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Bourbon Braised Short Ribs – Full of Flavor and Fall Apart Tender

Bourbon Braised Short Ribs will definitely become one of your favorite Sunday meals. Thick and meaty, beef short ribs that are cooked in a maple bourbon sauce and then drizzled with a maple glaze when served.

It is one of the most flavorful recipes that you will ever try! Not to mention the beef becomes so tender that it literally falls off the bone!

We love to make this recipe on the weekends when there is no schedule, no rush, and when we are wanting a great comfort meal.

And don’t worry, although it has actual bourbon included in the recipe, the alcohol has plenty of time to burn off during the cooking process. All that is left is a slightly smokey flavor that pairs perfectly with the maple syrup.

bourbon braised short ribs

How To Make Bourbon Braised Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients Required

Beef short ribs, bone-in or boneless
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Sweet onion
Garlic cloves
Bourbon –
any bourbon will work for this recipe. I typically use Jim Bean Kentucky Bourbon.
Maple syrup –
not pancake syrup, I mean the real syrup from real trees.
Beef broth –
I prefer low-sodium but the choice is up to you.
Dried thyme
Tomato paste –
I highly recommend purchasing a tube of tomato paste rather than canned paste.
Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

Preheat the oven and dice the onion into small pieces. Then mince the garlic and set aside. You can substitute jarred minced garlic in this Bourbon Braised Short Ribs recipe if you don’t have fresh garlic cloves.

Next, pat the short ribs dry and season them generously with salt and pepper and set aside. Now place an oven safe Dutch Oven on the stove and add the olive oil and place on medium-high heat.

brown short ribs

Working in batches, add the beef short ribs and sear until browned on all sides. This will take approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Once they are nice and brown transfer to a plate and repeat until all ribs have been browned.

Immediately reduce the heat to medium and add the onion to the pan, leaving all the short rib drippings in the pot.

Saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until softened, which will take about 5-6 minutes.

Then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Quickly add the bourbon and maple syrup to the pot and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze any stuck bits off the surface.

Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half, which will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

bourbon and maple syrup

Now it is time to stir in the broth, thyme, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Once everything is incorporated place the short ribs down in the sauce until almost completely covered by the liquid.

Depending on how big your Dutch oven is, and how large the short ribs are, you may need to add more liquid to the pot. You can use additional stock or water. I do not suggest adding more bourbon!

Cooking Time

Once the ribs are nearly submerged, increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Then cover and transfer the Dutch Oven to the preheated oven.

Cook for 2.5-3 hours, stirring every 45 minutes until the ribs are fall apart tender. Carefully transfer the ribs to a serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil and let them rest for at least 10 minutes.

maple glaze

While the short ribs are resting make the Bourbon Braised Short Ribs glaze by combining maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring frequently until the mixture is reduced to a thick glaze.

It should take approximately 5 minutes for this to happen. Once the sauce is ready season with salt and pepper to taste.

When you are ready to serve the short ribs, pour the glaze on top.

Cooking Options

You can also make this recipe in a crock pot. Follow all the instructions as listed, however instead of putting the short ribs back into the bourbon sauce, add the ingredients to a crock pot. Then cook on Low for 7-8 hours.

Before you serve the Bourbon Braised Short Ribs you can place them under the broiler for a few minutes. The broiling process will allow the glaze to become nice and caramelized and will leave you with a nice crust on the surface of the ribs.

bourbon braised short ribs

What To Serve With This Recipe

Bourbon Braised Short Ribs are often served with Irish Mashed Potatoes or Air Fryer Potato Wedges. Add a simple side salad or green beans for a complete meal.

Be sure to save any unused glaze as it is great to use as a gravy over potatoes or biscuits! And for a great next day meal, be sure to cut off any short rib meat off the bone and serve with rice and of course drizzle the glaze on top!

Commonly Asked Questions

Are Spare Ribs and Short Ribs The Same? When it comes to beef ribs, there are two common cuts. The spare ribs, also known as beef back ribs, are long and slender with very little meat when compared to short ribs. Short ribs are cut in smaller, easy to handle sections and have a thick section of meat on one side of the bone. It is best to braise beef short ribs for the best texture and flavor.

Can I skip the Bourbon? Although I would highly recommend using bourbon in this braised short rib recipe, I understand that some people prefer not to cook with any liquor. Although the flavor will change slightly, you can use additional beef broth in place of the bourbon.

What if I don’t have a Dutch Oven? If you don’t have a large Dutch Oven, you can certainly use a large, oven safe casserole dish, pot, or even a crock pot to make this recipe. We have even made Barbecue Beef Short Ribs in a pressure cooker before!

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bourbon-braised-short-ribs

Maple Bourbon Braised Short Ribs

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

Meaty beef short ribs that are slow cooked and braised in a maple bourbon sauce until fall apart tender then drizzled with a tangy maple glaze to die for!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds beef short ribs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups beef broth, low sodium
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Glaze Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup maple syrup 
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Pat the short ribs dry and season them generously with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a large, oven safe Dutch oven and place on medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the short ribs and sear until browned on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat until all short ribs have been browned.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion to the pan with the short rib drippings. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the bourbon and maple syrup and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze any stuck bits off the bottom surface. Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Stir in the broth, thyme, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Place the short ribs down in the sauce until almost completely covered by the liquid. Add more water or broth if needed to cover the ribs.
  6. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and transfer the Dutch Oven to the preheated oven. Cook stirring every 45 minutes until the ribs are fall apart tender, approximately 2.5-3 hours. Carefully transfer the ribs to a serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil and let them rest for at least 10 minutes.
  7. While the short ribs are resting make the glaze by combining the maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture is reduced to a thick glaze, approximately 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 985Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 227mgSodium: 604mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 47gProtein: 60g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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