Chile Chocolate Braised Short Ribs

Short Ribs

There’s nothing more comforting and heartwarming on a crazy cold day than braised short ribs with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes. Can we say heaven in a bowl?

These short ribs take a while to make but they’re worth the wait (I promise!) – I made them a little bit spicy with dried chile peppers, garlic and onions, fresh rosemary and thyme, and a chipotle infused olive oil (I love 7 Barrels brand!) along with a dash of cocoa powder (the super intense Dutch red kind made by Guittard is my fav). They’re braised in broth, a full bottle of red wine (you’re welcome), and topped with fresh parsley.

Once they’re done cooking they will be falling off the bone – then I made a reduced sauce with a knob of butter at the end to make it super silky and delicious. I served these with roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower (simply roast them in olive oil and sea salt on 375 for about 45 minutes, tossing them every 15 minutes until crispy and delicious), but I recommend serving them with some creamy mashed potatoes or egg noodles as well (or even some crusty French bread) to mop up that delicious spicy-savory-chocolate-chile-wine sauce. OMG.

Go ahead, indulge. You can always work it off tomorrow. Besides, a big bowl of comfort food and Netflix is more fun anyways 🙂

Chile Chocolate Braised Short Ribs

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: 6-8

A classic Winter comfort food dish, these delicious braised short ribs are made with chile peppers, chocolate, red wine and lots of fresh garlic, onions and herbs. Super savory and tasty, served with roasted veggies, and either mashed potatoes or egg noodles.


  • 2 large dried chile peppers, stemmed and deseeded
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 5 1/2 pounds center cut short ribs, on the bone
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle olive oil (or regular EVOO if you prefer less spicy)
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Dutch red cocoa powder (Guittard)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 small onions, chopped
  • One bottle red wine (Pinot Noir or Merlot or Cab Sauv)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • A few sprigs of fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme)
  • Knob of unsalted butter (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
  • Roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts, for serving
  • Mashed potatoes or egg noodles, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust rack to lower third.
  2. Cover chopped chile peppers with boiling water and let sit, covered for about 20 minutes until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle short ribs on both sides generously with kosher salt and pepper and let rest to room temperature about 15 minutes while peppers are soaking.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook short ribs in batches, searing evenly on both sides until golden brown crust forms (about 7 minutes per side/15 minutes per batch).
  5. Once all short ribs are seared, place on a platter tented with foil and set aside.
  6. In a blender or food processor, add the chiles, water, stock, tomato paste, cocoa, garlic, onions, and a little dash of salt and mix thoroughly together until smooth.
  7. Pour the red wine in the Dutch oven and scrape the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan (deglazing the pan) and turn heat up to high bringing to a boil for 2-3 minutes, then reducing heat to a simmer, letting wine reduce by half (about 20 minutes).
  8. Add the pureed chile-onion mixture, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs to the pot and boil together for a few minutes. Return the short ribs to the pot, cover tightly with a lid and braise in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours until meat is tender and falls off the bone.
  9. Place the ribs back on to a large platter and tent with foil to keep warm while making the sauce.
  10. Put the Dutch oven on the stove and heat over medium-high for another 10 minutes or so until sauce thickens and reduces. Remove from heat and add a knob of butter into the sauce to make it extra silky and smooth.
  11. Add the ribs back into the sauce and coat thoroughly. Serve on plates with sauce on top along side roasted veggies and mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Garnish with fresh parsley and additional salt and pepper to taste.


You can also substitute hard cider or a dark lager beer for the red wine.


Classic Comfort Food :: Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

So Old Man Winter is finally back in town, despite the crazy warm weather we’ve been having lately in New York City. Temperatures drop and there’s nothing better than a big pot of comfort food and a bottle of red to make a girl happy, right? Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make everything OK…(*sigh). So I did just that this weekend, and made a huge batch of some classic Beef know, the classic French braised beef stew with veggies and red wine that Julia Child made famous.

Beef Bourguignon

I made it in a large 6-quart ceramic Dutch oven (KitchenAid brand is my fav!), and it’s chock full of savory deliciousness – sautéed pancetta, braised beef, shallots, garlic and carrots sautéed into a roux with some flour, flambeed brandy (my secret ingredient!), a whole bottle of red (yes, really!) and some beef stock, along with a bouquet garni of fresh herbs (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 3 sprigs of rosemary wrapped in cheesecloth) slow cooked in the oven for 2 hours.

Beef Bourguignon

The finishing touch of mushrooms and caramelized Cippolini onions sautéed in butter are added in at the end to add tons of buttery, savory flavor to the stew. YUM.

Beef Bourguignon

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything so delicious in my life – and I’m quite sure if Julia was still alive, I would make her damn proud, if I do say so myself.

Beef Bourguignon

It’s a flavor bomb in a bowl, my friends, and perfect for a lovely  holiday dinner party for a crowd. Serve in big bowls garnished with fresh Italian parsley over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles, of course accompanied with a bottle of red (Pinot Noir or Burgundy) and some crusty French bread to mop up the sauce. All around a big table of friends and family to partake in all the goodness.

Happy Holidays! 

Beef Bourguignon

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

This is a delicious heartwarming French Beef Stew made with beef chuck, red wine, brandy, fresh herbs, shallots, garlic, cippolini onions, carrots and pancetta. Perfect one-pot dish for Winter or the holidays!


  • 5 pounds beef chuck, cut into medium-large cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, diced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 large shallots, finely diced
  • 3 large carrots, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 bottle dry red wine (Pinot Noir or Burgundy)
  • 4 cups beef or veal stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs Italian parsley)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
  • 5-7 small to medium Cippolini onions, quartered
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (White button or Cremini)
  • Flat leaf Italian Parsley, minced, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place beef in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and season with a couple teaspoons of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat for several minutes to get it hot.
  4. Add pancetta and cook until crispy and browned, drain on paper towels and set aside.
  5. Increase the heat to high and add the beef in to the pot in a single layer and brown on all sides, turning with tongs (be careful not to crowd or overfill the pot as you will need to cook beef in batches to get a nice browning).
  6. Place the browned beef back on to the baking sheet and set aside.
  7. Add the oil and diced shallots and carrots to the Dutch oven and cook for a few minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high and continue to saute until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the brandy and flambe (light it in the pan with a long lighter or match) and let the flames keep going for as long as possible, until they go out to burn off alcohol.
  9. Reduce heat to medium, add flour and stir together with the vegetables for a few minutes to make a roux base for the stew.
  10. Next deglaze the pan by pouring in the red wine, a little bit at a time, stirring well to incorporate and remove any lumps, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan (these babies are full of flavor!)
  11. Add 3 3/4 cups of the stock, browned meat and bouquet garni and bring to a boil over high heat.
  12. Remove pot from the heat, cover and cook the stew in the oven for 2 hours, until meat is fork tender. (The meat should shred/fall apart easily when you pierce it with a fork - if not, place it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes).
  13. While stew is cooking, caramelize the onions in a medium saute pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper, until the onions are lightly browned.
  14. Add the remaining 1/4 cup stock and cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and glazed and liquid is evaporated.
  15. Transfer onions to a bowl and set aside.
  16. In the same pan, turn the heat up to high. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, the mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, sear over high heat until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and mix into the caramelized onions, set aside.
  17. Remove the stew from the oven and gently stir in cooked pancetta, mushrooms and onions. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper to taste).
  18. Serve the stew in bowls with a sprinkling of fresh parsley over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles, with a glass of red and crusty bread to mop up the sauce of course!


Recipe adapted from Mother's Best Comfort Food Cookbook.

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Beef Bourguignon

Other Beef Bourguignon recipes you may enjoy:

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Slow-Cooked Beef Bourguignon The Kitchn

Martha Stewart Beef Bourguignon

Bistro-Style Beef Stew w/ Red Wine, Smoked Paprika and Orange Zest

Beef Stew with Red Wine
Bistro-Style Beef Stew with Red Wine, Smoked Paprika and Orange Zest

On a recent excursion to Williams-Sonoma, I discovered some lovely braising bases that piqued my interest. I wanted to make a hearty beef stew and thought the Beef Stew Braising base would be a perfect starter for my masterpiece. This hearty blend of ripe tomatoes, fire-roasted red peppers and premium dark beer has a rich, complex flavor and is a great base for the beef stew with your own additions. I simply added some crispy bacon, sauteed shallots and garlic, chunks of potato, carrots and beef. I then added some additional flavor by stirring in some hearty red wine, a sprinkle of orange zest and smoked paprika, along with some herbes de provence and fresh thyme.

The orange zest gives the stew a hint of bright flavor, and goes well with the smoky paprika, red wine and shallots. I also added a sprinkling of Awake-a-Steak seasoning – a robust blend of gourmet spices and fresh roasted coffee. The result? A rich, hearty, deliciously slow-cooked pot of goodness – perfect for a chilly Winter day. Just let all the ingredients braise in the pot in the oven to release the savory layers of flavor into a thick beefy stew that is sure to warm your toes. Serve the stew in large soup bowls along with crusty French bread to mop up the sauce, complemented by a big glass of red wine (Cotes du Rhone or Cotes de Provence are a perfect match and also used in the stew). Now this is what I call comfort food – Enjoy!


1 – 4 lb boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2-2 inch pieces
3 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
5-6 slices thick-cut hickory smoked bacon
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 large shallots, quartered
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into large chunks
4 large carrots, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
1 8.5 oz jar Williams-Sonoma Beef Stew Braising Base
1 cup red wine (Cotes du Rhone)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp tomato paste
4-6 strips of orange zest
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp Awake-a-Steak Seasoning (Instant Gourmet)
2 tsp herbes de Provence
1-2 tbsp dried fines herbes (or fresh chopped chervil, tarragon, parsley and chives), for garnish
5-6 springs fresh thyme, for garnish


Place a rack in the lower position of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Preheat a large saute pan and get a Dutch oven prepared to cook the stew.

Seasoned Beef

Carve the roast into 1 1/2-2 inch chunks, trimming any large, visible pieces of fat. Place the beef chunks in a large baking sheet lined with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Carrots, Veggies and Spices

Peel and cut the potatoes and carrots into  1 1/2 to 2 inch chunks.

Shallots, Garlic and Orange Peel

Peel and quarter the shallots and chop the garlic cloves. Shave 4-6 strips of orange peel with a peeler, slice into finer strips if desired.


Fry the bacon slices until crisp and drain on paper towels, set aside until cooled. Chop or crumble into 1/2 inch pieces.

Sauteing Shallots and Garlic

In the same saute pan, saute the shallots in 2 tbsp bacon drippings over medium-high heat until they begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the minced garlic along with some salt and pepper, and saute for 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, removed shallots and garlic and set aside with the bacon.

Sauteing Beef

Add 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and saute the beef in a single layer in batches, being careful not to crowd or overcook, approximately 10 minutes per batch, until beef is browned on all sides. Add additional oil as necessary in between batches. When all beef is sauteed, transfer to a large Dutch oven.

Mixed Ingredients

Add the bacon, shallots and garlic, orange zest, herbs and spices to the Dutch oven with the beef.

All in Pot

Add the carrots and potatoes and stir together.


Add the tomato paste, red wine, water and Beef Stew Braising Base to the pot and stir all ingredients together and bring to a simmer.

Cover the pot tightly with aluminum foil and place the lid on top. Transfer to the oven and bake until beef is fork-tender for about 3 hours.

Stir Stew

Stir the stew after about an hour, and then again after 2 hours, recovering the pot with the aluminum foil and lid.

Stew is Done!

Check the stew for desired consistency: if the stew is too thick, add an additional 1/4 cup of water to the last 15 minutes of cooking. If the stew seems too thin, make a slurry of flour and water and whisk into the stew for thickening. Season the finished stew with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Bistro-Style Beef Stew

Garnish with a sprinkle of fines herbes and sprigs of thyme. Enjoy with a loaf of crusty French bread and a big glass of hearty red wine (Cotes du Rhone). Fantastique!

Serves 8.

Other Beef Stew Recipes you may enjoy:

Paula Deen’s Old-Time Beef Stew

Pioneer Woman’s Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika

Epicurious Irish Beef Stew

Jacques Pepin Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

Martha Stewart Beef Stew


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