Balsamic-Braised Short Ribs

In my quest to eat healthier, I’ve been trying to use more Cooking Light recipes – and at the same time, I’m trying to clear out my overfilled fridge, freezer, and pantry. So instead of making mashed potatoes with this (since we had no potatoes), I made spaetzle instead, and served it with some sauteed spinach.


Also, I thickened the gravy with a little bit of cornstarch, which doesn’t considerably change the nutritional breakdown. Be aware, the nutrition values given below reflect serving it with the mashed potatoes, not my version.

The taste was superb – sweet and meaty, similar to sauerbraten if I had to compare it to a known quantity. It paired well with the spaetzle, and would be equally good with orzo, potatoes, or pasta. It would even make a wonderful stew (since it makes so much gravy) if that’s more your style. This one is going into the keeper file, to replace my goulash recipe.

Balsamic-Braised Short Ribs with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
courtesy Cooking Light

Short ribs are the meaty ends of the rib bones. Choose cuts from the chuck, which are the most flavorful, or from the rib, which are a bit leaner. Packages labeled “short ribs” in the supermarket are likely to come from the chuck. Start this recipe a day ahead. It will taste much better, and chilling the ribs in the cooking liquid will make the solidified fat easy to remove.


Cooking spray
4 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 cups finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
2 cups low-salt beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups chopped plum tomato (I used canned diced)


2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
3/4 cup warm 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 300°.To prepare ribs, heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle ribs with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add half of ribs to pan; cook 8 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining ribs; remove from pan.

Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Return ribs to pan. Add broth, wine, vinegar, sugar, and tomato; bring to a simmer.

Cover and bake at 300° for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Cool slightly. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Skim fat from surface of broth mixture; discard fat. Cook over medium heat 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

To prepare mashed potatoes, place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain. Combine potatoes, milk, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mash potato mixture with a potato masher. Serve with ribs and cooking liquid.

Yield: 7 servings (serving size: 3 ounces beef, about 3/4 cup mashed potatoes, and 1/3 cooking liquid)

CALORIES 463(26% from fat); FAT 13.4g (sat 5.6g,mono 5.7g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 27.2g; CHOLESTEROL 64mg; CALCIUM 100mg; SODIUM 649mg; FIBER 4.2g; IRON 4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 53.5g, 10 WW Points

8 thoughts on “Balsamic-Braised Short Ribs

  1. holly

    one of my favourite shows on the food network is healthy appetite with ellie krieger. i have made a few of her recipes and they always turn out well and are really simple and quick usually too. i would recommend that you try some of her recipes next time you are looking for a healthy meal!

  2. MarketMary

    Will we see you at the Apron Gala again this year?
    Put Saturday, May 19th from 7-10PM on your calendar! Tickets are available now- just $75 each or $60 for Friends of the North Market! New this year: John Skaggs as “Gala Chef” whipping up noshes in the new Dispatch Kitchen on the 2nd floor…and a Champagne bar up there too! In addition to the typically amazing menu from market merchants. Email me if you’d like a sneak preview of the full menu!

  3. sher

    I found my face inching closer and closer to my computer screen, to take in the luciousness of that photo! Wonderful!

  4. valentina

    I #love this dish. Shame I don’t have the ingredients at hand- I meant the ribs, otherwise I would prepare them today. I am writing it down for a future occasion.

  5. Erina

    I'm new to short ribs, but made these the other night and they were pretty delicious! Not the quickest meal, but yummy nonetheless.

    Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine

    I love the idea of making it a bit healthier though…will give your recipe a shot.

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