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Savory mushrooms with juicy and tender fall off the bone short ribs, on top of creamy parmesan risotto. This dish is rich, decadent, and totally restaurant worthy. This impressive dinner will be a hit with anyone you serve it to.
I need to let you know that this recipe only looks complicated, but it's really not that hard! I promise you home cooks can make this decadent short rib risotto recipe in their own kitchen. This is a great recipe for special occasions, date nights, or cozy weekends in.
Why you'll love this recipe
- The short ribs are braised to a melt in your mouth texture, and are full of rich flavor.
- Even if you've never made risotto, its easier than you think!
- Parmesan finishes off this risotto for a rich and nutty flavor.
- You can save time by making a big batch of short ribs ahead of time and freezing portions for later.
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Ingredients & Substitutions
See the recipe card below for full list of ingredients and measurements.Jump to Recipe
Short ribs - You will need 2-3 pounds of bone in short ribs. You can substitute for boneless ones, at about half that amount. I do recommend using bone in ones though, since braising with the bones adds so much flavor.
Onions - Two large onions are needed. I use yellow onion, but you can substitute for white ones.
Garlic - I only use fresh cloves of garlic. The pre-minced stuff isn’t worth the time you save. Get a garlic press and it is easy to mince it fresh.
Red wine - Use a dry red wine like cabernet sauvignon. Avoid any overly sweet wines. It doesn’t have to be an expensive wine.
Sherry - Dry cooking sherry is usually available near the olive oils and balsamic vinegars in the grocery store. You can substitute for white wine. If you want a non alcoholic substitute, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to ½ cup of water. Note that the alcohol does burn off while cooking.
Beef stock - You will need about 2 quarts of beef stock for this recipe, or use a beef base dissolved in water like I do. You can also substitute for mushroom stock or vegetable broth.
Mushrooms - I used baby portobello mushrooms, cut into quarters. You can use white button mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, or large portobellos cut into bite size pieces.
Parmesan - I recommend using authentic Parmigiano Reggiano that is freshly grated. For this recipe it is best to very finely grate the parmesan with a microplane. It should be a fluffy texture.
PRO TIP: How to measure grated parmesan cheese? For this recipe, you will want to very finely grate the parmesan cheese with a microplane. It should be a light and fluffy texture, grated directly into the measuring cup if you don’t have a kitchen scale. Please note that 1 cup here does not equal 8 ounces, it will be more like 1 cup = 1 ounce of finely grated parmesan.
Arborio rice - This is a special kind of rice used to make risotto. It is a starchy short grain rice that makes a creamy texture risotto when cooked properly.
Fresh herbs - This is a rich recipe, so it benefits from a topping of fresh herbs. Try parsley, fresh thyme, or fresh chives.
PRO TIP: Reduce kitchen waste! If you have any carrots or celery that you need to use in your fridge, feel free to chop those up and sauté with the onions to braise with the short ribs.
Step by step instructions
This recipe is broken down into two 3 components:
- Braised short ribs
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Parmesan risotto
How to braise short ribs
First let’s start with an explanation of the cooking method. What is braising? Braising is usually a two part process. First the food is seared over high dry heat, then cooked in a liquid in a closed container, usually over a longer period of time. The dry heat allows extra flavor to develop, while the wet heat helps to break it down. The result is typically very flavorful and tender.
Braising results in a big flavor pay off for these short ribs, and the best part is - the oven is doing most of the work! I give some more explanation on the method in this post, Braised Pot Roast.
The great thing about short ribs is that they are heavily marbled, making them very flavorful cuts of meat. They do well with braising for a few hours, allowing the fats to render down. The result is a melt in your mouth savory beefy flavor.
Read the recipe card below for a full explanation of how to make this recipe perfectly.
PRO TIP: You get a better sear on proteins when they are closer to room temperature, so take your beef short ribs out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to cook them.
Bonus points if you allow the beef to sit on a plate uncovered in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before taking out. The circulating air in the refrigerator helps to dry the beef making achieving a great sear even easier.
To prep the short ribs for braising, pat them dry and lightly salt them. Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat
Sear the short ribs on all sides until a browned crust develops. Remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside.
PRO TIP: To prevent this final dish from being too salty, only lightly salt the beef short ribs before searing. You can always add more salt before serving if needed.
Sauté the onions and garlic, then deglaze with red wine. Scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the short ribs back to the pot, and fill with enough broth to almost cover the short ribs.
Cover pot and cook in a 350°F oven for about 2-3 hours, until the short ribs are tender and falling off the bone.
When done, remove the bones and any extra fatty pieces and chop into bite sized chunks. Gloves make it easier to pick apart the short ribs. Return the meat to the gravy that has formed from the cooking liquid.
PRO TIP: When making a sauce, it is important to finish salting until it has reduced to the desired consistency. If it is perfectly salted before it is reduced, it will be too salty when it is complete.
In the last 45 minutes of the short ribs cooking time, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and mushrooms, and cook until brown, about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, and set mushrooms aside.
PRO TIP: The best way to brown mushrooms is to add them to the hot pan, and leave them alone for at least 5 minutes, allowing them to brown before disturbing them. Normally I will tell you not to crowd the pan when trying to brown something, but in the case of mushrooms, it is ok. Don’t add salt until the very end of cooking them. Salt will release moisture from the mushrooms, preventing them from browning.
How to make risotto
Risotto might be a little intimidating, but I’m here to make this easy peasy for you! With a little stirring and some patience, you will be eating delicious creamy risotto in no time.
PRO TIP: Heat up the broth to a low simmer in a separate pot before you start your risotto. When you add broth that is already hot to the rice, it helps it cook faster and more evenly.
Heat up the broth to a low simmer in a small pot. In a separate saucepan, sauté onions and garlic. Deglaze with sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Add in the dry risotto and lightly toast in the pan for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next is pouring and stirring, and pouring and stirring. Add in the hot broth to the arborio rice in batches, ½ cup at a time. Stir occasionally in between. Don’t add the next ½ cup until all the broth has absorbed. This should take about 5 minutes for each ½ cup. If it is happening too quickly or too slowly, adjust your heat accordingly.
You will need 3-4 cups of broth per 1 cup of arborio rice.
PRO TIP: You don't have to stir the risotto constantly, occasionally is fine as long as it's not sticking.
PRO TIP: The final texture of risotto should be slightly chewy, but not mushy. It should be creamy, slightly runny, and spread out when plated. I however like my risotto thicker, so I reduce it a little more.
Once all the liquid has been absorbed, stir in parmesan cheese and butter. Mix until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, put it all together! To serve, add the browned mushrooms to the beef and gravy. Serve beef and gravy on top of the risotto in shallow bowls. Top with fresh herbs and more parmesan cheese. Serve with red wine.
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Make ahead instructions
This dish can be time consuming, so making a portion of it ahead of time is a great way to save time.
I recommend making a double or triple batch of the short ribs, then freezing the leftovers in quart size freezer bags with 2 portions each. Freeze them flat to make defrosting easier later.
When you are ready to use, you can defrost the short ribs while you make the risotto.
Short ribs aren't tender enough: Cover the pot and cook for another 30-60 minutes.
Risotto is too runny: Allow the risotto to simmer for a few more minutes while stirring.
Risotto is too thick: Add more broth and stir to combine.
Risotto is too mushy: There isn't a way to fix this. Next time try stirring less often and cooking slightly faster.
This can be a heavy and rich dish, so keep the sides light. I recommend a green salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing, or simple vegetables like green beans or Roasted Asparagus and Brussel Sprouts.
Storage & Reheating
How to store leftovers
Store left overs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Risotto is best enjoyed fresh.
How to freeze
Short ribs and sauce can be easily frozen in freezer safe quart sized bags. Lay them flat to freeze so its easier to defrost later. Once frozen you can store upright light a filing system. Don't forget to label and date!
It is not recommended to freeze risotto.
How to reheat
Risotto can be tricky to reheat, as it will never quite be its original texture. You can reheat in the microwave or in a skillet over low heat. You may add more broth to loosen it up.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use boneless short ribs for this recipe, but I think using bone in ones gives a better flavor.
It is not necessary to trim the fat before searing the short ribs. The fat will add extra flavor to this rich dish. If the ribs are excessively fatty, you can trim some if you like.
It is not recommended to freeze risotto. It is best served fresh.
While it is possible to braise short ribs in the slow cooker, I don’t recommend it. If you do use a slow cooker, please sear the beef in a skillet prior to adding to the crock pot.
I call for olive oil and a neutral oil, like vegetable or avocado oil in this recipe. Olive oil has a lower smoking point, therefore can get smoky when searing meat at high heat. Because of this I prefer to use an oil with a lower smoking point, like vegetable oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil, when searing the short ribs. You really only need a little bit as the short ribs will emit oil as they cook. For the risotto I like to use olive oil for the better flavor.
The final texture of risotto should be creamy but not mushy. All grains should be cooked through and not crunchy. It should be thin enough to spread on a plate, however I like my risotto a little thicker so I reduce it a little bit more.
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Braised Short Rib Risotto with Mushrooms
- Basting brush optional
- Large Dutch oven with lid
- Large heavy saucepan
- gloves optional
- Small pot
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2-3 pounds bone in short ribs
- 2 cups onions diced (about 1 large onion)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¾ cups dry red wine like cabernet sauvignon
- 4 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound mushrooms quartered or sliced (I used baby portobello)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion diced (about ½ large onion)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup cooking sherry
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 3-3.5 cups beef broth could also use mushroom stock
- 2 ounces parmesan cheese freshly and finely grated (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Fresh herbs
- PREP: Take beef out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to the time you want to start cooking. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and adjust the rack to the lower ⅓. Pat the short ribs dry with paper towels and lightly salt. Heat up a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brush oil onto short ribs.
- SEAR: Sear the short ribs on all sides until a browned crust develops, a few minutes per side. The darker the better, but not burnt. Remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot.
- SAUTÉ: Reduce heat to medium and add in onions. Cook for about 5 minutes until caramelizing, occasionally stirring. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- DEGLAZE: Deglaze with red wine, scraping up any fond with a wooden spoon. Allow the wine to simmer for a few minutes while stirring until alcohol has burned off. Return short ribs to the pot along with any juices. Add in enough beef broth to cover the short ribs about ⅔ the way up, about 3-4 cups.
- BRAISE: Cover pot and cook in the oven for about 2-3 hours, until the short ribs are tender and falling off the bone.
- FINISH: Remove pot from the oven. Remove any grease that has pooled on the surface with a spoon. Remove and discard bones. They should slide out easily. Remove short ribs to a cutting board. Onions and juices in the pot should have reduced to form a thicker gravy. If braising liquid is still too thin, Simmer stovetop uncovered until it is thicker. Salt and pepper to taste once desired consistency. When short rib meat is cool enough to handle, remove and discard any fatty pieces from the beef. Chop into bite sized pieces, or shred to your preference. Add back to the gravy that has formed.
- BROWN: In the last 45 minutes of the short ribs cooking time, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and mushrooms, and cook until brown, about 10 minutes. Salt towards the end of cooking once mushrooms are already browned. Add pepper to taste. Set mushrooms aside.
- SIMMER: Heat up broth to a low simmer in a small pot.
- SAUTÉ: In a saucepan heated over medium heat, add olive oil and sauté onions for about 5 minutes, until caramelizing. Add in garlic and cook while stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- DEGLAZE: Deglaze with sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Cook for a few minutes until alcohol has burned off.
- TOAST: Add in the dry risotto and lightly toast in the pan for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- POUR AND STIR: Adjust heat to medium-low. Add in hot broth to saucepan in batches ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently. Cook until liquid has absorbed before adding the next ½ cup of broth. Each ½ cup should take about 5 minutes to absorb, 25-35 minutes total. Adjust your heat if it is going too quickly or slowly. Thicker risotto will need about 3 cups of broth, but if you want it more runny, use 3.5 cups.
- FINISH: When all the liquid has been absorbed, stir in parmesan cheese and butter. Mix until combined. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
- SERVE: Add browned mushrooms to the beef and gravy. Serve beef and gravy on top of the risotto. Top with fresh herbs.
- You can use olive oil to sear the short ribs, but olive oil has a lower smoking point, therefore can get smoky when searing meat at high heat. I prefer to use an oil with a lower smoking point, like vegetable oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil. You really only need a little bit as the short ribs will emit oil as they cook.
- To prevent this final dish from being too salty, only lightly salt the beef short ribs before searing.
- You get a better sear on proteins when they are closer to room temperature. Bonus points if you allow the beef to sit on a plate uncovered in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before taking out. The circulating air in the refrigerator helps to dry the beef making a sear easier.
- When making a sauce, it is important to finish salting until it has reduced to the desired consistency. If it is perfectly salted before it is reduced, it will be too salty when it is complete.
- Gloves make it easier to pick apart the short ribs.
- The best way to brown mushrooms is to add them to the hot pan, and leave them alone for at least 5 minutes, allowing them to brown before disturbing them. Normally I will tell you not to crowd the pan when trying to brown something, but in the case of mushrooms, it is ok. Don’t add salt until the very end of cooking them. Salt will release moisture from the mushrooms, preventing them from browning.
- The final texture of risotto should be slightly chewy, but not mushy. It should be creamy, slightly runny, and spread out when plated. I however like my risotto thicker, so I reduce it a little more.
- You should be stirring the risotto frequently, but it doesn't have to be constantly.
- Storage instructions: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Risotto is best enjoyed fresh.
- Freezing instructions: Short ribs and sauce can be easily frozen in freezer safe quart sized bags. It is not recommended to freeze risotto.
- Reheating instructions: Risotto can be tricky to reheat, as it will never quite be its original texture. You can reheat in the microwave or in a skillet over low heat. You may add more broth to loosen it up.
Hey good lookin', what ya got cookin'? I'm Lauren and I love to teach you how to make the good stuff, from scratch! I use fresh quality ingredients to create impressive but approachable restaurant worthy recipes.
Daniel Marks says
This was excellent. Did as the recipe recommended. The ribs were done in 2 hours after putting in the oven. I wasn’t ready to serve so shut the oven off and they sat for another 2 hours off heat before serving. Will definitely serve this again.
That makes me so happy! I am glad you loved it, it's one of my favorites!