My Once-a-Year Beef Short Ribs

When you buy a mixed quarter of beef from your local farmer you get to choose how the butcher cuts up the meat. For example, if you like prime rib, that means fewer ribeye steaks in your beef supply. That’s the case with Bill and me. We savor prime rib in one meal during the winter holidays. We get a few packages of ribeye steaks. And we get one package of beef short ribs.

It’s totally different than shopping at the grocery store for meat. Instead of deciding what you want and going to the store to buy it, we look in our freezer and then think about how to make it. (Although we do supplement our supply by shopping at the West Michigan Co-op occasionally, for the most part we eat what’s in the freezer.)

So once a year, I make beef short ribs. This recipe was inspired by two recipes: one from and one from I’ve adapted it to accommodate Bill’s allergies to wheat–and to suit my own taste, of course!

Braised Beef Short Ribs

  • 2 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 1-rib pieces
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour for dredging
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup rendered nitrite-free bacon fat
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 325°F. Season ribs with salt and pepper.

Dredge in flour, knocking off excess.

Heat bacon fat in Dutch oven over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown ribs. Transfer to a large plate.

Add enough vegetable oil if necessary to have about 2 tablespoons in bottom of pot. Saute garlic, onions, and carrots over medium heat, stirring, until browned lightly. Add thyme and saute for a couple minutes.

Add wine to deglaze pan; then add tomato paste and stir until mixed.

I like using tomato paste in a tube instead of opening a whole can so it doesn’t go to waste.

Add water and bay leaf; bring to a boil.

Return ribs to pot and cover with a lid.

Braise ribs in oven about 2 hours, or until meat is falling off the bones. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I served our ribs with roasted fingerling potatoes and spring vegetables: carrots, sugar snap peas, and onions. Delish!


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