Delicious Beef Short Ribs with Chocolate Rosemary Wine Sauce

Are you looking for tummy-warming recipes for winter? Braised beef short ribs fits the bill. They make me imagine warm, comforting, belly-filling food. You will love these delicious beef short ribs with chocolate rosemary wine sauce.

This meal is easy and elegant. The dish is great for a weeknight, but also perfect for a dinner party.

How do you entertain during the holidays? We love to mix it up – sometimes it’s a large group for cocktails and appetizers and other times it’s a small group for a cozy dinner party.

If that is the case for you, what do you prepare as the main course winter meal?  Beef short ribs are a perfect choice.

You can opt for beef tenderloin – impressive and elegant, but let’s face it, it’s expensive and you have to make sure it’s cooked a perfect medium-rare.  

Chicken doesn’t have quite the wow factor. Seafood is iffy for different palates.  Crown pork loin is impressive for sure, but a little harder to maneuver at serving time.

For us, braising is always the way to go. This dish, Beef Short Ribs with Chocolate Rosemary Wine Sauce, strikes the right balance between easy, make ahead, and elegant and impressive.

Perfect Winter Main Course: Beef Short Ribs

What is Braising?

Braising is the perfect cooking technique for special meals in the winter.  First, what is braising?

Less tender cuts of meat are first browned (seared) in fat (oil or butter), covered in a small amount of liquid and cooked low and slow for several hours.  

You can braise on the stove-top or in the oven.

Braising results in meat that is full of flavor and meltingly tender. Once the meat starts cooking, you can almost leave it completely alone for 2 – 4 hours, depending on the size and amount of meat.  

Another plus: the searing and initial cooking can be done a day ahead, then finish cooking a few hours before serving. You can completely make the recipe, refrigerate it overnight, and then reheat it before serving.

We made the beef short ribs for New Year’s Eve 2023. We found this melt-in-your-mouth, full-of-rich-flavor, beef short ribs with chocolate rosemary wine sauce several years ago in Bon Appètit. We’ve made it several times and it is always delicious. 

Beef short ribs are always a good choice because one really, large meaty rib is one serving.  If it falls off the bone, it’s even easier for guests to eat.  The sauce that is created will make your mouth water and short ribs are very affordable.

Cooking Tools You Will Need

How to Make Beef Short Ribs

Regardless of the seasoning or sauce for the beef short ribs, the process is basically the same.

TIP #1: Plan on 1 large, meaty bone-in short rib per person; 6 pounds will probably yield 8 – 10 short ribs.

Short ribs usually come in pieces that are about 4 inches long.

Beef Short Ribs

The ones we most recently used for the recipe were about 6 inches long. You can ask your butcher to cut them shorter, if you like.

beef short ribs

Step 1 – Prepare your mise place; that means chopping, dicing, and measuring your ingredients. Allow about 30 minutes for this step.

beef short ribs ingredients

For the tomatoes, strain the tomatoes through a fine mesh sieve. Press the tomatoes down to release the juices into a jar. You can freeze the tomato juice for another use.

You need two cups of diced tomatoes which requires two cans of diced tomatoes.

cans of tomatoes

Browning the Short Ribs

TIP #2: Use a large Dutch oven to give the short ribs and other ingredients plenty of space. We use our large oval Le Creuset Dutch oven. You can tell that it has been lovingly used for many years.

Step 2 – Preheat the Dutch oven over medium heat. Sweat your bacon or pancetta, rendering the fat. Remove the bacon to a paper towel on a plate.

sauteing bacon for beef short ribs

Step 3 – Next, salt and pepper the short ribs and add to the Dutch oven to brown over medium-high heat. It’s O.K. to add a little extra oil if you need it.

searing beef short ribs

Use tongs to turn the short ribs to brown them on all sides.

searing beef short ribs

The ribs will render some more fat which is full of flavor.

searing beef short ribs

Remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside on a plate.

Cooking the Vegetables for Flavor

Step 4 – Cook your mire poix: onions, celery and carrots. This step adds to the foundation of flavor you started with the cooking of the bacon/pancetta and the searing of the short ribs.

sauteing vegetables for beef short ribs

Stir over medium/low heat until the vegetables are soft and the onions are transparent.

sauteing vegetables for beef short ribs
sauteing vegetables for beef short ribs

Step 5 – Add the wine and bring to a boil, reducing the broth by half, and scraping the sides of the pot.

added broth and wine to beef short ribs

Step 6 – Add the broth, drained tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and the browned bacon.

added broth and wine to beef short ribs

Step 7 – Return the ribs to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer.

added broth and wine to beef short ribs with tomatoes and ribs

Step 8 – Cover the Dutch oven and turn the heat to low. We always first cover the pot with a piece of parchment paper. This does two things:

  • It keeps your lid clean.
  • It forces the liquid that rises in the pot to fall back into the pot for more liquid.

Simmer the ribs for 1 1/2 hours.

covering the beef short ribs

Step 9 – Uncover the pot and simmer the short ribs for another 1 1/2 hours.

simmering the beef short ribs

Step 10 – The ribs will be very tender. Remove the ribs to a plate. Discard the bay leaf.

Step 11 – Spoon the fat from the surface of sauce. Boil the sauce until it begins to thicken, about 8 minutes. Reduce the sauce to medium heat.

Step 12 – Add the dark chocolate, the cocoa powder, and the rosemary sprig. Stir until the chocolate melts.

Step 13 – Add salt and pepper to taste. Return the ribs to the pot to rewarm, about 5 – 8 minutes.

TIP #3: You can prepare the recipe through Step 12 the day before serving. When you remove ribs from the refrigerator, the fat will have risen to the surface.  Use a large spoon to skim off the fat cap and discard.

TIP #4: If you like a smoother sauce, you can strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the vegetables and herbs. You can also puree the sauce in a blender.

Serving Ideas: the short ribs are wonderful served with Garlic Mashed Potatoes or Polenta. For a green vegetable, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, broccoli, and broccolini are good choices.

We got two meals from this one recipe. For New Year’s Eve, I made polenta to go with the short ribs. I served it with a delicious roasted cabbage dish.

serving the beef short ribs on plate

A couple of nights later, we reheated the short ribs and leftover cabbage. I served the short ribs over pearl couscous.

beef short ribs with cabbage

Ready to cook? Here is the equipment you will need:

beef short ribs cooking tools graphic
beef short ribs with cabbage

Delicious Beef Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary Wine Sauce

A hearty and easy braising recipe featuring meaty beef short ribs with a luscious sauce featuring rosemary and chocolate.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • ¼ cup diced pancetta can substitute bacon
  • 6 pounds bone-in beef short ribs one rib per person
  • cups finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • ¼ cup finely chopped peeled carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups chopped drained canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 very large thyme sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons shaved or grated bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder preferably Dutch-process
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary


  • Heat a heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add diced pancetta and saute until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain.
  • Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper.
  • Working in batches, brown the ribs in drippings in pot over medium-high heat until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer the ribs to a plate.
  • Add the diced onions, shallots, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the red wine. Boil uncovered to reduce until liquid is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, diced tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pancetta. Stir to combine.
  • Return the ribs to the pot, cover partially, and simmer for 1½ hours.
  • Uncover and simmer until rib meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1½ hours longer
  • Transfer the ribs to a plate; discard the bay leaf.
  • Spoon fat from the surface of the sauce. Boil the sauce until beginning to thicken, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
  • Add chocolate, cocoa powder, and rosemary, stirring until chocolate melts.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the ribs to the pot. Simmer to rewarm, about 5 minutes.


This hearty braised main course can be made ahead for weeknight dining or served as part of an elegant dinner party. Perfect for cold-weather winter preparation.
Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta, and pearl couscous.
Keyword beef short ribs, braising dish
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Want more winter recipes? Check out my Winter Recipes Board on Pinterest.

Put this dish on your “have-to-make” list. Make it this winter and save the recipe for next year’s holiday season.

pin for later graphic in blue
delicious beef short ribs
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  1. Very interesting, never seen a meat dish with chocolate and cocoa powder.
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  2. Carol- this is perfect timing.
    My daughter and I were just talking about not having a short ribs recipe!
    It was so nice meeting you during the blog hop.
    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

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