I'm sharing a special occasion meal with you for the holidays and boy, is it a good one. These Cranberry Glazed Short Ribs with Cranberry Red Wine Glaze are slow food at its best. Tender, succulent beef is paired with a glossy sweet-savory sauce for a delicious combination!
Serve this with a classy appetizer like this Cranberry Goat Cheese Ball or a dessert like these Cranberry Cheesecake Bars for a dinner party! Or, if you are looking for another cozy dinner try Crispy Breaded Pork Cutlets with Apple Cider Gravy.
This recipe works best for quiet, chilly days where the smell of the ribs in the oven all afternoon will be stoking everyone's appetite and you'll have no trouble bringing them to the dinner table. Short ribs can be expensive so this meal is perfect for special occasions. This meal is easily impressive enough to be on your holiday table!
The ingredients needed for this Cranberry Braised Short Ribs recipe are fairly simple once you have the short ribs on hand. Basic ingredients plus slow cooking can yield some pretty fantastic results!
Beef Short Ribs: I love to use boneless beef short ribs when I can find them, but they are rarely available. Bone-in short ribs will yield even more flavor, so use what you prefer. Choose ribs that are meaty and trim the excess fat from them before cooking.
Onions, Celery, and Carrot: This classic flavor base, also known as a mirepoix, brings aromatic flavor to the braising liquid.
Garlic: Garlic is so delicious in a braising liquid. The slow cooking brings out the sweetness and reduces the pungency.
Red Wine: Used to deglaze the pot before braising, red wine add luxurious flavor and prevents the short ribs from becoming too sweet. I use a cabernet sauvignon, but a merlot is a great option too. The alcohol will evaporate with cooking.
Cranberry Juice: To avoid an overly-sweet recipe, use 100% cranberry juice if you can find it. Make a celebratory Cosmopolitan cocktail with the extra juice while your short ribs braise.
Beef Broth: Beef broth brings the braising volume up to almost cover the short ribs so that they cook to tender perfection while in the oven.
Dried Cranberries: Sweet-tart dried cranberries provide thickening of the braising liquid and sweeten the glaze for a well-balanced flavor.
Rosemary: Rosemary is the perfect herbal addition to the short ribs. The bold flavor compliments the red wine and cranberry well where other herbs might just kind of disappear into the background.
Prepare the Braising Liquid
To start, browning the short ribs is absolutely necessary. Don't skip this step! Choose a heavyweight Dutch oven for this recipe that can go from stovetop to oven. Preheat your oven and adjust the racks as needed to accommodate the pot plus the lid!
Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper and cook them on all sides until they are deeply browned and caramelized. This will bring a lot of flavor to the final dish. Simply heat the oil in the Dutch oven on medium heat and use a pair of tongs to rotate the meat so that each side is caramelized. Remove each batch to a separate plate (I always use the inverted lid!) while you cook all of the short ribs.
Remove all but about two tablespoons of fat from your Dutch oven and add in the garlic, onion, celery, and carrot. Cook for five minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. While the vegetables cook, scrape the bottom of the pot to bring up any flavorful beef bits.
Add in the red wine to deglaze the pot. Continue scraping the bottom to get any browned bits to make their way into the sauce. Add the cranberry juice and beef stock to the pot and bring everything to a simmer.
Braising the Short Ribs
Add the beef ribs and any accumulated juices, the rosemary, and the cranberries to the pot. Make sure the ribs are mostly under the liquid before covering the pot and placing it in the oven to braise (hands-free!) for 2 hours. I love a slow braise like this, it makes for tender beef and takes almost no effort on my part.
Once the ribs have cooked for 2 hours, bring the Dutch oven back to the stove top. Remove the ribs to a plate and tent them with foil to keep them warm.
Prepare the Cranberry Red Wine Glaze
Strain the sauce and discard the solids. You can place your sauce in a gravy separator to remove even more fat, but I usually proceed with the sauce as-is.
Put the remaining liquid back into the Dutch oven and then reduce the sauce over medium-high heat until you have a thick, glossy, sweet, and savory glaze that coats the back of your spoon. I try to scrape all of the browned flavor from the sides of the pot and incorporate it into the glaze as things reduce. The glaze will be about half the volume of what you started with and take about 10 minutes for full reduction.
Pour most of the glaze into a serving pitcher or gravy boat and use the remainder to coat the short ribs before moving them to a serving platter.
Serving Cranberry Braised Short Ribs
Bring the ribs to the table and be prepared for oohs and aahs! I like to serve these Cranberry Braised Short Ribs over mashed potatoes with green beans or broccoli on the side. They are also excellent with polenta and sautéed kale or spinach. Pass that gravy boat around and let your table guests drizzle over their desired amount of Cranberry Red Wine Glaze.
Serve these with a side of maple balsamic brussel sprouts, which can go into the oven while you finish up the ribs and sauce!
If you want to make this main dish ahead of time for a special occasion dinner, these short ribs will freeze well with their sauce in an airtight container. Simply thaw the ribs overnight and reheat them, covered, in the oven along with the sauce before serving. I like this hack for big dinners. It saves a lot of time and energy when entertaining!
Try it and share
I hope you try these Cranberry Braised Short Ribs and share them with family or friends. I want to see your results! Tag your photo with #planeatpostrepeat and mention me @planeatpostrepeat on Instagram or Facebook. I can give you a virtual high five and thank you for cooking one of my recipes! Comment below with any questions and please leave a review so others can find this recipe more easily.
Cranberry Braised Short Ribs with Cranberry Red Wine Glaze
- 2-4 pounds beef short ribs (2 pounds of boneless ribs, 4 pounds of bone-in ribs)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups cranberry juice
- 1 cup beef broth or stock
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 cup cranberries, dried
- kosher salt and ground black pepper, as needed
- Preheat oven to 325°F and move racks to accommodate your covered Dutch oven, if needed.
- Trim the short ribs of excess fat and season them well with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large (5 qt.) Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add in the olive oil. Brown the ribs in batches on all sides until deeply caramelized. Remove to a plate while you finish the remaining ribs.
- Remove all of the ribs from your Dutch oven and then remove all but about two tablespoons of fat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pan and cook about 5 minutes with constant stirring, until softened.
- Deglaze the pot with wine and scrape off any brown bits. Add in the cranberry juice and beef stock and bring the liquid to a simmer.
- Add in the ribs and any accumulated juices, cranberries, and rosemary. Try to get all of the ribs under the surface of the liquid.
- Cover the Dutch oven and transfer the pot to the oven. Bake for two hours.
- Bring the pot to the stovetop again and remove the ribs to a plate. Tent them with foil to keep them warm.
- Strain the remaining sauce and discard the solids. Put the sauce back into the Dutch oven and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Boil to reduce the sauce until it is thick and glossy and coats the back of a spoon, about 10-15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
- Put most of the sauce in a serving dish and coat the ribs with the remainder before placing on a serving platter.
Nutrition facts are sometimes provided below and are calculated using an online calculator. With specific brands of ingredients and additions, omissions, or substitutions the nutrition facts may change. We encourage you to use your own nutrition facts caculator to obtain the most accurate nutrition facts for your meal.