If you’ve never made braised-short ribs before, we bet it’s because it can take quite a while. Don’t let the cook time dissuade you—this recipe is beyond worth it. Tender, hearty and flavorful, our Brown Sugar-Braised Short Ribs from the Plated Cookbook are the ultimate (and might we say, romantic) winter-time meal. Be patient, and you’ll reap the rewards.
Cheffy Nugget: Short ribs are actually best when they’ve had time to rest in their braising liquid—the meat absorbs the surrounding delicious juices as it cools. One of the perks of making them ahead is that during refrigeration, the fat from the sauce congeals and turns orange on top of the braising liquid, making it much easier to scrape off and discard.
1 small yellow onion
1 stalk celery
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 1/2 cups veal stock
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350F. Dice the onion. Slice the carrots and celery on a diagonal. Roughly chop the shallots. Lightly smash the garlic with the flat side of a knife and peel.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Rub the meaty parts of the short ribs with half the brown sugar. Season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. When the oil is shimmering, add the short ribs in a single layer (work in batches if necessary), meat-side down, and sear until well browned and beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion, carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic to the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook until softening, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and vinegar and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Pour the red wine and veal stock over them. The short ribs should be about two-thirds submerged; nestle them into the vegetables if needed. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and remaining brown sugar. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then cover the pan and transfer it to the oven. Braise until the short ribs are tender but not yet falling apart, about 2 hours.
Return the pan to the oven, uncovered, and continue braising for 30 minutes, then flip once again. Continue braising, uncovered, until the short ribs are fork-tender and well caramelized, about 30 minutes longer. Allow the ribs and braising liquid to cool completely, then refrigerate for up to 4 days. Alternatively, transfer portions to airtight containers and freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat the ribs, preheat the oven to 350F. Scrape off and discard any fat from the surface of the liquid, then heat in the pan, covered, until warmed through.
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