Nov 2, 2020

Maple Bourbon Braised Short Ribs

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
Short ribs are braised for a few hours at a low temperature with maple and bourbon until they are fork tender and falling off the bone.

The rich, sweet taste of maple pairs perfectly with the oak and vanilla notes of the bourbon. Bourbon is considered “America’s native spirit” by a congressional decree in 1964, distilled in Kentucky. All bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon – the more you know!

Serve the braised short ribs with the caramelized shallot and black pepper mashed potatoes and sautéed kale (for some added greens!). Braising is my favorite method of cooking in the cooler fall and winter months.

Maple Bourbon Braised Short Ribs

Why Braise Short Ribs

The primal cut of meat is a tougher cut so it’s the perfect pairing for the method of braising. While it’s risen in price and popularity in recent years it’s fairly widely available. For this recipe I prefer to buy them with the bone attached. Not only does the marrow from the bone add to the flavor, it also makes for an impressive presentation. I portion about one short rib per person.

Maple Bourbon Braised Short Ribs in Dutch oven

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Short ribs – I use bone-in beef short ribs in this recipe though boneless can be substituted as well. When purchasing short ribs, look for well-marbled, short ribs with a good meat to bone ratio. They’re one of my favorite cuts of beef because when they are cooked slowly over a long period of time, they retain a meaty, beefy flavor and the collagen melts into the sauce all in one pot.
  • Maple syrup – I love the natural sweetness and slight nutty flavor the maple syrup adds to this recipe. Be sure to use real maple syrup in this recipe and not pancake syrup (which is mainly corn syrup). Maple syrup is a labor intensive product which is why it’s so expensive.
  • Bourbon – Bourbon is a type of American whiskey made primarily from distilled corn. Bourbon takes the place of another alcohol like wine in this braise and helps to enhance the flavors of the food. The bourbon works to tenderize the meat and help to break it down as it braises.
  • Beef stock – Beef stock is made from the simmered beef bones and vegetables to make an aromatic liquid while beef broth is made from the meat. Stock has a richer, more robust flavor.
Maple Bourbon Braised Short Ribs over mashed potatoes with kale

How to Make Braised Maple Bourbon Short Ribs

Instructions for the short ribs:

  1. Sear the short ribs. Heat oven to 325ºF. Season the short ribs all over with salt and pepper then dust with flour. Heat a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Working in batches, sear the ribs on all sides. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining ribs.
  2. Sauté the aromatics. Return the pot to medium heat and add the onion, celery and carrot, sautéing until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and thyme then add the garlic, bourbon, maple syrup and beef stock. Return the short ribs to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Braise short ribs. Cover the Dutch oven and move it to the oven and cook, turning the ribs occasionally, until the meat is fork tender, about 3 to 3½ hours.
  4. Sauté the shallots. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft and pale brown. Set aside.

For the caramelized shallot and black pepper mashed potatoes:

  1. Cook the potatoes . Rinse and peel the potatoes then cut into 1½” chunks. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to a rolling boil and cook the potatoes until they are tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Make the mashed potatoes. Drain the potatoes completely. Add the potatoes to a free standing mixer or a large bowl if using a handheld mixer. Depending on the size of the mixer this may have to be made in batches. After potatoes are mashed, next beat in the cream cheese, butter and shallots.
  3. Serve. Serve the short ribs over mashed potatoes and sautéed kale (optional). Ladle the additional sauce over the top of the short ribs and serve.
braised short rib recipe cooked with maple and bourbon fork tender and served over shallot mashed potatoes

Maple Bourbon Braised Short Ribs with Caramelized Shallot and Black Pepper Mashed Potatoes

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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the maple bourbon braised short ribs:

  • pounds bone-in short ribs
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 head garlic, top ¼” sliced off the top
  • 1 cup bourbon whiskey
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups beef stock

For the caramelized shallot & black pepper mashed potatoes:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Instructions:

For the maple bourbon braised short ribs:

  • Heat oven to 325ºF (170ºC).
  • Season the short ribs all over with salt and pepper then dust with flour. Heat a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Working in batches, sear the ribs on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining ribs.
  • Return the pot to medium heat and add the onion, celery and carrot, sautéing until tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and thyme then add the garlic, bourbon, maple syrup and beef stock. Return the short ribs to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Cover the Dutch oven and move it to the oven and cook, turning the ribs occasionally, until the meat is fork tender, about 3 to 3½ hours.

For the caramelized shallot & black pepper mashed potatoes:

  • Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft and pale brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  • Rinse and peel the potatoes then cut into 1½” chunks. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to a rolling boil and cook the potatoes until they are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes completely.
  • Add the potatoes to a free standing mixer or a large bowl if using a handheld mixer. Depending on the size of the mixer the mashing may have to be done in batches. After potatoes are mashed, beat in the cream cheese, butter and shallots. Season with the salt and add the pepper.

To serve:

  • Serve the short ribs over mashed potatoes and sautéed kale (optional). Ladle the additional sauce over the top of the short ribs and serve.

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  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely a STELLAR dish! The flavor of the caramelized shallot mashed potatoes combined with the red wine sauce was out of the world. The short ribs were nothing short of fantastic, melt in your mouth goodness! In my opinion, the star of the show was the mashed pots–they will be on the table for Thanksgiving, they were just SO yummy! Made this for Father’s Day and boy was it a hit!

    • YAY!!! So happy to hear the recipe will make the cut for Thanksgiving!! Thank you so much for sharing Calli!!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this over the weekend and it came out delicious! Cooked faster than anticipated, but was fall off the bone amazing. I am used to making my braised short ribs with red wine so this was also a nice change of pace and flavor. We served some them over some garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. There were no left overs :p

  3. I made this a few weeks ago and it was amazing!!!! Love this recipe. I was going to make it again tonight but started wondering, “how much is a stalk of celery”? Do you mean a bunch? Or just a single stick? Thanks so much! The family absolutely loved this.

    • Happy to clarify! A stalk of celery is a single long stick peeled back from the stalk! When a stalk of celery is diced it makes a surprising amount! I will note it as a bunch of it’s more. So glad you enjoyed the recipe!!

  4. I am entertaining this week, and would love to make this ahead of time. I have read that braised meats taste better the next day- could I make this a day in advance? Or would the meat dry out when reheated? I need to be epic!

    • Hi Erinn! While the flavors have a bit more time to meld together overnight these short ribs are really flavorful and taste great right out of the pot! It really comes down to prep time – if you want to make less work for yourself the day of then I would recommend making the short ribs the day before. They won’t really dry out, though they can a bit on the exterior if you don’t reheat in liquid. That being said they do run the risk of falling off the bone and not being as presentable when made ahead of time. If you don’t care about presentation then you’re good either way!! Hope this helps and enjoy the recipe!!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious! It was actually my first time making short ribs & it will not be my last. I’m currently staying in a very tiny apartment with only a stovetop, so I can attest that this can also be made in a pot on a stovetop, if you don’t have access to an oven or would rather not turn yours on. The sweetness of the broth and the savory potatoes are the perfect duo! It was a huge hit with my fiancé as well!

    • So happy you enjoyed! Short ribs are a favorite of mine so I can’t wait for you to make more of them! Great note on the stovetop!

  6. This short rib was SO delicious! You could really taste the maple and bourbon. And the sauce was perfect over the mashed potatoes. Only thing I needed that the recipe didn’t call for was some milk in the mashed potatoes. Highly recommend!