Here’s a real meat and potatoes treat for the holidays. Braised short ribs in barbecue sauce are tender and succulent and full of flavor.  For the ultimate comfort food, I like to serve the ribs on a bed of roasted garlic mashed potatoes. I’ve garnished the dish with a medley of colorful sautéed baby vegetables, as a hopeful reminder that spring is just around the corner. Stay warm and enjoy!


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 pounds beef short ribs* (cut flanken-style)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven.  If the ribs are cut flanken-style, cut them in between the bones. Sprinkle salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder on both sides of the ribs.  Place ribs in hot oil and brown on both sides.  This should take about several minutes per side.  To ensure browning, place the ribs in the Dutch oven in two batches, making sure not to crowd them or they will not brown.

Make the barbecue sauce while the ribs are browning.  Into a large mixing bowl place the ketchup, water, apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, paprika, mustard, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix well all ingredients.

Remove the ribs from the Dutch oven, then pour off the oil.  Pour the barbecue sauce into the Dutch oven, and replace the ribs in the sauce.  Bring ribs and sauce to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, then cover the Dutch oven and place in the preheated oven for two hours.

You can serve the ribs as soon as they are done, or you can cool them to room temperature, place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.  When the ribs have cooled in the refrigerator, it is easy to remove the fat, which has risen to the top and hardened.  The ribs seem to improve in flavor after a day or two in the refrigerator.

Serves 4 to 6.

Essex Fells Magazine

March 2014


* You can usually find the short ribs cut flanken style at your butcher or supermarket.  If not, it is okay to use regular short ribs for this recipe.