At the end of December, the Toronto Star food section published its top ten recipes of 2011. They included this recipe for Red Wine Braised Short Ribs from Brad’s Takeout and Eatery in Toronto. I love short ribs, but I don’t love the fat they produce. So I adapted the recipe by braising the ribs, removing them from the sauce and refrigerating the ribs and sauce separately overnight. When I checked the next day, the sauce had an inch of solidified fat on the top, which I was able to easily remove. I then reduced the sauce, poured it over the ribs and heated them through. The technique worked very well, so I encourage you to try it if you find short ribs too greasy or you just want to reduce your fat intake.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients in this recipe that may contain additives and preservatives are the wine and the stock. Look for a red wine with a sulfite content of less than 10 parts per million. I couldn’t find beef stock, so I substituted Imagine brand chicken stock, which was fine.

Brown the short ribs well

Place browned ribs in a Dutch oven so they fit snuggly in one layer

Brown the vegetables

Add vegetables to ribs, add liquid ingredients and braise

Reduce braising sauce

Serve the ribs with the sauce over egg noodles or mashed potatoes


4 pieces beef short rib, cut 2-inches (5-cm) wide across the bone (about 3 lb/1.4 kg)

Salt + ground black pepper to taste

2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil

2 each: yellow onions, celery stalks, peeled carrots (all cut into 2-inch/5-cm chunks)

5 cloves garlic, unpeeled

2 sprigs rosemary

2 cups (500 mL) red wine

2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium beef stock

1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Season ribs with salt and pepper.

In large fry pan, heat oil over medium-high. Cook beef, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 10 minutes. Transfer to 4-inch (10-cm) deep casserole or baking dish, bone side down — meat should fit snuggly as possible.

Return fry pan to heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until nicely browned, 5 minutes. Add vegetables to beef along with rosemary. Return fry pan to heat. Add 1 cup (250 mL) wine and stock, scraping up any brown bits. When liquid is hot, pour over meat. Wrap pan tightly with foil. Bake until meat is fork tender, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

While beef is cooking, place remaining 1 cup (250 mL) wine and sugar in saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce until syrupy, 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Carefully transfer beef to baking dish. Strain braising liquid into saucepan with reduced wine, discarding solids. To reduce the fat in this dish, refrigerate ribs and sauce separately. Before finishing the recipe, remove the solidified fat from the sauce. If you don’t want to wait, bring liquid to boil over medium-high heat. Skim off fat that rises to surface. Reduce liquid until salt level is to your taste, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour sauce over beef. Bake until hot, basting occasionally, 20 minutes. Serves 4.

Adapted from Brad’s Takeout and Eatery recipe published in the December 28, 2011 Toronto Star