This is the only recipe you will ever need for short ribs. No kidding. I wanted to stick my face directly in the plate, that’s how good it was. I can still taste that sauce in my mouth, incredibly rich and filled with subtle sweetness. I immediately considered making it again the next night, mostly because I could not get the flavors and the velvety texture out of my head.
Are you ready for the full story? I was craving barbecue, and there’s literally not a single thing you can eat at my favorite barbecue place if you are avoiding eggs, soy, gluten, dairy and processed foods. Like, maybe you could have some jalapeno beans. But those are definitely not my favorite. I had this awful, insatiable craving for fried okra, macaroni and cheese and barbecue short ribs.
No worries, I told myself. I can totally make all of those things at home! And I can make them dairy and egg and gluten free! YAY!
Spoiler: I couldn’t.
After a failed eggplant and nutritional yeast sauce thing, a lot of fruitless googling for “vegan gluten-free zucchini fries” and the realization that I didn’t have the motivation to make barbecue sauce, I gave up, threw up my hands, and ate a slice of vegan, gluten-free cheesecake.
The good news was, these short ribs were already in the oven. And whoooo, baby, they made me forget the spectacular culinary failures that had occurred earlier that day. They filled the house with delicious smells for six and a half hours and drove my dog up a freaking wall. She just kept coming over to me and whining as if to ask what smelled so incredible and if she could have some.
The answer was no. Because I wasn’t sharing. And you won’t want to, either. Make these immediately. You won’t be sorry.
Note: If you’re Paleo, I would leave out the sugar, add 1 Tbsp of honey, and use fish sauce instead of the Worcestershire sauce. If you have bone broth around, use that instead of the beef broth. Oh. MAN.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 pounds of bone-in short ribs
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar (honey or maple syrup, if Paleo)
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (fish sauce, if Paleo)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups beef stock or bone broth
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown short ribs throughly on all sides, removing from heat and placing on a plate when done. Do this in batches if you need to.
- When the short ribs are all done, put the onion, carrots, celery and garlic into the empty pan. Lower heat to medium and cook until soft and tender. Put the short ribs and any juices that are on the plate back into the pan.
- Add sugar, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar to the pan. Add beef broth as needed to cover the ribs.
- Cover and place in oven. Slowly cook for anywhere between 4 hours (if the ribs are small) and 6 hours (if they are larger). If in doubt, go longer.
- Once ribs are so tender the meat seems about to fall of the bones (or it already has), remove pan from oven. Remove ribs from the sauce with tongs and place on a platter or in a large bowl to rest.
- Place pan on stove over high heat. Reduce until thick enough to cover the back of a spoon. This may take 30 minutes or more, so be prepared! But it’s worth it, I promise.
- Remove garlic cloves from sauce. Place ribs on individual plates and spoon sauce over. Try to resist licking your plate afterwards — it’s not a good look for you.