Red Wine Braised Short Ribs & Cannellini Beans

For better or worse, I’m not always a very good representation of a twenty-something year old girl.

Example: Instead of going out on the town and cutting loose this past Saturday night, I found myself at home, dressed for comfort, braising beef short ribs and cannellini beans.

Sounds more like an activity for your eighty year old nonna than this vibrant young woman.  And did I mention I sat around drinking tea and flipping through cookbooks while I waited for my dinner?  Oh, well, it’s hip to be square these days, right?

Meet the meat.  Not a bad-looking date for a Saturday night.

Big and beefy, but totally into accessorizing…pancetta, porcini, cannellini, onions, and herbs.

We’ll brown the short ribs while the dried porcini soak.  Chop the pancetta, rinse the beans, and pulse the carrot, celery, onion.  Open a can of tomatoes, pop a bottle of red wine.  Now we’re ready to braise.

Crisp the pancetta, sweat the veggies, and caramelize a dab of tomato paste.  Add tomatoes, the porcini with their bathwater, beans, and red wine.

Now nestle in your short ribs, toss in some herbs, and let them bubble the night away.


Age-appropriate or not, I deem it a Saturday well-spent.  Who wants to shove their tired feet into heels and venture out in the cold when they could be home, in a cuddly sweater, tucking into braised beef and hot polenta?  Here’s to being a homebody.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs & Cannellini Beans
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These braised short ribs can be made a day ahead of time for easy entertaining. They are wonderful served over polenta. or mashed potatoes If you have left-overs, the meat can be pulled off the bone, shredded, heated in the sauce and used to dress pasta.
Serves: 4
  • 3 lbs. Beef Short Ribs
  • 1 c. Dried Cannellini Beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • ¼ c. Pancetta, chopped
  • 2 medium Onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk Celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ¼ c. Dried Porcini Mushrooms, soaked in boiling water, drained, and chopped (soaking liquid reserved)
  • 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 15 oz. can Plum Tomatoes, crushed with their juices
  • ½ bottle Dry Red Wine
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Polenta
  • Parmesan
  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch-oven over medium-high heat. Brown short ribs on all sides, about 10 minutes, and remove. Pour out excess fat.
  2. Meanwhile, combine carrot, celery, onion, and garlic in food processor and pulse until a rough paste (pestata) is formed.
  3. In the same pot that you browned the meat, add pancetta and saute until crisp. Add the pestata and saute until the vegetables take on a bit of color and release moisture, 3-5 minutes. Clear a small spot in the pot, add the tomato paste, allow to caramelize briefly before stirring into the browned pestata. Add porcini and soaking liquid, crushed tomatoes, red wine, bay leaves and rosemary. Add beans and short ribs, add water to cover. Let it come up to a boiling point and reduce heat to a very slow simmer.
  4. Cover and let the beef and beans braise until both are tender, 2½- 3 hours.
  5. When the meat is almost falling off the bone, remove, place on a plate, and tent with foil. Bring braising liquid to a boil and allow to reduce to a saucy consistency. Season with salt and pepper, remove bay leaves and rosemary stems. Add short ribs back to sauce and allow to come back up to temperature.
  6. Serve short ribs over polenta. Spoon cannellini beans and sauce over the ribs, top with a dusting of parmesan.


  1. Nicholas John Sergeant says

    Thank you for your ideas about ribs and beans! They are exactly what I need tonight. I’m not a scientist but I do marvel about marbling and malleability, and meat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: