These Pomegranate Braised Short Ribs are tender, insanely flavorful, fall of the bone perfection because they have baked away in glorious liquids and spices galore. The pomegranate flavor lends the perfect wintery tang and sweetness to this hearty dish that will impress anyone you serve it to, especially during the holidays.
The Heart and Soul of this Pomegranate Braised Short Ribs Recipe
In my family, my Uncle BB is the Short Rib King. This is a title I happily bestow on him with honor and pride. He has crafted some of the best short ribs I have ever tasted. You know the kind: Tender, falling off the bone, and flavorful because they have baked away in liquids and spices galore. It gives you that comfort deep in your soul that you need on a cold winter’s night.
These short ribs are filled with those same qualities but with a fun winter twist. I’ve added pomegranate juice to bring these alive in the most incredible way! There is nothing better than seasonal cooking and baking, and this will become a winter and holiday entertaining classic for you for years to come!
Cuisine Inspiration: Middle Eastern Fusion
Primary Cooking Method: Braising
Dietary Info: Contains slight amounts of gluten but can be made gluten free
Key Flavor: Tangy Pomegranate with Rich, Meaty Undertones
Skill Level: Intermediate
- Lip-smacking Flavor: Dive into the delicious merger of pomegranate’s tanginess and the rich taste of short ribs.
- Tender Perfection: The braising process ensures each rib is tender and succulent.
- Gluten-Free Goodness: All the taste, none of the gluten. A win-win for those with dietary needs!
- Impress the Guests: This isn’t your everyday rib dish. Surprise and wow your dinner attendees.
- Versatile Pairing: Pairs beautifully with a variety of side dishes from creamy mashed potatoes to a zesty quinoa salad. Choose your adventure!
There are multiple ingredients in this recipe that really bring the sensational flavors alive! The main ones that truly make a huge difference (because there are quite a few).
- Beef Short Ribs (of course)
- Pomegranate Juice
- Beef Stock
- Soy Sauce
- Brown Sugar
To begin this braised short ribs recipe, you must have some high quality beef short ribs. When shopping for short ribs, you want to make sure that you are getting some very meaty ribs! No one wants ribs that are full of fat but fat is essential to flavor so there must be some nice marbling there as well. The goal is to pick very meaty ribs that don’t have a lot of surface fat. Short ribs are cut from the chuck, or shoulder of the cow.
Tip 1: Here I used boned short ribs (you can use boneless) but according to Cooks Illustrated, you can replace with chuck roast if it isn’t available.
To really bring out intense flavor, I add bacon, onion, and garlic. The flavors are insanely incredible. The bacon grease adds an incredible base to the liquid that the meat will be braised in. Adding that foundation will allow your liquids to start with flavor so you don’t have to add much more.
Pomegranate juice is my favorite ingredient in this recipe. The flavors are CRAZY! I used an organic brand I found at Whole Foods, however you can grab one at Trader Joe’s or even the traditional brand Pom which is found at lots of grocery stores.
How to Braise Short Ribs
Braising really starts with browning your meat. The short ribs are seasoned and seared in olive oil to give it a gorgeous color and also start that flavoring process. It also leaves incredible flavor in the pot that I use for the onions, garlic and bacon. We are talking insane flavors right there!!
Tip 2: Make sure you deglaze the bottom of that pot!
You want to make sure all of that incredible flavor is getting right back into your food and sauce.
The next part of braising is the slow cooking in liquids. A combination of pomegranate juice, beef stock and soy sauce really pick up all of that deglazing and adds even more flavor to the pot.
You will need incredible patience here. It takes hours, and I mean hours, to get those tender fall apart short ribs that most people are used to. You have to really let that sauce create something special and marry with the ribs, and you need to let those ribs tenderize.
Tip 3: Make ahead!
If you are planning to make for a holiday event or winter Sunday supper, start the process the night before. Honestly make the whole thing the night before and put in the fridge overnight! The fat will solidify on the top and you can scrape it off and then heat them through again.
They will be even better the NEXT DAY!!
How to Serve Braised Short Ribs
These braised short ribs are truly the star of the dinner show. However, you need some sides that will truly make this shine. Here are some recipes you can serve along with these:
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes are always a win however….
- Try GRITS! OMG these creamy, buttery grits are a win! Serve on a bed of these.
- More of a rice fan? Try this Jollof Rice!
- This Potato and Squash Gratin is sensational too! A nice change!
- This Roasted Butternut Squash is also a lovely compliment to the short ribs.
- And of course, you need veggies! Try these Collard Greens or Mustard Greens!
Other Braised Recipes to Try
- Chipotle Short Ribs
- Coke Braised Short Ribs
- Jamaican Oxtails
- Italian Pot Roast
- Mississippi Pot Roast
- Beef Ribs
- Classic Pot Roast
Pomegranate Braised Short Ribs Recipe
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 lbs beef short ribs about 6-7 bone in short ribs
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 bacon slices cut into smaller pieces
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds for garnish Optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add olive oil to large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Liberally season short ribs with salt and pepper to taste then add short ribs to the hot pot.
- Sear ribs on all sides until golden brown. Once beef is finished searing, remove from pot, drain on paper towels, and place to the side. Using a knife, deglaze the bottom of the pan getting up all of the bits of deliciousness stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Next add chopped onion and bacon to pan and brown until onion is tender (about 6-8 minutes). Add garlic and only cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and stir together and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Pour in pomegranate juice, beef stock, and soy sauce then stir in brown sugar and ground ginger and whisk until everything is smooth. Add thyme sprigs then bring the braising liquid to a boil.
- Once boiling, return beef short ribs to liquid, cover with top and place in the oven for 2 – 2½ hours or until ribs are completely tender (easily separated with a fork) and the liquid has thickened into a gravy that has stuck to the ribs.
- At this point, there will be lots of fat that has rendered to the top from the ribs. You will want to scoop this out to remove it. If you have time, place the entire dutch oven in the fridge for a few hours and let the fat solidify. You can easily scoop it out then and place the oven right back on the heat to heat up. It also let’s the flavors intensify even more.