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. If you love slow roasted meals like this one, check out my Chipotle Short Ribs, Coke Braised Short Ribs, Jamaican Oxtails, Italian Pot Roast, Mississippi Pot Roast, Beef Ribs, and Classic Pot Roast.
The Most Delicious Holiday Meal: 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!
Pomegranate Braised Short Ribs Recipe Ingredients
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!!
What To Serve with 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!
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.
Oh man this was good! I only had 2 C pomegranate juice so I tossed in a half cup of Pinot Noir, which rounded it out nicely. Also, didn’t quite have enough soy sauce so I did half soy sauce and half Worcestershire skipped the bacon in lieu of that because I didn’t want to make it too smoky. This would make a fantastic holiday meal but was also easy enough to make on a chilly weekend. Absolutely delish! Caught hubby eating the sauce out of the dutch oven with a spoon.
First of all, the meat was fabulous,,,tender and flavorful. However, I used only half of the pomegranate juice and half the sugar and used more beef stock and the sauce was too sweet for me. I tried to correct the sauce with lemon juice but it was still a bit too sweet. Maybe I over reduced the sauce which concentrated the sweetness?
Can you start the cooking process the night before (say like an hour), then pop it back in the oven to finish up the next day?
Do you think I would be able to double this and still have it fit in the 5 qt dutch oven?
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
I think you might need something bigger.
Michael Renee Daniels says
Hi! Would it be okay to cook these in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours?
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
Gina Null says
This looks wonderful, however, I am allergic to beef. Is there a pork alternative meat that might work?
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
Yes absolutely! You could use a pork loin or roast for this.
Ive made these 3 times and they are incredible! I think one thing I would do differently… start by sautéing the bacon and then remove it, and stir it back in at the very end. I don’t love how the bacon bits are “soggy” in the sauce, I like them to be more crispy! I do recommend making this the day before if you can stand it! I have made it both ways and I like having the time to remove the solidified grease off the top, plus the meat is just so flavorful. Fantastic recipe and I highly recommend it!