Make Ahead

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine and Vanilla

May 30, 2015
5 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Anytime there is a bit of red wine left in a glass, I pour it into a jar in the fridge. Once the jar is full, I use the wine to braise some meat.

I shred the ribs before serving, but you can also garnish them and serve them whole, right out of the oven—or you can remove the ribs, skim the fat from the sauce, season it, and place the the ribs back in the pot whole. It's up to you.
Phyllis Grant

What You'll Need
  • 4 beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper for seasoning meat
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 handful fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, tarragon, sage (no need to remove from stems)
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced (remove seeds)
  • 3 anchovy fillets, packed in oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups red wine, more to taste
  • 1 pinch Parsley and cilantro for garnish
  1. Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl or a zip-top bag. Whisk together garlic, olive oil, balsamic, whole herbs, and lemon. Use your hands to smush the marinade into the meat. Store in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Remove short ribs form the fridge and heat oven to 250°F. Discard the herbs and lemon slices. Reserve the marinade. With a mortar and pestle, make a paste out of garlic from the marinade, anchovies, tomato paste, vanilla extract, and paprika. Set aside.
  3. Place a large ovenproof pot over high heat. Add vegetable oil. When it's just starting to smoke, place short ribs in the pan. No need to jiggle or shift the meat around. Just let them do their thing. After 2 minutes, take a peek. When the meat is a gorgeous dark brown, turn to sear on the other side. Remove from pan and set aside. Pour off excess oil, leaving a small splash for the onions you'll sauté next.
  4. Turn heat down to medium. Add the diced onion. Use a wooden spoon and the onions to get all of the meat goodies up off of the bottom of the pot. Once the onions are soft and translucent, turn the heat down to low and add the garlic/anchovy/paprika purée. Stir for a minute. Add wine and reserved marinade. Add ribs. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Put on the lid and place in the preheated oven. The ribs don't have to be completely immersed in the liquid, just flip them every hour or so to make sure they get some love from the wine.
  5. Depending on the size of the ribs, they can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to become fall-off-the-bone tender. Sometimes a bit longer.
  6. When the ribs are tender and feel about ready to slide off the bone, take the meat out and reserve on a plate. Taste the sauce. Add salt if needed, or a splash of balsamic. Or a bit more vanilla. Using your hands, slide meat off of the bones and place back into the sauce. Pick out any large pieces of fat that are unappealing (small ones will melt into the braise). Shred the meat as best you can.
  7. Serve over polenta or quinoa. Garnish with chopped cilantro and parsley.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • Alisha
  • Matt Kallay
    Matt Kallay
  • MM
  • Franca
Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.

21 Reviews

Rosalind P. June 17, 2020
This works for any beef that is good for braising. Chuck is great.
lynn May 21, 2020
This is a good three day project. Day 1: marinate. Day 2: Sear and braise and let rest over night. Day 3: Remove fat and discard (there's lots of it). Shred meat and then reheat it gently adding balsamic vinegar and salt as necessary.
Maureen May 3, 2020
Made this today after watching the At Home With Us video on IGTV a few days ago, and it was absolutely fantastic! So rich and velvelty. This would be a perfect recipe for entertaining: it makes the whole house smell amazing, and is easy to plate (I paired it with Instant Pot Polenta) without having to spend a lot of time away from your guests. This will definitely be what I serve at my first dinner party once we're finally out of quarantine!
Alisha February 5, 2017
I love this recipe so much. I made it with ribs the first time I tried it and it was fantastic. Tonight I am trying it out with oxtails and it seems to be working out well so far!
nicola P. June 20, 2020
Wow, it's like you read my mine. I've gotten back into braising oxtails. I love slow and slow cooking.
Matt K. November 10, 2016
I served this over cheese grits for a brunch, and holy hell was it a hit! Thank you soo much for sharing.
MM November 6, 2016
This is gorgeous! Used for a dinner party and it was elegant and stress-free. In the last hour, I threw in some vanilla pods that I'd already scraped the seeds out of for another purpose. My picky two year old ate two helpings!
Franca April 7, 2016
I made this with a bottom blade roast. The left over sauce and meat were thrown over egg noodles the next day for a lovely lunch at work.
Helena |. January 22, 2016
I LOVE this recipe, especially with the addition of vanilla. I'll occasionally throw in a little lavender, too. Thank you!
Catherine December 26, 2015
I made these ribs for Christmas Eve....this is a perfect, delicious recipe!!! I adjusted ingredient quantities for 11 ribs. Because of the added quantity, I baked them in a large rectangular metal open roasting pan with heavy foil secured for a lid. 250 degrees for 2 hrs, then 300 degrees for another 3 hours.
SimplebySara September 10, 2015
frank July 22, 2015
Red wine left in a glass? I guess I won't be able to make this recipe! Even though it is probably delicious!
Cameron L. June 18, 2015
Thank you Phyllis :)
Cameron L. June 18, 2015
I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by "4 beef short ribs". Do you mean 4 pounds?
Cameron L. June 18, 2015
I'm guessing I'm not going to get an answer seeing that the two before me didn't get a response.
Phyllis G. June 18, 2015
so it's 4 beef short ribs. poundage will vary. if they're small, get 8. your butcher can guide you. tell your butcher you will be braising them and need enough for 4 people. the sauce and the meat are rich so we often don't need more than 1 per person.
Gina U. November 5, 2018
she means r actual short ribs.
Kathy June 5, 2015
Sounds delicious! But...I never have red wine left in my glass ;)
Phyllis G. June 18, 2015
i'm trying to leave a little red wine in my glass. trying.
Jenny B. June 3, 2015
This recipe sounds awesome. Do you think it would be good cooked in a pressure cooker?
Phyllis G. June 18, 2015
yes! just season and brown the meat before you place it in the pressure cooker.