delicious, juicy, braised Balkan short ribs


juicy beef ribs braised long and low

There is nothing short about short ribs, a bone-in cut of beef taken from the front part of the animal, i.e. the brisket, chuck, plate, or rib areas.
Short ribs, are best enjoyed braised in plenty of juices, long and on low heat. There are few better comfort foods, especially if served with some mashed potatoes and a glass of red wine.
Short ribs can be enjoyed anytme of the year, so lets start cooking!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Balkan, European, Mediterranean
Keyword: Beef, stew
Servings: 8 portions
Cost: 10Euro/12USD


  • Dutch oven
  • oven


  • 2 Kg whole Beef Short Ribs cut each rib to about 10cm
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper use as much as you are comfortable with. Remember; salt can aways be added but can not be taken away.
  • 1/4 cup plain flour for coating the ribs
  • 1 cup Pancetta or bacon lardons diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic peeled and finely diced
  • 3 medium carrots diced
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley cut finely
  • 1-2 whole beef tomatoes grated finely
  • 2 cups red wine There is no such thing as cooking wine. Use the same wine you enjoy drinking, even if it is a chateau lafite 1953. If you can afford that you can afford to cook with it too.
  • 2 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds best to lightly roast them before adding to the pan.
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp oregano


  • Season the ribs with salt and pepper and roast them in the oven for about ½ hour at 200°C (390F). When the ribs are nicely caramelised and some of the fat has been rendered off remove them from the oven and dredge them in flour.
    Alternatively you could first dredge the ribs in flour and cook them, in a skillet, in lard or vegetable oil till they are brown all over.
    I prefer the first method because it requires no fat, plus some of the fat from the ribs themselves will be melted away, making for a leaner (and healthier) dish.
  • In a large Dutch oven, fry the pancetta over medium heat till complete crispy and all of the fat has melted. Remove the bacon and set aside. Do not discard the melted bacon fat. we will use this to lightly fry our vegetables in.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and garlic to the pan and stir-fry on medium heat for about 1 minute. Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Cook to reduce to about half, stirring occasionally to make sure things do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add (vegetable) stock, the grated tomatoes, a little salt (if needed), and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add the cumin and the herbs to the liquid, stir and then finally add the (flour coated) ribs. The ribs should be submerged (if not then add more stock).
  • Place the lid on top and cook in an oven at 180°C (355°F) for 2-3 hours. Then reduce the heat to 150°C (300°F) and cook for an additional 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Once removed from the oven, add the chopped parsley (and maybe even some coriander) and leave to rest, with lid on, before serving. See notes below


The final result should be tender and juicy ribs which fall off the bone. If not then cook a little longer. The longer the better, but not too long or eventually you'll end up with just bone 🙂
For stock I used vegetable stock, which I made by simmering a bunch of vegetables for about 20-30 minutes. Remove the vegetables once cooked and discard. To arrive at a more intense flavour reduce the stock till half. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Using beef or chicken stock for a richer flavour will work just fine. It's up to you.
Remove pan from oven and allow to settle for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Serve ribs with mashed potatoes and your favourite wine.
Try adding fresh coriander to give this dish an even more aromatic edge.
For mashed potatoes use the crumbly, starchy type and mix with celery root. Fully cook small diced pieces of both in salted water. Drain the water but keep some for mashing. Add an egg yolk or two as well as a knob of butter. Mash, adding the saved cooking water a little bit at a time, till you have a smooth and creamy consistency. Flavour with salt and pepper.

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.