Friday, June 14, 2024


January 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Food

Chef Jeff Henderson

During the fall and winter holidays, beef short ribs are a great addition to the family table. What sets these ribs apart from the traditional preparation is the rich molasses, which creates a tender, sweet and savory meat. I served these short ribs during my tenure at Bellagio, and customers raved about the boneless version — which was best served with whipped potatoes and a green vegetable. My advice to the home cook: Save the leftover cooking juices, which can be frozen and used for extra flavor the next time you make this dish.


Serves 4 to 6


1/3 cup canola oil
4 to 6 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed and cut in half or 1-bone pieces
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3/4 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large head garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 small carrots, washed and coarsely chopped
3 medium stalks of celery, washed and coarsely chopped
2 bunches fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
6 to 7 cups low-sodium beef broth
4 cups canned diced tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
4 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups dark molasses


Heat half the canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season half the ribs with salt and pepper and sear on all sides in the oil. Remove the ribs from pan and set aside. Repeat with the remaining oil and ribs.

Add the wine to the hot pan and simmer for three to five minutes. Remove from the heat.

Heat olive oil in a separate large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, fresh thyme, rosemary and black peppercorns. Cook until the vegetables are softened, 10 to 12 minutes.

Place the short ribs and vegetables in a large slow cooker. Add the red wine and beef broth to cover the ribs by two inches. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add half of the molasses, cover and cook for 3 hours. Remove the lid and skim the excess fat from the top. Season with salt and pepper and add the remaining molasses to taste. Continue to slow-cook until the ribs are fork tender, 3 to 4 hours.

Transfer the ribs to a plate, discard the vegetables, and strain the cooking liquid into a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, skimming off the excess fat. Let the liquid reduce slightly by boiling for 15 to 20 minutes. Add short ribs to the braising liquid and simmer long enough to re-heat the ribs. Serve family style with mashed potatoes and a vegetable of your choice.

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