When it comes to hearty comfort food, braised short ribs win the award every single time. When cooked low and slow in a flavorful braising liquid, you end up with a deep rich gravy and perfectly tender beef every single time.
Watch How to Make This Recipe
These creamy braised short ribs are my go-to recipe that I’ve been making for a while and I’m excited to share it with you. Unlike the traditional red wine braised short ribs, this recipe gives you a creamier gravy with the a touch of coconut milk or cream.
The short ribs are packed with flavor, so comforting, and they pair perfectly with a batch of creamy mashed potatoes.
What Is Braising?
Braising is one of my favorite ways to cook meats, especially meats that are a bit more tough and need longer cooking to become tender like chuck roast and short ribs.
Typically when braising you sear the meat at a high temperature to develop flavor and then simmer the meat in a covered pot in a bit of liquid.
What are Short Ribs?
If you have never had short ribs before, you are in for a treat! Short ribs come from the beef chuck of portion of the cow. They are shorter than traditional ribs and the meat is not as tender as steaks which makes it a great choice for cooking methods like braising.
There are two main cuts of short ribs – English style and BBQ style. English style are what you may be used to seeing and have on large bone surrounded by meat. BBQ style short ribs are cut into long strips and contain three small bones. You may also be able to find boneless short ribs at your local butcher.
What You Need
Bone-In Short Ribs: for this recipe we are using English style short ribs which are my favorite cut for braising. I like to trim off any excess fat or connective tissue from the short ribs before using.
Veggies and Aromatics: to build a rich base of flavor in this dish we’re using a combination of onion, celery, carrots, and plenty of fresh garlic that has been smashed to release all of that flavor.
Balsamic Vinegar: the combination of balsamic vinegar and beef is like flavor heaven. We’re using a little balsamic vinegar to deglaze the bottom of the dutch oven and make sure we get up all those little bits of flavor.
Tomato Paste: this helps to give the braising liquid a deep rich flavor.
Beef Broth: I always choose a low-sodium broth so that I can control the amount of salt in the dish.
Herbs: fresh thyme and dried bay leaves help to give these short ribs so much flavor.
Arrowroot Starch: if you have never used arrowroot starch it is a grain free thicker that is similar to cornstarch. This recipe uses a little to thicken up the braising liquid and create a creamy gravy.
Coconut Milk: to give this dish all of that delicious creaminess, we’re using full fat canned coconut milk. Trust me, you cannot taste any coconut flavor when you use coconut milk in this dish.
Ingredient Swaps and FAQs
Vinegar – don’t have balsamic vinegar? you can swap it for apple cider vinegar instead if that’s all you have on hand!
Mushrooms – I LOVE adding mushrooms to this dish but of course leave them out if you are not a fan.
Arrowroot Starch – don’t have arrowroot starch? you can sub tapioca starch or cornstarch for arrowroot starch.
Coconut Milk – if you are not concerned about keeping this recipe dairy free you can swap the coconut milk for half and half.
Step One: Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
Step Two: Next, heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and liberally season the short ribs with salt and pepper.
Step Three: Once the dutch oven is hot, add the olive oil and then sear the short ribs for 4-5 minutes per side until they have developed a golden brown crust. You will likely have to do this in 2 batches.
Step Four: Once all of the short ribs have been seared and removed from the pan, turn down the heat to low. Remove all but one tablespoon of oil from the dutch oven.
Step Five: Next, add the sliced onion, diced celery, diced carrot, smashed garlic, and mushrooms (if using) to the dutch oven. Cook the veggies for a minute and then stir in the balsamic vinegar and tomato paste until well combined.
Step Six: Now, return the short ribs to the pot, nestling them amongst the sautéed veggies. Pour in the beef broth and add the thyme and dried bay leaves to the pot. Place the lid on the dutch oven and then place in the oven. Braise the short ribs at 350 degrees for 2-3 hours until they are fork tender.
Step Seven: While the short ribs are braising whisk together the coconut milk and arrowroot starch to make a slurry.
Step Eight: Once the short ribs are tender, remove the dutch oven from the oven. Next, remove the short ribs from the dutch oven and set aside. Use a large spoon to skim off any excess fat of the top of the braising liquid.
Step Nine: Heat the braising liquid to a low simmer and stir in the arrowroot coconut milk slurry to thicken. Return the short ribs to the pot, nestling them in the gravy and ensure that everything is heated through before turning off the heat.
Step Nine: Serve the short ribs and gravy over mashed potatoes and enjoy!
Can You Make This Recipe In the Slow Cooker?
Yes! This is a great recipe to make in the slow cooker as the short ribs need to cook low and slow for a few hours to become perfectly tender.
To make in the slow cooker: Sear the short ribs on the stove top and then transfer to the base of your slow cooker. Remove all but one tablespoon of oil and then sauté the veggies and transfer to the slow cooker base.
Add the all of the remaining ingredients, except the coconut milk and arrowroot starch and cook on high for 4-6 hours until tender. Finish the dish by removing an excess fat and pouring in the coconut milk slurry. Cook for another 15 minutes until thickened and then serve.
What to Serve with Braised Short Ribs
The obvious choice of side dish for this creamy braised short ribs recipe is mashed potatoes. You just need something to soak up all of that rich creamy gravy and mashed potatoes are always an excellent choice.
You can also go with something like mashed cauliflower or mashed sweet potatoes. If you need some recipe ideas, here are a few favorites!
I hope you give these Creamy Braised Short Ribs a try! They are such an elegant but easy dish that I know you will love.
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Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. While the dutch oven is heating, liberally season the the short ribs with salt and pepper.
Once the dutch oven is hot, add the olive oil. Then, place half the short ribs in the pot. Sear the short ribs for 4-5 minutes per side until they have developed a deep brown crust. Remove the short ribs from the dutch oven and repeat this process with the other half of the short ribs.
Once all of the short ribs have been seared and removed from the pan, turn down the heat to low.
Add the sliced onion, diced celery, diced carrot, smashed garlic, and mushrooms to the dutch oven. Cook the veggies for a minute and then stir in the balsamic vinegar and tomato paste until well combined.
Return the short ribs to the pot, nestling them amongst the sautéed veggies. Pour in the beef broth and add the thyme and dried bay leaves to the pot. Place the lid on the dutch oven and then place the short ribs in the oven. Braise the short ribs at 350 degrees for 2-3 hours until they are fork tender, checking them after 2 hours.
While the short ribs are braising whisk together the coconut milk or half and half with the arrowroot starch until well combined. Set aside.
Remove the short ribs from the dutch oven and use a spoon to skim off any excess fat from the top of the braising liquid. Heat the dutch oven over medium heat Bring the braising liquid to a simmer. Stir in the coconut milk arrowroot slurry mixture. The braising liquid will thicken into a gravy. Return the short ribs to the pot, nestling them in the gravy and ensure that everything is heated through before turning off the heat.
Serve the short ribs and gravy over mashed potatoes and enjoy!
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Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by:Eat Love Eats