Balthazar's Braised Beef Ribs

""This is our Saturday-night plat du jour and, because its preparation involves the basics of French cooking, it’s also the first dish we teach young cooks: There’s the browning of the meat, the softening of the mirepoix, the reduction of wine, and the long braise in stock. It’s a forgiving dish that calls for patience rather than precision. It’s also the ideal meal to make ahead of time, as it benefits greatly from a night’s rest. Serve with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Pan-Roasted Root Vegetables." From The Balthazar Cookbook by Keith McNally, Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson. As with all tough cuts of meat, short ribs are best when braised. A long and gentle simmer breaks down the abundant fat and connective tissue, rendering the ribs tender and velvety in texture. Veal stock adds its own inherent silky richness. Ask the butcher to cut the ribs across the rack, as opposed to along the bone, so there are 3 short bones in every piece."
photo by Ashley Cuoco photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by Patrick C. photo by Patrick C.
photo by Ashley Cuoco photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by Mme M photo by Mme M
Ready In:




  • Preheat the oven to 325°F
  • Bind each rib with cotton kitchen twine. Place the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf between the two celery halves and bind with kitchen twine.
  • Season the short ribs with 2 teaspoons of the salt and the pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over a high flame until it smokes.
  • In two batches, brown the short ribs well on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, pouring off all but 3 tablespoons of oil between batches.
  • Remove the ribs and set aside when done.
  • Lower the flame to medium, and add the carrots, onion, shallots, and garlic to the pot and saute for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and light brown.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the flour and stir well to combine. Add the port, red wine, and the celery-herb bundle.
  • Raise the flame to high and cook until the liquid is reduced by a third, about 20 minutes.
  • Return the ribs to the pot (they will stack into two layers).
  • Add the stock and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt; if the stock doesn’t cover the ribs by at least 1 inch, add water up to that level.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, transfer to the preheated oven, and cook for 3 hours. Visit the pot occasionally and stir the ribs, bringing the ones on the bottom up to the top -- they’re done when the meat is fork tender and falling off the bone.
  • Transfer the ribs to a large platter and remove the strings.
  • Skim any fat from the surface of the sauce, and then strain through a sieve into a medium saucepan.
  • Discard the solids.
  • Over medium heat, bring the sauce to a strong simmer and reduce the liquid until slightly less then half (4 cups) remains, about 1 hour.
  • Return the ribs to the pot, simmer for 10 minutes to reheat, and serve.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
  1. quit2k
    Binding the ribs with string is to keep the meat from falling off the bone -- is that correct ? Bind them in how many places is needed ?


  1. Patrick C.
    I made the recipe as is with these tweaks: 1. I seared the meat (7 lbs) in the oven on a sheet tray under the broiler for 10 minutes per side. In 20 minutes all the meat was beautifully seared and no mess. 2. I finished the dish by using an immersion blender to blend the cooking liquid smooth all the aromatics, carrots etc., whizzed silky smooth and shiny - then spooned over the ribs.
    • Review photo by Patrick C.
  2. kittelsm
    Delicious with fine restaurant quality deepness of flavor. My guests raved about this recipe. The recipe is so rich that 2 small (following cooking) short ribs per guest was very satisfying. I braised for 4 hours instead of 3. Since purchasing veal stock was so expensive, I used 1/2 veal and 1/2 beef. Making the day before and refrigerating allowed for time to remove the bones/membrane and skim the fat from the sauce. Definitely the best braised short ribs recipe I have made so far.
  3. jackiebear63
    Easy when you prepare the day before. You can enjoy your the company of your dinner guests and wow them with such a gourmet meal. I use a very large roasting pan to braise after searing. After taking out of fridge, I just dump all the stock through a fine strainer and it captures all including the fat and bones that have come apart. I cover the ribs in a metal pan with foil and a small amount of water while reducing the gravy to keep on warm so that the ribs don't have to re-braise in the liquid too long. Thicken the liquid with cornstarch. It won't have that flour flavor. Instead of tomato puree ( wasn't on hand), I used a small amount of ketchup and smoked paprika. Also, used beef broth not veal broth. Garlic mashed is a must for side.
  4. buddy3229
    Awesome! I made them the day before we had a wine tasting party and warmed up after removing the fat on top. They were hot and ready when we were and I didn't have to leave the party to cook. I will make again and again.
  5. KLBoyle
    Absolutely delicious! This was my first attempt at short ribs and they were fantastic. Definitely deserving of more than 5 stars. Thanks for posting!


  1. barbaraconverse
    I do have a shortcut that works with short ribs, baby back ribs, and any roast... do the sear on my grill. It reduces the fat splatter on the stove. Also - my market carries boneless short ribs, they are well marbeled, but much easier to work with.


<p>I have always loved to cook. When I was little, I cooked with my Grandmother who had endless patience and extraordinary skill as a baker. And I cooked with my Mother, who had a set repertoire, but taught me many basics. Then I spent a summer with a French cousin who opened up a whole new world of cooking. And I grew up in New York City, which meant that I was surrounded by all varieties of wonderful food, from great bagels and white fish to all the wonders of Chinatown and Little Italy, from German to Spanish to Mexican to Puerto Rican to Cuban, not to mention Cuban-Chinese. And my parents loved good food, so I grew up eating things like roasted peppers, anchovies, cheeses, charcuterie, as well as burgers and the like. In my own cooking I try to use organics as much as possible; I never use canned soup or cake mix and, other than a cheese steak if I'm in Philly or pizza by the slice in New York, I don't eat fast food. So, while I think I eat and cook just about everything, I do have friends who think I'm picky--just because the only thing I've ever had from McDonald's is a diet Coke (and maybe a frie or two). I have collected literally hundreds of recipes, clipped from the Times or magazines, copied down from friends, cajoled out of restaurant chefs. Little by little, I am pulling out the ones I've made and loved and posting them here. Maybe someday, every drawer in my apartment won't crammed with recipes. (Of course, I'll always have those shelves crammed with cookbooks.) I'm still amazed and delighted by the friendliness and the incredible knowledge of the people here. 'Zaar has been a wonderful discovery for me.</p>
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes