Short ribs are one of the most heavenly things to cook sous vide. When cooked for 48 hours sous vide, the meat becomes fork-tender with that perfect edge to edge rosy color. It is truly the prime example of sous vide magic.
In this cook, we create a delicious red wine reduction sauce. Then we use the sauce to glaze the short ribs. The flavor profile on these red wine glazed short ribs is so wonderful, you do not want to miss out.
English Style Short Rib Cut
First things first, you want to make sure you buy the correct cut of short rib. This recipe calls for the English style cut, which means a thick piece of meat is sitting on top of one piece of bone (pictured below).
Note that English style is different than Flanken or cross-cut short ribs. If you use these cuts instead you will end up with very different results. If you want to make sure you are using the right cut, ask your local butcher and they will be happy to assist!
An essential part of cooking sous vide is putting ingredients in an air-tight bag or container. The two most common techniques to package your ingredients are vacuum sealing and using the water displacement method.
A vacuum sealer removes all the air and seals the contents of a plastic bag through a vacuum. Ensuring the food is airtight and properly sealed prevents the bag from floating, which can result in uneven cooking. If you are in the market for a vacuum sealer, I’d recommend the Anova sealer.
The displacement method is a technique where you first place your food and marinades in a sous vide bag, submerge the bag in a container of water, and allow the pressure to force all the air out of the bag.
Time and Temperature
Through loads of experimentation, we’ve found that cooking the short ribs at 144F for 48 hours is the perfect combo. Leaving the ribs in for 48 hours breaks down the connective tissue (collagen), which results in an extremely tender meat. Also, cooking the short ribs at a temperature of 144F is the sweet spot for that perfect edge to edge rosy color.
Just make sure you have a reliable sous vide that accurately regulates the temperature of the bath or your results may vary (check out the Anova or Joule). For other time and temperature options, check out our cooking guide here.
Can You Sous Vide Frozen Short Ribs?
The quick answer is, absolutely! Cooking frozen foods sous vide is an ultra convenient, safe way to prepare your protein. Just take the food directly from the fridge, repackage it (unless you know the bag is sous vide safe) and let the sous vide work its magic.
Generally the only thing you’ll need to adjust is the cook time. However, since we are already cooking the short ribs sous vide for 48 hours there is no need to add on any additional time.
Best Way to Sear After Sous Vide
Searing is the most critical step in the sous vide process. Getting a deep, rich sear can make your food look like it is Michelin star quality. Failing to do so will make your dinner guests wonder why they let you cook again.
If you want an amazing sear, you’ve got to:
1. Pat the meat completely dry with a paper towel
2. Season generously with salt or seasoning of your choice
3. Sear at extremely high temperatures.
At this point you want to determine the best searing method. For short ribs, we suggest pan searing, grilling or using a searing torch. The trick is getting the pan, grill or torch extremely hot, then searing for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. This results in a quick, high-quality sear without overcooking the meat.
Sous Vide Machine – This one is obvious. To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule.
The main difference between the two is that with the Anova you can control the device both manually and with a mobile device, and with the Joule you can only control the device by using your mobile device. Either way, both sous vide machines are top class and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for hours care-free.
Cast Iron Skillet – If you are looking to take your searing game to the next level, we recommend investing in a cast iron skillet. By using a cast iron in this recipe, you’ll achieve a deep sear on the protein. Cast irons are also extremely handy for searing just about any and all sous vide meat. Lodge offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite cast iron brand.
Check out our full list of recommended gear here.
Sous Vide Short Ribs with Red Wine Reduction
- 4 beef short ribs, bone-in (roughly 8 ounces each)
- 1 1/2 cups full bodied red wine, preferably Cabernet
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups beef broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
Set sous vide machine to 62C/144F.
Place short ribs in freezer bag and remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Drop the bag in the bath for 48 hours.
Remove bag from bath. Take short ribs out of the bag, pat dry and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat butter in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil and cook until it is reduced by half. Add beef broth and cook over medium-high until reduced and thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once reduced, taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary.
Heat a large skillet on high and add oil. Sear for 90 seconds on each side, using a pastry brush to glaze the red wine reduction onto the short ribs as it sears. Remove from pan and place on plate to rest. Cut the short ribs into desired size, top with remaining sauce and serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!
Please ensure that the short ribs you use in this recipe are English style, which is when there is a thick piece of meat sitting on top of one piece of bone. Please do not use Flanken or cross-cut short ribs.