Cider braised short ribs loaded with veggies is my kind of winter meal. Short ribs cooked low and slow in sweet apple cider give this one pot meal incredible flavor. Serve them over mashed potatoes or polenta for a delicious and easy dinner.
If you’ve only tried red wine braised short ribs, I can’t wait for you to try this recipe. This is the epitome of cold weather comfort food.
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Cider braised short ribs
It’s no secret that winter is my least favorite season, however it does get serious bonus points for the kind of cooking that it ushers in… the braise!
Culinary comfort, the only real benefit of freezing temperatures.
Another benefit of braising is, it’s easy. Many braises are one-pot meals, which means you aren’t left with an entire sink of dirty dishes, something I can really appreciate.
What is a braise?
What is a “braise” exactly? In its most basic definition, it’s cooking something (usually meat) in a liquid (usually stock, wine or a combination thereof) on low heat for a longer period of time.
Most often, braises are tough cuts of meat that benefit from long, slow cooking – turning them into the most succulent and flavorful of meals.
- Bone-in beef short ribs
- Mirepoix – carrots, celery and onions
- Garlic – lots of it, please.
- Apple cider (not apple juice)
- Beef or chicken stock
- Apple – I used a Honeycrisp, use whatever apple you love.
- Herbs – Rosemary, thyme, bay leaves
- Flour – to dust the short ribs.
- Salt and pepper
What do I need to make this recipe?
I have a particular pot that I use for braises, a Le Creuset enameled cast-iron Dutch oven. I have had this pot for almost 25 years. It is not inexpensive, but in my opinion, it’s worth the investment.
Another piece of equipment that I would recommend is a good chef’s knife. Choose a knife that feels good in your hand and has good balance. I’ve had the same Wüsthof knife almost as long as I’ve had the Dutch oven pot, and I’m still using them both.
How to make cider braised short ribs
Any kind of a braise is a really easy meal to make, but they generally take time. If you work from home, this is a great dinner to start around lunchtime and let it slowly simmer away until the evening.
First, season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Don’t be shy about it, season them aggressively. Next, dust them with a bit of flour.
Sear them in a bit of oil in a hot Dutch oven until they are golden brown on both sides, then set them aside.
Wipe out the pot to get rid of the oil and dark bits of flour. Add the vegetables into the pot, along with the apple cider and stock.
Finally, nestle the short ribs back into the pot and put the lid on before sliding into the oven for the next few hours.
What can I serve with this?
Here are a few recipes that go really well with these cider braised short ribs:
And there you have it! Cider braised short ribs are a delicious and easy, “stick to your ribs” kind of supper that is perfect for colder weather.
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- 4 lbs. bone-in beef short ribs
- 2 yellow onions, sliced
- 6 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 3 stalks of celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 2 cups beef (or chicken) stock
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 apple, seeded and quartered
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy ovenproof pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium high heat.
- Season flour with a little salt and pepper, mix it with your fingers and dredge the short ribs in the flour. Shake off the excess flour and set aside.
- When the oil is hot, carefully add the ribs to the pot and brown on both sides. (You may have to do this in two batches; you don't want to crowd them or they won't brown properly.)
- Remove the ribs from the oil and set aside. (This can be done a day ahead if you are pressed for time; cover and refrigerate until ready to braise.)
- Wipe out the pot, then add the onions. Reduce heat to medium and cook until softened and beginning to caramelize, about 10 - 12 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper grinder and stir.
- Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add apple cider to the pot and stir to combine. Put the ribs back into the pot, then add bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and stock.
- Season with a few pinches of salt and a few more turns of the pepper grinder. Place lid on the pot and slide into the oven for 3 - 3 1/2 hours.
- Remove the pot from the oven and allow the ribs to cool slightly, uncovered. Remove the ribs and set aside, remove bay leaves, rosemary and thyme, and discard.
- Remove vegetables from the pot and pour liquid into a glass measuring cup. Skim the fat from the surface, then puree the braising liquid with 1/4 of the vegetables to make a gravy. (*see note)
- Return the short ribs to the pot and serve.
To skim the fat, I use a gravy separator. The other option is to put it in the freezer for a bit to let it solidify. Then, you can easily lift the layer of fat right off the top.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 503Sodium: 374mgFiber: 4gSugar: 15gProtein: 95g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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Originally published 12/23/11, most recent update 1/18/22.