CT 022| Restaurant Style Braised Beef Short Ribs - Video Recipe

In it’s most basic form, braising consists of a tough cut of meat with a lot of connective tissue, combined with liquid, aromatic vegetables and fresh herbs; this mixture is then cooked in a low oven until they becomes tender. The connective tissue responsible for the chewy texture is collagen, which is a triple helix of gelatin. When moisture along with slow, steady heat are applied, the triple helix unravels into three individual gelatin strands, leaving gaps in the muscle tissue it used to bind together, giving the impression of tenderness.

Yet for the collagen to break down, the meat must reach an internal temperature of at least 155˚F/68˚C. This is well above the internal temperature of a medium steak (140˚F/60˚C), and well into the range in which protein fibers fully contract and coagulate, expelling most of their liquid, causing a dry texture and lack of flavor.

Enter the cold start and low temperature braise, in which the short ribs are placed in a cold oven, and braised at 200˚F/121˚C. As the short ribs slowly come up to temperature, they spend an extended period of time between 120-130˚F/48-54˚C, a temperature at which the same enzymes responsible for dry aged beef’s flavor and tenderness are hyper-activated.

Using the cold start approach means your short ribs will have more flavor, a superior tenderness, and most important, will require less time for the collagen to break down at protein-fiber-drying temperatures (155˚F/68˚C). Less time at this temperature means more juices are retained, which further enhances the short rib’s flavor and texture.

The Pre Braise Stage

Before braising, the short ribs are seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, seared in a screaming hot pan with plenty of oil, browned on all sides, and then set aside. Searing as I’m sure you’re aware has nothing to do with “locking in the juices,” but it simply creates more flavor through the maillard reaction in which proteins brown, form new compounds, and create those delicious flavors and aromas associated with roasted meats and vegetables. This is why it’s important to generate a dark golden brown color on all sides of your short ribs; more brown surfaces equals more flavor.

Raw Beef Short RibsSome chef’s prefer to dust their short ribs in flour first before browning. But notice how I swapped the word “searing” for “browning” since flour will quickly scorch at high temperatures. Dusting the short ribs in flour achieves two goals. One, when cooked to a dark, golden brown color, the flour will add flavors and aromas reminiscent of toasted nuts and bread. And two, the flour will help slightly thicken the sauce during the reduction phase, just like a roux.

After the short ribs are browned on all sides, remove them from the pan, and immediately add thinly chopped aromatics.

In this particular recipe, I went with traditional mirepoix (carrot, celery and onions), along with ginger, garlic and leaks. The addition of thyme and parsley are always prudent (which I used), as is bay leaf, which wasn’t added, mainly because I didn’t feel like taking an extra trip to the store. But these aromatics can be swapped to fit any flavor profile you want. This dish could just as easily be at home in a Chinese, Japanese, Indian, or Italian kitchen, simply by swapping out a few aromatics and seasonings.

The aromatics are cut small for the same reason we brown the short ribs on all sides: surface area equals better flavor extraction. Once browned, place the aromatics at the bottom of a braising pan (this prevents the meat from coming into contact with the metal and scorching), add in any other spices and seasonings along with the seared short ribs, and cover with a liquid.

In this video I’m using veal stock for my braising liquid, but a well made chicken stock will also work. The only caveat is, your stock has to be home made (or bribed from a local chef) because the store bought stuff, while sometimes convenient, doesn’t contain enough gelatin to thicken into a glaze when reduced. No glaze equals sub par short short ribs, plus, this is a perfect opportunity for brushing up on your stock making skills.

The Braise Stage

Once the short ribs are combined in an appropriately sized braising vessel with aromatics and stock, seal the top of the container with a tight fitting lid or foil.

Place in a cold oven, and then set the temperature to 200˚F/93˚C for reasons previously discussed. Now forget about it for at least 4 hours.

Can you complete a braise in less time?

Sure. You can cook short ribs at 15 PSI in a pressure cooker for about 90 minutes with good results, but if you speed up the braising process by turning your oven temperature up, the short ribs won’t be as tender and flavorful as they could be.

After about 4 hours, check the ribs. If they’re done, a bone will easily wiggle away from the meat without much wrestling. If the bone doesn’t pull out clean, then put the short ribs back in the oven and try again in 30 minutes.

Depending on your oven and environment, this could take as long as 5-6 hours, but your patience will be rewarded. However, the cold start is the most important thing, due to its contribution to flavor and tenderness.

After the short ribs have been in the oven for at least 3 hours at a low temperature, if you’re starting to feel the threat of a possible kitchen mutiny staged by family members or guests who get especially irritable when hungry, feel free to turn the oven up to 350˚F/176˚C, at which point you should expect your short ribs to be done at the 3.5 to 4 hour mark.

The Glaze Stage

Once the short ribs are finished braising, pull from the container and allow to rest at room temperature. However, for best results, make the short ribs 1-3 days in advanced, and allow them to rest in their own liquid before moving on to this stage. Braised Beef Short Rib

If making this in advanced, simply store in your fridge until you’re ready to reheat and serve. Reheat over low flame until the liquid is pourable (since it’s most likely set due to collagen that is now gelatin), and remove the short ribs from the liquid.

Strain braising liquid through a colander to remove large chunks of aromatics, and then again through a fine mesh strainer to remove any fine particles which will cause you sauce to have a gritty mouth feel.

Bring liquid to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer, moving the pot halfway off the burner so all the fat will collect on one side. Skim fat vigilantly throughout the reduction process; this is the key to having a flavorful glaze that isn’t greasy.

When reduced by 3/4s its original volume, transfer liquid to a large sauté pan and continue to reduce until a light glaze is formed. Place the short ribs back into the glaze, continuing to reduce, until the glaze easily clings to the meat, and the short ribs are heated through.

Remove from heat and serve with something tasty like glazed root vegetables or classic mashed potatoes (see links below).

Site Categories

There are 70 Comments

darcy dietz's picture

This looks great. I've made braised short ribs countless times but have never glazed. Can't wait to try this but I've got to make the stock first. In a pinch, could you use store bought and add some gelatin?

jacob burton's picture

@cblaser,

You could use store bought stock and sub with gelatin but it won't be the same. The short ribs themselves will release a decent amount of gelatin into the braising liquid, but you'll have to reduce it longer than shown in the video to get it to thicken.

strikingtwice's picture

Can you recommend any good store bought stocks? I know i'm not getting a good veal stock from teh store or whatever, but i have a hell of a time finding time to make stock let alone put out the money for veal bones and stuff. I also am considering getting a pressure cooker almost solely for stock (though i'm sure i'll sue it for other stuff)

I've used kitchen basics and they're ok, and i've found some other organic stock brands that seem to be ok. Just wondering if you have anything you'll grab for when you're home and not at stella and don't have any made.

jacob burton's picture

@StrickingTwice,

I really like the Kirkland Brand organic chicken stock they sell at Costco. That's what I use in a pinch.

Also remember that the best thing about homemade stock is the collagen from the bones. At home, I keep a couple freezer bags full of any bones left over from dinner, and about 1-2 times a month, I'll make an AP stock. If I don't have aromatics, I don't sweat it. I just bring the bones to a simmer, cover with a lid, and let go overnight. The next day I'll strain the bones and freeze the stock.

If I have a little too much stock to fit in the freezer, I'll reduce until it fits in the container I want to use and then freeze. It's good stuff to have on hand for anything that uses a reduction sauce or glaze.

strikingtwice's picture

How about packing a slow cooker overnight? i have a larger one, maybe a 6.5 qt slow cooker. Seems like it'd be easy enough to just leave in there.

jacob burton's picture

Yes, that's a great way to do it. One of the things I constantly preach at boot camp is "half-assed home made stock is still better than store bought." That's because you can always add more aromatics in your final formulation when making a braise or reduction sauce, but home made stock is really all about collagen. It doesn't have to be a prep intensive process like in a professional kitchen.

Just load the bones in your slow cooker and let it rip overnight, or even as long as 24 hours, or until you're ready to strain and store.

darcy dietz's picture

So you can use any bones? Even bones from a cooked dinner? Maybe this is basic but every single stock recipe or instruction or video I've read or watched made it look like I needed a dozen raw carcasses. Can I literally use the bones from one of my roasted chickens?

jacob burton's picture

@cblaser,

Yep. You can use any bones, even cooked ones from your roast chicken. I eat a lot of whole chicken and chicken thighs at home, so I build up a stash pretty quick.

jacob burton's picture

Maybe I should do a separate video on this that just encourages people to save their bones and make stock. Having a stash of good stock in the freezer opens up a lot of possibilities.

By the way, when you make a fresh batch of stock with the bones you saved up, add any stock you have in the freezer. This will reinforce your stock, giving it a higher concentration of gelatin and flavor. After a couple months of doing this you'll have a gelatin rich stock sitting in your freezer that's just as good as what we use in the restaurant.

darcy dietz's picture

Very interesting. I'm excited about this because everyone always says you NEED to make your own stocks but as a simple home cook, I don't have on hand or available what every single stock recipe calls for...lots of raw carcasses or bones from daily prep at a restaurant.

Darrellsm's picture

I made these and served them last night. Best short ribs ever. I did not have enough home made stock so used some from store so glaze was not the right consistency but flavor was fabulous. Thanks, Chef and I think your idea of a bone saving and maybe stock making video would be great.

Sarah_NJ's picture

This is amazing. Thanks for explaining what braising is, and how these wonderful dishes come about. I am sure that I will want to see more in the future. There is a lot to learn here.

 

 
 

I just love thse Pokies Games

It is true that there is a lot going on in this game and it will more than likely take you several sessions of playing time to be able to see all of these different aspects play out. Even if you do not get to see all of these features in one sitting, you will definitely want to come back again to give it another shot. It is definitely worth trying. That man fans love the movies because of all of the nonstop action that takes place, the pokie a version does not disappoint in that area. So, if you love action in you love comics, then you are definitely going to fall in love with The Dark Knight Rises pokie at www.baxterstation.com . Even though there are many good things to be said about this game, it is important for you to try it out yourself so that you can make your own decision as to whether not they game is for you. In fact, this is a good rule of thumb to go by no matter what game you are playing.
Most of the online pokies are somewhat different than the brick and mortar style games. That being said, there are still many others that are either exactly the same online as they are offline, or can be similar enough to where you feel as if you are playing the exact same game. This is always a good thing as far as pokie lovers go, because they know what types of games they like and they always gravitate to the same style of games. Sure, it is a good idea to try out different games once in a while just to say that you are experienced in several types, but there is nothing wrong way of having your favorites and sticking to them.
lenb's picture

I just did a version (in my pressure cooker) using brisket and dried fruit instead of short ribs and aromatics.  It was my first time doing a glaze by reducing the cooking liquid.  Normally, after braising or cooking in my PC, I make a  sauce directly from the juices.  This was awesome.  Fat skimming worked great.  The resulting glaze was not a bit greasy and tasted like candy.  YUM.  Can't thank you enough for the recipe/demo.  

Your wonderful videos give me the courage to try things I would never try unassisted.

jacob burton's picture

@lenb,

Sounds like it turned out great. Glad this video helped to open up some new technical doors for you.

rob.e.williams.sc's picture

My question is more around what I should be expecting from short ribs with regard to lean meat make up.  I have only made braised short ribs with a glaze once before using a lot of asian style seasonings and flavorings.  They came out great, but it seemed like there was way too much fat to work around for the effort (mostly for my wife who is no fan of big chunks of saturated fat on her meat). 

I was going to give this recipe a go this week, but the short ribs available at the supermarket were just as fatty.  I plan to head over to the butcher shop up the road to see their offerings, but I'd like to know if my expectations of finding some leaner short ribs is realistic or not and if I should just stick to another cut with high connective tissue/low fat content.  I appreciate the help, after all, happy wife - happy life.

jacob burton's picture

Short ribs do tend to have a lot of fat, which is part of why they have great flavor. What your wife is probably describing isn't the intramuscular fat, but the large chunks on the surface of the rib. Try trimming this fat off with a sharp knife before braising.

This technique will also work great with shank, brisket, and oxtail, so you might want to give those cuts a try as well.

rob.e.williams.sc's picture

You are right. It's the large chunks on the surface.  I guess it seemed if I cut all that away, there wouldn't be much left.  I'll try again and consider those other cuts, as well.  Thanks, Chef!

gcook17's picture

This recipe was fabulous!  I made it last night; I loved it and my wife loved it.  Even the leftovers are delicious.
Next time I'm up in Tahoe visiting my brother-in-law, I plan to drive up to visit your restaurant.
Thank you Jacob,
-greg

jacob burton's picture

Awesome. Glad you enjoyed this recipe. Looking forward to seeing you next time you're in town.

pericowest's picture

Hi Chef!

Tried this recipe twice this week but with boneless beef ribs from Costco. (yeah,yeah,bones add to the dish and the cook time is different; less time if no bones,etc.). But both times it was awesome!
Used the Kirkland Brand organic chicken stock with added gelatin. Also added a generous amount of More than Gourmet Demi-Glace Gold as I finished the sauce (love that stuff, makes me look almost as good as Chef Jacob). It has a considerable amount of collagen but not enough to reach the nape I want unless I want to add a lot and reduce it way down.

Questions:
Collagen denatures above 140 F so if I braise at 200 F or so for an extended period of time am I denaturing a significant amount of collagen? In preparing a sauce I may often exceed 140 F. After I strain a sauce I need to bring it to a simmer to reduce. What effect does that have on the collagen?
If I add some acid and butter to finish my sauce does it effect my collagen? The pH probably does not change enough to make any difference.

The question here is if I use boxed stock like Kirkland Brand organic chicken stock when should I, can I, how do I, add enough collagen to reach nape? And enhance flavor? And how would I do that?

Miss being at Stella.
Roger

jacob burton's picture

Hey Roger, good to hear from you.

When you say collagen, I think you're referring to gelatin, and some of the information I covered in my gelatin series.

When you heat gelatin above a 140F for a prolonged period of time, the gelatin strands will shorten, but the gelatin itself will still be present. It's the particulate nature of the gelatin that thickens a full reduction sauce, where as the technicalities of heat and acid's effect on gelatin is more important when trying to create a gel that sets when cold. This is because when setting a cold gel that you will eat, you want to add just enough gelatin to hold that gel, but not enough to make it have a tough texture (usually 1-1.4%).

Reduced stocks and sauces will contain upwards of 30% gelatin, which is why they can take a beating and still set, but you wouldn't necessarily want to serve those cold.

So in short, yes, you can add gelatin to help reinforce your reduction sauce, but you'll probably want to add about 5-10% gelatin, and then reduce until your desired consistency is achieved.

pericowest's picture

That all makes sense. My reduced sauces in fact become a"brick" of gelatin when cold. (love to taste them then,Yum!)
So OK , if I follow you would add about 10% gelatin to Kirkland Brand organic chicken stock to make it nape? Or maybe a little less if adding the More than Gourmet Demi-Glace Gold?

jacob burton's picture

To be completely honest, I know this approach will work, but I don't really use it, so I can't give you a precise gelatin percentage. Remember it's always best practice to add less thickener than needed and reduce to reinforce flavor concentration and control the sauce's viscosity. So especially if you're combining chicken stock with the purchased demi glace, I would start with 10% gelatin and plan on reducing by 1/2-2/3rds. You don't really need a whole lot of this glaze since it's so intense, so reducing by 2/3rds shouldn't be an issue.

The 10% ratio might not work as perfect as you would like, but it will at least give you a good base recipe you can easily go back and tweak.

pericowest's picture

Thanks,

Kinda what I do; a bit of seat of the pants with reduction or pan sauces. They all seem to be a bit different each time. Especially at the the finish. Seem to require a lot of tasting, finishing with seasoning,butter,acid,etc.
A lot of variables. Except where you are and can do the same thing every night. Or does it vary from night to night?

Thanks for all your help over the years!!

Roger

jacob burton's picture

We make the same stock daily and standardize all our recipes down to the gram, so it helps keep our sauces fairly consistent, yet a good reduction sauce will always be perfected with an intuitive touch that balances the consistency and flavors right at the end.

pericowest's picture

And there is an example of the art of your craft. A bit like the night you told me my presentation was "balanced, centered,whatever" . It in no way did it appear as what you would present. Acceptable yes, artistic, creative, interesting, no way. Every plate,dish,stock,etc. has to differ a fraction each day. You adjust, innovate, that is your genius.
I only have to point to the observation that every plate passes through your hands before service.

You are the artist,scientist, innovator,educator,business person, and fun loving advocate of good food and wine!

Anyway, it is late. Thanks for all your help. I will bother you later. Promise.

Roger

jacob burton's picture

"I will bother you later. Promise."

I'll hold you to that. Always a pleasure.

Damaris's picture

Hi. Chef.
Is this a salty dish? because I do it and the Sauce was very salty. What I did wrong?
I dont use too much salt.
Thank You for your help.

zubinfischer's picture

Hello Chef, looks awesome!  Your instructions are very clear but I don't see a recipe to help sizing ingredients.  How many pounds of short ribs would serve 8 people, for example, and how much stock should you have accordingly?

jacob burton's picture

For every entree, I would plan for one large 3X2 or 3X3 shortrib (3 bones long, 2-3" wide).

You'll need enough stock to cover, so the amount of stock you use depends on how many short ribs and the size of your braising container.

Add mirepoix to taste, but for 8 people, the amount of mirepoix you use should be pretty close to what's shown in this video.

Jenncongdon's picture

Hi Chef -

I was planning on making this recipe for 10 people - should I batch cook them or can I put enough ribs in for 10 in one oven pan? Or if I cook them in a pressure cooker - I'm assuming if follow your same video instructions at the end to glaze the ribs?

Thx!
Jenn

jacob burton's picture

Hi Jenn,

Yes, you can easily cook 10 short ribs in one oven pan, assuming the pan is large enough to fit. Any container that is oven safe will work.

When glazing, you may need to split the glaze up between 2 large saute pans, that way you can fit all the short ribs and glaze them together.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Jacob

SamA's picture

Hi Chef / fellow members

My short ribs ended up dry! I'm trying to work out why.

I put four big short ribs in a cold fan oven set to 73 degrees C, which I hope is the 93 you recommend? I checked on them after 3 hours and they had already shrunk and were tough. I turned them up to 176C and left them in another hour. In the end only one part of one rib was nice.

The only thing I can think of that I did differently is put them in bone side up, meat side down - I notice in the video it is bone side down, meat side up. Perhaps the pan scorched / dried them? But they appeared to be floating in liquid, and resting on the aromatics. Or perhaps they just needed more time? But they seemed to have dried already after 3 hours. Or is it less time for only 4 big ribs? Wouldn't have thought so. 
I know you can leave them resting in the braise for hours / days to soak some of the liquid back up, but this is not a necessity. Perhaps I could have saved them doing this?

Other possible pitfalls;

Did I sear them too long? No, I have induction and it definitely does screaming hot
Did I remember the cold start? Yes
Did I use the correct pan? I don't have a hotel pan, so I used a Le Creuset casserole / dutch oven with a lid - four ribs fit snugly in the bottom, though when covered with braising liquid it was only half full in total (not nearer the top, like the hotel pan in the video)

Any suggestions welcome from Jacob or members - I have a remiage in the fridge that I need to use before long!

Thanks,

Simon ps the glaze was out of this world! Thanks again. 

jacob burton's picture

Did the bones easily pull free from the meat?

Judging by your cooking time and temp, I would say that they were undercooked, not over. The short ribs will be tough and chewy if not thoroughly cooked, making them seem dry.

SamA's picture

Thanks Chef - I thought 3 hours + 1 hour higher would be enough, but as you say depending on oven and environment may be longer. I will try again again and come back with good news. I know it's me & not the recipe! (move back two spaces). S

jacob burton's picture

The best indicator is the bone easily falling off of the meat. While it's possible to over cook short ribs, usually when people complain that they're tough, it means they're under cooked. An over cooked short rib will fall apart completely and shred very easily, but the meat will be dry.

Since you're technically cooking the short rib "well done" any ways, it's important to cook them slowly to prevent too much moisture loss, and then "re-moisten" the rib with the reduction sauce.

If the short ribs were falling apart to nothing and dry, then they were over cooked. If they stayed intact, didn't shred easily, and were tough/chewy, they were under cooked.

SamA's picture

Hi Jacob, and thanks again for this amazing website - I thanked  you personally in reply to my joining email, but in case it got buried and you missed it, thanks again! Stellaculinary.com is the acid that cuts through the fat of the Internet.
Success with the ribs this time - 5.5 hours at 100C (80C fan, I have a dial control so can't be exact to 93C, but at least my thermometer tells me), then 1 hour at 150C fan.
In the spirit of not being wasteful I used a cup of red wine from the freezer, a cup of shaoxing rice wine lurking at the back of the larder, and star anise, along with the rest. Tasty!
Thanks for your comments above, I found them really helpful. They might seem obvious to some, but when you put your heart and soul into a dish and it goes wrong, sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees. I'm sure others will find them useful too.

Best, 

Simon

SamA's picture

I forgot to say, on my first attempt I added the stock cold as I thought it might affect the braise process, but this time added it hot, which I think helped. S

jarman's picture

Hi Jacob
Do you think this recipe can work well with boned country style pork ribs instead of beef short ribs.
Anyone have any comments on this?

jacob burton's picture

@Jarman,

Yes, this recipe will work for any tough cut of meat.

ebarrere's picture

Wow, this dish was fantastic!! I made it with pork spare ribs and (homemade) chicken stock because that's what I had around. Served on top of the mashed potato suggestion, with the addition of some mustard greens and chard sautéed with bacon stuffed in between for the "healthy" factor :)

Final dish turned out absolutely delicious -- thank you for giving me the confidence to do a good braise! Can't wait to try some more of the recipes on the site!

jozko's picture

Thanks for the information Chef.  How long would you braise 25 pounds of short ribs at 200 degrees in the oven?  I have two braising pans that I can fit into my oven.

jacob burton's picture

@Jozko,

I would guess 5-6 hours. Start checking the ribs at 4 hours, and when the bone releases, they're done.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

jozko's picture

Thanks Chef.  I'm planning to braise the ribs 1-day before serving.  Once they're finished braising, would you let the ribs cool in the dish and wait until the next day to resume removing the bone, cutting and the glazing?  I saw you remove the ribs to get rid of the bones and fat prior to glazing.  Would you carve the ribs a day ahead or wait until they are ready to glaze them?  

jacob burton's picture

I would let the ribs cool in the liquid. Then pull ribs, strain liquid, and trim ribs. Removing the bones is optional, but it can sometimes make them easier to portion/serve.

Wartface's picture

Chef Jacob... I had dinner at a restaurant in Hermosa Beach Saturday night at a place called Hook and Plow. I noticed braised short rib's on the menu. That's the same day I had watched this video. So I decided I have to order this dish to see how I would like it. Oh my... It was really, really tasty. They served me 1 little chunk of meat that was a 2" square with a small serving of mashed potato's and some sautéed veggies... $24.

It's a high rent district but as I was eating this succulent dish I was thinking I could do this dish at home, based on the recipe from Stellaculinary.com for 1/5th the price and have the pleasure of doing it myself. Including washing the dishes and choping the onions... Haha.

I'm going to try your recipe next Saturday night with a lady friend of mine, Mary. Our question is what would be best, a pressure cooker or a roasting pan in the oven? We have both. From what I read in the comments about the stock and being able to get that napea, stick to the spoon, thickness in your reduction sauce, home made stock is best.

We have no homemade stock. So off to Costco we go for their organic stock. You said to someone else to add 10% gelatin to that stock to better your chance of getting that napea consistency. I think we will go with that option. Plus I think we will use your mashed potato recipe... The mashed potato's at the Hook and Plow were not seasoned enough for my liking.

I'll probably add asparagus with hollandaise sauce to the dish for a veggie and have a homemade Ciabatta or sourdough bread. Any input or direction you can give us would be greatly appreciated. We will serving dinner for 4.

Pages