Flavorful apple cider and tart cranberries take these apple cider braised beef short ribs to the next level! So easy to make and super impressive for dinner entertaining.
That whole bowl up there just brings out ALL the holiday dinner vibes! Leave it to the apple cider braised beef short ribs to steal the show.
I LOVE making cozy braised meat dinners this time of year. It’s seriously so satisfying to just slide the entire meal in the oven and then go back to it a few hours later to be greeted with fall apart tender meat just bursting with savory flavors.
More than worthy to take center stage on any of your Christmas dinner tables this year!
Best part? These short ribs are indulgent enough for a special occasion but also humble and EASY enough to tackle any weeknight. We’re talking 10 min prep time + 2 hour cook time.
Make it and forget about it meals always always win. ♥
These Apple Cider Braised Beef Short Ribs feature…
- Fall apart-tender beef short ribs (seriously so tender you could cut it with a spoon!)
- Braising liquid of apple cider + beef broth (that later gets transformed into a gravy!)
- Tart bursting cranberries and tender carrots
Making the Apple Cider Braised Beef Short Ribs
(scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe!)
Braising the Short Ribs
The first step of braising is browning the meat. Season beef short ribs well with salt and pepper then sear them in a Dutch oven (or large oven-safe pan) until evenly browned on all sides.
Remove the meat from the pan and now we’re going to saute the onions, carrots, and garlic in the remaining pan drippings until lightly browned.
Once the vegetables are browned, pour apple cider and beef broth into the pan and bring to a simmer.
Nestle the short ribs, apple slices, a few herb sprigs, and cranberries into the pan and cover. Place pan in oven and let braise slowly at 300F 2 hours until the beef is fall-apart tender.
Remove the short ribs, herb sprigs + carrots from pan (the apples and cranberries will have slightly dissolved into the sauce, this is ok!) and now we’re going to thicken the sauce with a slurry of flour + water.
Once the sauce is thickened, nestle the meat and carrots back into the sauce. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve!
Tips and Tricks for Braising
- Plan ahead. Braising beef typically takes 2-3 hours and you can’t rush this process!
- Don’t skip the browning steps. This is where you start building the majority of the braising flavor.
- Make sure your braising pan is covered and sealed well. If you don’t have a lid for your pan, wrap a double layer of foil tightly over top.
- Make ahead of time. Once the meat is braised you can transfer everything to a slow cooker and keep on “warm” setting for several hours.
What to Serve the Short Ribs with
We love serving these short ribs with some type of creamy side so it soaks in all that delicious gravy!
I recommend a batch of creamy mashed potatoes or creamy polenta with some crusty French bread nearby for dipping.
Seriously, every single part of this dinner just screams COZY! The sweetness from the apple cider, the tart cranberries, the savory beef…it’s just all around holiday dreamy.
We make these short ribs frequently for weeknights cause they’re literally THAT easy, but they’re also more than worthy for any fancier holiday table.
Best served with a frosty hard cider and a snowy background. ♥
A few more cozy beef dishes I know you’ll love!
- Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs with Mascarpone Polenta
- Rosemary Garlic Butter Beef Tenderloin
- Instant Pot Red Wine Beef Ragu
Cranberry Apple Cider Braised Beef Short Ribs
- 1-1/2 lbs beef short ribs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-in chunks
- 1 small yellow onion, diced into 1-in chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 cups apple cider
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 large tart and firm apple, (Pink Lady or Honeycrisp work well) cut into 1-in thick slices
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Prepared mashed potatoes for serving
- Pat short ribs dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat a Dutch oven (or a large oven-safe high-walled skillet) over medium-high heat, then add butter and olive oil. Sear short ribs 2-3 minutes on all sides until a deep golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In remaining drippings over medium heat, saute carrot and onion until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 additional minute until fragrant. Pour apple cider and beef broth into pan and bring to a simmer.
- Nestle short ribs back into Dutch oven and arrange cranberries, apple slices, thyme, and rosemary around shortribs. Cover Dutch oven and place in 300F oven and let cook 2 hours or until short ribs are very tender.
- Remove short ribs and carrots from Dutch oven and transfer to a plate. Remove and discard thyme/rosemary sprigs.
- Whisk flour with a little bit of braising liquid from Dutch oven until smooth. Add flour mixture back to pan, stirring until smooth. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat until thickened. Return short ribs and carrots back to Dutch oven. Serve short ribs warm with mashed potatoes. Enjoy!