Classic French Short Ribs

I made these Classic French Short Ribs for our Holiday Wine Tasting Dinner.   It was over the top delicious! Although it takes a fair bit of cooking time the hands on time is very reasonable and it is so worth it!  

(See the full menu, and wine pairing notes.)

On a cold day in the winter it is the kind of thing you assemble and enjoy smelling as it braises all afternoon.  I have made it for cottage suppers as well since it is a perfect make-ahead dish.  Sometimes dishes like this one and beef bourguignon taste even better the next day!  In the summer I suggest doing the main cooking early in the day so you don’t heat up the house with your oven.

This will be one of my entertaining staples in future!

A Word About Veal Stock

The real trick to this however is in the veal stock.  Veal stock is expensive to buy but relatively easy to make. It does take time however. So… what I do is I make batches of veal stock in the winter or on any day when I am around the house.   Hands on time is minimal but it takes  time to simmer … OK… hours to simmer. Once reduced I freeze it  in 2 cup containers that I can pull out and use any time.  Believe me – it makes ALL the difference.

Chef’s Tips

1)  if you can’t see your way to the veal stock use good quality beef stock…it will still be delicious.

2)  use more cornstarch to thicken the sauce to desired thickness. Note:  substituting corn starch for flour makes this recipe gluten-free!

3)  Plan to use the same wine in the sauce as you plan on serving if possible.  The recipe calls for almost a whole bottle of wine (a 3 oz pour left over for the cook!) I served a Reserve at the table and the same wine non-reserve in the sauce.

And the good news is …this recipe makes a generous amount of sauce even after the final reduction.  I usually freeze any left over and use it on steak or other beef dishes.

4)  This is a great make ahead dish.  Some recipes get even better the day after as the flavours meld.  You don’t have to make it ahead but since it does take quite a bit of time to make if you want to make it a day ahead it will still be wonderful.

Classic French Short Ribs

Classic French Short Ribs

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 people


  • 6 short ribs cut cross-wise so each rib has about 3 bones 1-2 inches thick
  • 1 tsp each, coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 Tbsps vegetable oil
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk cleaned and rough chopped
  • 1 large onion rough chopped
  • 4 shallots peeled and sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup port (I use Ruby port)
  • 3 cups red wine ( suggest Henry of Pelham Baco Noir or any other full bodied red wine)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups veal stock substitute good quality beef broth


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Season ribs with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Brown short ribs in batches, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium high and saute carrots, celery, onion and shallots until onion is soft, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook 1 minute more. Stir in corn starch and coat vegetables well.
  • Add port and stir up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan to take advantage of every ounce of flavour! Add red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. Simmer about 20 minutes.
  • Return ribs to the pan. Add stock to cover the ribs. Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 3 hours. Stir occasionally. Meat should be fork tender and almost falling off the bone.
  • If the sauce is too thin remove the ribs and simmer on stove top until it is reduced to desired thickness. In my case this took almost an hour. Return ribs to sauce to rewarm before serving.


Calories: 910kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 65g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 622mg | Potassium: 625mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g
Classic French Short Ribs

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