The Dinna Ladies

A Tale of Two Cities: Foodie Sisters Wining and Dining in D.C. & Boston
By the Book

The Pioneer Woman’s Braised Short Ribs

The moral of this story is: don’t be afraid of a challenge (and also, I need a Dutch oven). Instead of detoxing after Thanksgiving, I went in the complete opposite direction and decided to attempt a dish that while one of my favorite indulgent things to eat, has always intimidated me: short ribs! No time like the present to keep expanding my recipe repertoire, right? Thank GOD for the Food Network and Ree Drummond’s how-to videos because there are so many different ways to make short ribs that I almost backed out just looking for one to follow. Luckily, our grocery store had bone-in short ribs for the first time ever so I snatched up two packs of 3 ribs, some shallots, fresh herbs, polenta, beef stock and some red wine and laid my future in the hands of The Pioneer Woman (she feeds cowboys so her short ribs must be good). Here is her recipe for Braised Short Ribs and here is the Food Network video of her demonstrating step-by-step. My initial challenge was realizing that she, and many others, make their short ribs in a Dutch oven, which I don’t have, but I improvised and cut the recipe down a bit to fit into my 3 qt. covered saute pan. The next few challenges were worrying about overcooking the meat when browning it, and finding a way to occupy myself for two hours while the smell of these short ribs wafted through the house!

I will definitely be making these again but would add more red wine (the recipe calls on her website calls for 2 cups of red wine but the Food Network recipe only calls for a ‘splash’ so I went for ‘splash’ and drank the rest)! I’d also cook the ribs for 2.5 hours instead of 2 hours in the oven; the meat on mine was fork tender but did not fall right off the bone. I know short ribs are stick-to-your-ribs food for humans but I don’t want my short ribs to have the same fate as me!

Got tips? Please share!



The Pioneer Woman’s Braised Short Ribs


  • 8 whole Beef Short Ribs (I used 6)
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 6 pieces Pancetta or Bacon, Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Diced
  • 2 whole Shallots, Peeled And Finely Minced
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups Beef  Broth (enough To Almost Cover Ribs)
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Salt and pepper the ribs, then dredge them in the flour. Set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until completely crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and set aside. Drain off any excess fat.
  3. Add the olive oil to the pan with the bacon fat and raise the heat to high. Brown the ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove the ribs and set aside.
  4. Lower the heat to medium. Add the carrots, shallots and onions to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Splash in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release all the flavorful bits of glory. Add the broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add the ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add the thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid. Finally, add the cooked bacon.
  5. Put on a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook until the ribs are fork-tender and falling off the bone, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes with the lid on before serving. At the last minute, skim the fat off the top of the liquid.
  6. I served this with polenta and roasted asparagus! DELISH!
Season and dredge the short ribs, then brown them on each side (45 seconds). Remove from heat and saute vegetables, wine and beef stock. Add short ribs back in.
next step: add cooked bacon and put in the oven covered for 2.5 hours!
Fresh out of the oven! Let sit before serving
Serve over creamy polenta to soak up the juices!

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