Smells like Fall with Balsamic Glazed Short Ribs

Whenever I can I use balsamic vinegar.  It’s sweet yet pungent flavor works well with sweet and savory foods. From meats to desserts, it elevates foods to the next level – at least in my opinion.
I’ve been making this recipe for years.  It’s simple and although cooks for hours, frees up your time to do whatever else you need to do.  I prepared this dish yesterday and served it with roasted butternut squash, a favorite of ours, and fresh green beans.  The end result leaves you with succulent and full flavored meat that literally falls off the bones.  If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, they’re great the next day wrapped up in a tortilla, or placed on top of a hearty salad.  We barely had any leftovers but what we had, I’ll leave for my husband to snack on when he gets home from work today.
Balsamic Short Ribs
serves 6-8 people
4-5 pounds beef short ribs, bone-in
kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup italian parsley (flat leaf) chopped
Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper.  In a large, heavy saute or fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Place the ribs in the pan and sear until golden, do not over crowd them. 
If  necessary work in batches to avoid crowding which will steam the ribs rather than sear them.  Cook on both sides for approximately 4 minutes per side.  After each batch is seared move to a dutch oven.
Add vinegar, wine, tomato paste (I use the type in the tube), onion, garlic, parsley sprigs and bay leaves. 
Stir to combine, then cover and cook on a low simmer for 3-4 hours.  Check meat, if it’s not falling off the bones yet, continue cooking for another 30 minutes, checking again and returning to the heat if not quite done.  The meat will totally fall off the bones when done.
Transfer the meat to a platter with a slotted spoon, do not forget to discard the bay leaves.
Skim off any fat remaining on the surface of the liquid and simmer over medium heat until reduced and slightly thickened.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.
Spoon sauce over ribs along with remaining onions.  Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.  Serve.
Note:  Although my photo may not look appetizing, the finished product is delicious!

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  1. Love a good short rib dish. Looks and sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

  2. It is delicious Jerry and you’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. DELISH! I LOVE balsamic and have a bottle of 25 year old that I use on salads and just about anything else I can….these look terrific!

  4. These shortribs look like heaven!! I love the way the look so fresh and after they have been cooked, they look so meltingly tender!!

  5. @ Ann – it wouldn’t be necessary to use an expensive bottle of balsamic, yet you could, however a regular bottle is what I used and it’s delicious that way. Save the 25 year for drizzling over strawberries, etc. IMO

    @Chopinandmysaucepan – it is meltingly tender! Try it and let me know what you think.

  6. I received an email from a woman by the name of Tammy from California and this is what she asked me:

    Tammy – This recipe looks fantastic. It seems that you simmer this for the entire time on the stove burner. If I were to put it in the oven, after initialing browning the short ribs and putting in the rest of the ingredients, do you think I should cook it at 325 degrees in the oven, or less than that. Thank you. Tammy

    Vicki – This is a great question. After the initial browning I would place the short ribs with all ingredients in the oven, covered, at 300F degrees for 3-4 hours. Check for doneness as described on my blog after 3 hours. If the meat doesn’t easily fall off the bones I would cook longer. Be sure though that your oven is preheated before placing your Dutch oven into it.

    I wish you had posted this question on my blog. Since you didn’t can I mention that Tammy emailed me this question?

    Thank you for your comments and for reading my blog. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Have a wonderful week.

    Happy Cooking!

    Tammy – Hi Vicki, Thank you so much for your quick response. You are more than welcome to mention my name and my question.

    Actually, I wish that other bloggers would also mention the oven alternative when they give a crock pot recipe. There may be an occasional recipe where it wouldn’t work in an oven, but I think most recipes would work well. I have some of the Staub and Le Creuset pots and I like cooking in them.

    Just as an aside, I noticed from the picture, that these short ribs are actually cut in a way that I would refer to them as flanken. There are the other kind of short ribs (the same as meat as flanken) but are cut in a different way. Those ribs are thicker and cut as individual pieces not strips.

    Thanks again for your response. Tammy

    Vicki – I could have had the ribs cut into 3 sections but chose not to for ease of searing and knowing that the meat would fall off the bones. That said, I will make mention of it on my blog so people don’t get confused when doing their grocery shopping.

    Just curious why you didn’t post on my blog? My sister doesn’t as well because she finds it difficult to deal with. Just wondering if it’s the same for you. Either way I’m thrilled you posted this comment, all great questions.

  7. Tammy – Hi Vicki,

    I don’t find it difficult, I just somehow find it easier to get a response when I email the blogger.
    Do you and other bloggers prefer having the posts? I assume you do… it less time consuming for you to go through the posts?

    Flanken is common among Jewish families. I am 74, but I grew up with my mother usually buying the cut that you show in your pictures. And it was always called flanken. I really didn’t have the other thicker cut of short ribs until I became older and started seeing them in the super market. Of course, you have to remember that years ago, we didn’t go out to restaurants like we do now. And what I knew was what I was used to in my own home or friends’ homes. I didn’t mention it because there was anything wrong…..I am sure most readers will not even think of the difference. I am sure the other cut (though thicker for each short rib) would be just as delicious. It is just that when I looked at the picture, I was struck by the fact that it is flanken…or at least that is what I call it, and I think many super markets do too.

    Vicki – Believe it or not the only difference in that cut if you click on the first photo so it enlarges, you can see each has 3 bones in it. I could have simply cut it into the 3 sections if I wanted to. I debated but decided to just leave it since it would be easier to just flip 6 or 7 whole ribs or flanken rather than 18 pieces. I’ll have to check with a kosher butcher to see if they’re portion sizes are different when cut. I would venture to say they are not but might appear that way since they are stubbier rather than looking long and lean. Great questions.

    I live in the midwest. As for posting on my blog, it doesn’t matter to me. I enjoy seeing comments posted there and then replying to them. However, I will simply copy and paste your comment for all to see along with my response.

    Tammy – Well, it is not just the Kosher butcher, but if you go into the market, the short ribs – as defined the way we are talking – are cut thicker individually. I know it is the same piece of meat essentially. I happen to love the flanken, because I actually think there is a different taste to them than the other thicker short ribs. I tell myself that logically they should taste the same, because they are the same cut of meat, but from my childhood…and the way my mother made them…somehow I always think they taste better. I am sure it is psychological on my part. Yes, I know it has the same 3bones.

    Vicki –

    Tammy the Flanken cut is also called the English Cut and while they are considered short ribs they just look longer. The shorter version where they are cut in between the bones is just called Short Ribs if you wanted to specifically refer to the cut. I hope that answered your question and a very good one at that. It’s always nice to educate everyone. Thank you so much for your post. I have now entered it on my blog.

    Also, thank you for reminding me that this dish can be done in the oven. Some may prefer to leave their house with an oven on for 3-4hours rather than leaving food on a burner on top of the stove.

    Have a great day!

  8. Oh, my gosh, these look amazing! Wish I had a pot of these simmering away for tonight 🙂

  9. Lizzy it really takes no time at all. You still have time to run to the store and throw the ingredients in a pot. That’s it then it cooks all day. Simple yet delicious!

  10. Vicki-this is the part that sometimes I could (kick) myself for poking my nose into someone’s business!

    1st,off: your ribs are so beautiful as you started out with just the right method of searing them…but at the same time, instead of dirtying up your skillet, the dutch oven could be used as well to sear the meat.

    I love your use of the tomato paste in a tube, which I also prefer and use, but the best way to use that is always dilute it in about 1/2 cup of water before adding it to the pot.

    Balsamic vinegar should be used sparingly,
    1/4 cup is more than enough, and wine could be/should be increased to 1 cup (after that length of a time it will cook down, anyway)

    I love the falling off the bone look, but sauce could be increased with a small amount of water as it cooks down. I usually start out with dry parsley in the beginning, and towards the end add the fresh parsley for more intense flavor!

    Total cooking time should not exceed more than 3hrs, if small amt. of liquid is added to it as it starts to cook down!

    OK…I’ve said enough, sorry to have meddled, I’m just speaking from my own experience, not trying to change your recipe, which is divine, and delicious:DDD

  11. Hi Elisabeth, thank you for your comments.

    However, with the number of short ribs I had, I would have had to use two pans or a pan and a plate to sear them. I had to sear in two batches. While the first batch was done I put them into my dutch oven.

    Yes the tomato paste was mixed into the wine and balsamic to blend as it says in my directions however I showed the clump of tomato paste on top after just setting it into the pot so others could see. All the ingredients were placed in together, the paste blended. I don’t feel it makes much of a difference to blend it out of the pot or in the pot since they are all getting combined at the same time. Just personal choice.

    I’ve been preparing this recipe for many, many years and although I would never suggest using a 25 year aged bottle of balsamic as I mentioned to Ann above, the less expensive bottles I would.

    Everyone has their own methods of cooking and variations on recipes. This is one that I have been making for so long and always is outstanding!

    As with any recipe, we have the option to tweek and change anyway we desire. I’m sure your way is delicious as well.

    Thank you for your comments.

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through your post and recipe, Vicki, but what I enjoyed even more was your incredible email exchanges with Tammy posted in your comments section here! There’s so much information in there about cooking techniques and meat cuts that I’ve never known before. That’s why I love coming over to learn from you!

    Btw, those balsamic ribs look amazing!

  13. @Foodiva – thank you for your kind words. I’m also glad I was able to teach you something. Your recipes however, always amaze me.

  14. This looks very tender and delicious… yummy!

  15. Hi Vicki,
    I sent you an email, hope you received it. I’m not sure the problem, but cooking is my strong point, not tech skills. Lovely site you have here and these did catch my eye right away. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

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