Sweet and Sour Braised Short Ribs

Tangy Sweet and Sour Braised Short Ribs are a delicious change from the traditional tomato/beef style.

These short ribs were so good I immediately bought some short ribs to have on hand in case I wanted to make them again- which I know I will be doing often!

It is a rather lengthy process but it is only about 20 minutes prep and the rest is simmer time. So not hands on but you have to be around the house.

I think it is totally worth it!!

Like most short rib recipes it takes a lot of simmering to get to the fall off the bone stage. That time also serves to infuse the meat with flavour and reduce the sauce to concentrate it.

I served these over mashed potatoes that were perfect for soaking up the extra sauce. They are alos delicious over broad egg noodles. All those curly squiggles hold a ton of sauce!

I recommend browning the ribs in a NON-stick pan over high heat so you will have some lovely caramelized browned bits to scrape up into the sauce.

These ribs freeze well once cooled down. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and reheat gently in the oven for about 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees until heated through.

Wine Pairing for Sweet and Sour Short Ribs

Sweet and sour is a tricky combination to pair for. As a rule the wine should be sweeter than the dish or it will seem astringent. For this I would look for an off-dry wine – a robust Rosé would be good (if you can find a medium-bodied and off-dry one).

An off-dry Viognier could work as well.

You might have some success with an off-dry Sparkling Rosé.

Red – even trickier. Dornfelder is from Rheinhessen or Pfalz regions and comes in a range of sweet to dry with blackberries and spiced herbs. Look for ‘suss’ as and indication of sweetness. Schiavo from Trentino-Alto Adige in Italy has cotton candy, rose and cinnamon traits.

Beef short rib strips on a platter glistening with sweet and sour glaze.

Sweet and Sour Braised Short Ribs

Tangy and flavourful ribs in sauce.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • Dutch oven (preferably NOT non-stick)
  • Slow Cooker (optional)


  • 3 1/2 lbs beef short ribs
  • 3 Tbsps vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary or 2 sprigs fresh
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh
  • 2 Tbsps tomato paste can sub Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Make a bouquet garni with cloves, bay leaf and dried thyme and rosemary. (Tie them in a cheesecloth bundle so you can remove them later.) If using fresh herb you can just add and remove the sprigs as directed.
  • Hear oil in an oven proof Dutch oven over high heat. Season both sides of ribs with salt and pepper. Sear ribs on both sides about 4 minutes per side. There should be dark bits on the ribs.
  • Remove ribs to a platter. Add onions, bouquet garni (or fresh herbs), garlic and cook about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato past and cook another 2 minutes. Add vinegar and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add the brown sugar and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the wine, beef broth and black pepper. Bring to a simmer.
  • Cover Dutch oven and transfer to the oven. Cook 2 hours, then uncover and cook 30 minutes more. See Note below for Slow Cooker instructions.
  • Bring Dutch oven to the stove top. Transfer ribs carefully to a platter. Remove the bouquet garni or fresh herb springs. Reduce sauce to about 1 cup.
  • Serve ribs with sauce over mashed potatoes or broad egg noodles.


Slow Cooker Variation:  Alternatively once the meat and sauce come to a simmer, transfer to a slow cooker and cook 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. About 30 minutes before serving dissolve 3 Tbsps of cornstarch in a cup of the sauce. (Shake vigourously in a covered jar until cornstarch is uniformly mixed in the juice).  Return slurry to the slow cooker, stir well and allow mixture to cook 30 minutes for sauce to thicken.
To Freeze:  Allow ribs to cool off and transfer to an freezer container.  Thaw overnight in the fridge.  Reheat gently in the oven at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until hot throughout.


Calories: 752kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 171mg | Sodium: 594mg | Potassium: 1618mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 143IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 7mg
Sweet and Sour Braised Short Ribs

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