Impress Your Guests Short Ribs

March 31st, 2011  |  Family Dinner, Favorites, Moo  |  20 Comments

These short ribs are my favorite thing to make if I've got guests coming for dinner and I want to wow them.  I love that I can do the majority of the work early in the day and I’m able to relax and enjoy my guests when they arrive instead of frantically trying to get everything together at the last minute.   Every time I make these, my guests RAVE….and then almost immediately start asking me when I’m going to make them again!  So proceed with caution...

Best Ever Beef Short Ribs


  • 3-4 lbs beef short ribs, I prefer them boneless, cut on the bias where the marbling is evenly distributed and there is minimal extra fat, they call them boneless flanken-style
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or other wine flavored vinegar
  • 2 cups red wine, I prefer cabernet or shiraz
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 14 ½ oz can diced tomatoes, in juices
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large bay leaf


Preheat oven to 300.  Generously salt and pepper all sides of short ribs.  In a large dutch oven set over high heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil and brown the short ribs on all sides.  About 2 minutes per side.  Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in two batches. Once the meat is browned, remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan used to brown the meat, reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions, carrots, celery and bell pepper.  Sauté until veggies are soft, about 8-10 minutes.  Add in the garlic, stirring for another 2-3 minutes.   If your vegetables are sticking to your pan, add a tablespoon of cooking wine or wine vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits.

Stir in the wine, broth, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Add the ribs back to the pot, cover and place in the oven for 3 hours.  Remove the pot from the oven and place on the stovetop.  Once again, remove meat and transfer to another dish, keeping warm.  Strain out the vegetables with a large slotted spoon, discarding the bay leaf,  and transfer them to a food processor or blender.  Pulse gently until vegetables are pureed.  Cook remaining liquid in pan over medium heat until reduced by about half, approximately 20 minutes.  Then add the pureed vegetables and short ribs back to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes.  Serve over a heap of white cheddar whipped sweet potatoes or cheesy grits. This can be made a day ahead and reheated at serving time.

White Cheddar Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Growing up my grandmother always had little rules and sayings…”do unto others as you would have them do unto you”… “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” … “never judge a book by its cover”…. I really have to remind myself of that last one as I meander past the piles of sweet potatoes and at the market.  I don’t think there is an uglier looking vegetable.  They look dry, jagged and oddly misshapen!   For years, I turned my head away thinking I was too good for the sweet potato, but wouldn’t it make perfect sense that they would be the best vegetable for us if we take a look inside?  They have beautiful color, a delicate sweet flavor and they are chock full of nutrients that all of our bodies need on a daily basis**.  I used sharp white cheddar to give these a little kick and I’m sure I’ll never go back to plain mashed potatoes again!


  • 2-3 lbs sweet potatoes, diced 1” thick
  • ½ cup milk, whole or 2%
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup good quality white cheddar, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper


Place potatoes in a large pot with cool water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook potatoes until fork tender, about 12-14 minutes.  Drain potatoes and place in a heatproof bowl.  With a hand mixer, whip potatoes with milk and butter until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add grated cheese, salt and pepper and whip for another 30 seconds until just incorporated.  Serve hot.

20 thoughts on “Impress Your Guests Short Ribs

  1. Welcome, Amy! Good start, but I would note for the unfamiliar, that the spelling is “flanken” with 2 Ns, in case they want to search for more information. And, being from NC which grows one heckava lot of sweet potatoes, the pictures purport to show the most pale sweet potatoes I’ve seen. We usually enjoy the varieties which are orange-colored.

    • scott, you can find those sweet potatoes right next to the yams, and usually onions and other potato varieties at your grocery store. they have a beige/brown exterior and the lighter color inside (which you can’t see until you slice them open) good luck!

      • I do wonder if those light colored sweet potatoes are as nutritionally impressive as their dark orange cousins! I would expect not. I wonder what the advantages are to having “white” sweet potatoes?! Why would yo want that?

        • White sweet potato’s are sweeter than the orange ones … They have a shorter growing season as well. I usually can’t find them at the grocery stores in VA Beach

    • white sweet potatoes can be found in grocery stores carrying latin american or caribbean food. they are called “boniato”. They can also be called Batata, White Sweet Potato, Cuban Sweet Potato and Camote. They’re very tasty. Skin colors vary. i have a Boniato crust recipe i use for chicken pot pies.

  2. The reason I went with the lighter colored sweet potatoes is so that I could incorporate the sweet potatoes into my kids’ meal and I wanted the potatoes to look like mainstream french fries, not orange sweet potato fries. Look for Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Parsnips in Kid’s Corner on Tuesday. There will be additional photos of the potatoes so that you know what to look for. I’ve been able to find the light sweet potatoes in all of our mainstream grocery stores here…Ralphs, Vons, Gelsons, Bristol Farms. Joni, you’re correct, the more orange the potatoes are in color, the more rich they are in nutrients as well. This recipe will work just as well with the darker orange potatoes…try it!

  3. What a fabulous recipe! Looking forward to showing “my love” to my friends and family when I make this!;)

  4. Amy, this is a fantastic looking dish! I think my kids would even find this hard to resist. I will try it next week after I go to the Farmers Market. Thanks and best of luck with the new blog!

  5. Your version of braised short ribs sounds delicious and I will definitely try it. Wanted to suggest polenta as a side dish, since this dish is pretty Italian. I’ve also served it with creamed cauliflower – my attempt to make the dish lower in calories/fat. Hah!

  6. Whipping potatoes with a mixer makes them starchy and glue like in texture and taste. You are better off to mash by hand for a fluffier and better product.

  7. AMAZING! My family said it was the best short ribs they’ve ever had…and the hubby asked that it be added to the “rotation.” Thanks, Amy!

  8. Thank you Amy for giving such an easy and fast recipe for short ribs. I have attempted to make these on numerous occassions from different chefs/cookbooks and each time it called for over 24 hours prep, etc. (not to mention long-winded “braising liquid” recipes in addition to it). So, I never could find time to actually do it. But now, I’m looking forward to trying these out and making my hubby happy! Keep the delicious creativity coming! Love this site!

  9. Hi there Amy – your recipes look delicious – how can I print them so I can make them later?? But, boiling sweet potatoes is totally unnecessary – makes them really, really wet and a lot of flavor leaches into the water and is lost. I steam or microwave – they are ready to mash, without any need to add butter, milk or anything for texture, as soon as they are cooked. I add flavoring only, whether it’s butter, nuts, steaming liquid or whatever, depending upon the occasion, other dishes and eaters. Keep it up – can’t wait to see what else you post.

    • Thank you Sue…that’s what I love about cooking-learning something new virtually everytime I step into the kitchen. I really appreciate your tips and feedback!
      We are working on a tab for you to be able to print just the recipes without the pictures…we hope to have it up by next week.

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