Braised Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary

Adding chocolate and rosemary gives this simple short rib recipe an elegant touch which provides a slightly sweet and smoky richness to the sauce without overpowering the savory flavor. This dish is ideal to serve for a special occasion such as a family gathering or holiday meal. Like so many other full-flavored braises, this dish is best cooked ahead, refrigerated and re-warmed a day or two later.

Servings: 8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 pounds kosher bone-in short ribs, (12 large meaty short ribs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 2 cups red wine, (zinfandel or Chianti)
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 cups homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons shaved or grated bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary


  1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper, add them to the pan. Brown the meat on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the meat and add the onions, garlic, shallots, celery, and carrots. Cover the pot and decrease the heat to medium and cook the vegetables until they’re soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the wine, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, increase the heat and boil until the wine has reduced by half.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley. Return the meat to the pot, partially cover, and cook at a simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Uncover, and continue to simmer until the meat is tender, another 1 to 2 hours or more (taste a piece to be sure). At this point you may cool the dish and refrigerate to finish the next day. To re-warm remove the congealed fat and proceed with the recipe.
  6. To continue, remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Degrease the surface of the sauce and boil until the sauce goes from watery to just beginning to thicken. Decrease the heat to a simmer and stir in the bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, rosemary, and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Return the meat to the pan and cook 5 minutes more to warm through. Serve at once.