These apple cider braised short ribs are a winter dream come true. Meaty, sweet, tangy, and utterly flavorful! Seared short ribs are braised for hours in a melange of apple cider, onions, thyme, garlic, and tomato paste. Once the house fills with irresistible aromas and the meat is fork tender, you refrigerate the braise overnight, allowing the flavors to intensity. The long stint in the fridge also causes the excess fat to float and solidify, for easy removal. When company calls, simply reheat the braise and serve with mashed potatoes.
This dish is simple enough to serve Tuesday night and fancy enough to impress company. Plan ahead and prepare the dish a day before serving. This is perfect for entertaining since it helps you spread out the work load, leaving you energetic and calm when company arrives.
I make this dish for myself and Kenny during chilly winter months. A couple hours of effort on a Sunday night rewards us with delicious leftovers when work is busy. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Might I suggest serving it with this apple cider crumb cake to truly delight your family and guests?!
Adjust an oven rack to the bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Pat the short ribs dry with paper towels. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons kosher salt over the ribs (on all sides).
Heat the oil in a shallow 13” dutch oven for 3-4 minutes over medium high heat.
Brown the ribs in the hot oil in a single layer (you can do this in two batches), about 5 minutes per side. The ribs will finish cooking in the oven.
Transfer the browned ribs to a large bowl or rimmed baking sheet.
Pour out all but 2 Tablespoons of the oil.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the sliced onion along with ¼ teaspoon salt to the now empty dutch oven and cook until the onions are translucent and starting to brown around the edges, 3 minutes. As the onion releases moisture, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits of fond stuck to the pan.
Add the celery and carrots to the pan, cook for 3 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook until fragrant and darker in color, 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and thyme to the onions, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the apple cider and chicken broth to the pot and use your wooden spoon to scrape up anything stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a bubble, about 5-6 minutes.
Transfer the browned short ribs back into the pot, along with any juices that accumulated in the bowl.
Place the lid over the pot and transfer the pot and its contents into the oven.
Cook in the oven until the meat is fork tender, 2 -3 hours. After the first 90 minutes, carefully remove the dish from the oven and rotate the short ribs so the dry side is now submerged in the liquid.
Transfer the covered dish back to the oven and cook for an additional 60-90 minutes until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.
Remove the dish from the oven and cool at room temperature for an hour. Refrigerate the cooked braise overnight.
When ready to serve, remove as much of the solidified fat as possible. Also remove the thyme stems.
Reheat the braise on the stovetop (starting on low heat and working your way up).
Add the apple cider vinegar (start with 1 Tablespoon, taste, then add more if necessary).
Taste the meat and sauce, add more salt if necessary. Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.