Braised Short Ribs with Honey and Thyme
Photo: Ronnie Fein
Braised Short Ribs

By Ronnie Fein

(JTA) — Some people think of short ribs as rustic fare. But they are an ideal choice for the High Holidays — and not just because of the honey representing a sweet New Year.  

Serve them with a thick and glossy gravy: They look impressive and substantial, in keeping with our hopeful and festive feelings.

And there’s a bonus: Short ribs taste even better a day or so after cooking, so you can make them ahead, skim the fat and just reheat. The addition of honey in this recipe adds just a hint of sweetness to the dish, a good balance to the spicy chili sauce and tangy balsamic vinegar.

I serve these on cooked egg noodles, but mashed potatoes would be welcome, too.


  • 4-5 pounds boneless short ribs
  • All-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, approximately
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ cups red wine
  • 1½ cups stock or water
  • 1 cup bottled chili sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Dredge the meat in some flour and shake off the excess. Heat 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan or oven-proof casserole over medium heat.
  2. Add the meat a few pieces at a time and cook them for 3-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. When the meat has browned, remove the pieces to a dish and set aside.
  4. Pour the remaining 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil into the pan. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Return the meat to the pan.
  5. Pour in the red wine, stock, chili sauce, honey and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.
  6. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and cook for about 3 hours or until the meat is tender (or place in the oven at 275 degrees). For best results, when the meat is tender, separate the meat and sauce and place in the refrigerator.
  7. When chilled, remove the fat that rises to the top of the sauce. Place the meat in an oven-proof serving dish, cover with the sauce and reheat (about 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 325 degrees). Makes 6 servings.

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