The title of these maple bourbon braised short ribs says it all. Meaty short ribs are braised in a brew of bourbon, maple syrup, beef broth, tomato paste, and herbs until amazingly tender.
These maple bourbon-braised short ribs are sorta like candy. Yep, they’re that sweet. Not that we’re complaining. Just saying, be prepared for dessert and dinner in one lovely mashup. The author serves these alongside mashed sweet potatoes, which is lovely…although any mash would be lovely served alongside to soak up the short rib awesomeness. –Renee Schettler Rossi
Maple Bourbon Braised Short Ribs
For the braised short ribs
- 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade beef broth or homemade vegetable broth plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
For the glaze (optional)
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the braised short ribs
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
- Pat the short ribs dry and season them generously with salt and pepper. In a 5-quart (4.7-l) Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Working in batches, add the short ribs and sear until browned on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium and let the Dutch oven cool ever so slightly. Leave all that glorious mess of oil and drippings from searing the ribs in the Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bourbon and maple syrup and cook until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the broth, rosemary, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Nestle the short ribs in the sauce. The ribs should be almost completely covered with liquid; if necessary, add a little more broth or water (about 1/2 cup) to cover the ribs.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook, stirring every 45 minutes, until the ribs are very tender, 2 to 3 hours. Transfer the ribs to a serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil and let them rest for at least 10 minutes.
Make the glaze (optional)
- In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until reduced to a thick glaze, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Uncover the ribs. There may be some congealed fat on top of the ribs, which can be scooped off before serving. Divvy the ribs among plates and drizzle the glaze, if using, over the ribs. Serve right away.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This braised short ribs recipe was a roaring success! The sweetness of the maple and bourbon permeated the tender meat and every bite was succulent and delicious. Like most braised dishes, these short ribs were even better the next day. The glaze was a nice touch but wasn’t really necessary as the meat was so rich and delicious on its own. I served it with chipotle mashed sweet potatoes to add some heat to the plate and roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and balsamic vinegar. This recipe worked perfectly and had well-written, clear instructions. My only quibble is that there was a lot of grease on top of the dish that needed to be spooned off before serving. However, I made it a day ahead of time and was able to easily remove the solidified fat after a night in the fridge.
This is easily my favorite recipe that I’ve had the pleasure to test so far—rich beef flavor and a fragrant, tangy sweet sauce. I used an excellent single-grain Ontario rye whisky, which has been described as having a “feistiness of flavor” that I find appealing. The recipe was simple and yielded fantastic results that left us all wanting more. I used just over 3 pounds bone-in short ribs and it made enough for 3 people when served with skillet potatoes and charred broccolini. I gave the ribs a nice sear—about 3 minutes. I had roasted garlic earlier in the week and used that as well. The sauce was just about enough to cover the meat; I only had to add another 1/4 cup water. The ribs were cooked to a perfect texture after 2 hours. I added a little whisky to the glaze, just for the flavor. Next time, I’ll make more of the glaze just because it was so good.
WOW! This braised short ribs recipe produced the best braised short ribs I’ve made in a long time. We found the ribs tender and juicy with little fuss in the making. After 2 hours in the oven, they were done to perfection, no additional broth or water needed. I did remember to stir once and then forgot the rest of the time, but no harm done as nothing stuck to the pan. The glaze was very quick to make in just 6 or 7 minutes and then we were ready to serve. I had some mashed sweet potatoes ready for serving and we found them the perfect accompaniment for the ribs. My tasters found the ribs to be not overly sweet considering the amount of maple syrup in the recipe and glaze. Since the sweet potatoes were mashed with just salt, pepper, and butter, they didn’t compete with the taste of the ribs. The bourbon was a light note in the background taste, so next time I might add a splash to the glaze as well. We served this with sautéed greens and iced tea. A simple recipe with stellar results. I think these would work well with bone-in short ribs. Also, I think the glaze would be really good on pork ribs.
This braised short ribs recipe with maple and bourbon takes two classic all-American flavors—bourbon and maple syrup—and combines them into a deeply flavorful sauce for short ribs. And since short ribs need to be cooked low and slow, there is plenty of time for the these flavors—plus onion, garlic and rosemary—to sink deep into the meat. Of course, the flip side is that the aromas fill the kitchen and make you want to snatch the ribs out of the oven and dig in even with an hour to go. This recipe is a good lesson in patience. It’s a pretty straightforward preparation—searing the ribs on all sides, then sautéing the onion and garlic, then reducing the bourbon and maple mixture to really amp up the concentration and flavor factors. The whole thing—all done in one pot (the ever valuable Dutch oven)—goes into the oven. The trickiest part was making the glaze. Cook it too long (as I did) and once it cools it becomes like candy. Tasty candy, to be sure, but not a glaze.
I’ve made a lot of short rib recipes through the years, but this braised short ribs with bourbon and maple recipe may now be at the top of the list! DO NOT skip the glaze! The slight sweet and smoky taste of the glaze perfectly finished it all off. It took a full 2 1/2 hours for my short ribs to be totally tender. I cooked the ribs the day before serving and then cooled them off and refrigerated them overnight in the same Dutch oven I used for braising. The day of serving, I removed the hardened fat from the top and gently reheated everything for an hour before serving. The liquid in the recipe was sufficient for the braising; I didn’t need to add more. I served the ribs over the sweet potatoes as suggested, but they could also go over mashed Yukon Gold potatoes or homemade noodles. I don’t think we can wait for winter to make these again!
Originally published January 20, 2018