce to drizzle over the ribs.

c) Wine Pairing: Serve the dish with the same red wine used in the braising liquid. The wine’s flavors will harmonize with the meat, enhancing the overall dining experience.


Slow-cooked red wine braised beef short ribs are a culinary masterpiece that requires time and attention but rewards the palate with tender, flavorful meat and a rich, aromatic sauce. As you embark on this gastronomic adventure, remember to savor each step, from the careful selection of ingredients to the slow cooking process that transforms humble beef short ribs into a dish fit for a gourmet feast.

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