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Truly tender oven baked beef short ribs with apple cider

Fall off the bone tender oven baked beef short ribs should have lots of deep flavor without too much work. With a dutch oven to retain moisture, do a bit of prep and hand the rest off to your oven while you sit back and relax. Serve your short ribs over mashed potatoes for true comfort.

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We love braised chuck roasts in the oven. It makes the most tender meat that your slow cooker just can’t replicate. And it’s the same with these amazing short ribs.

There are beef ribs–as in a whole rack that are usually used for barbecue–and there are other cuts of short ribs. It can get a bit confusing, but short ribs can come from the chuck or the plate. The short ribs I’m using today come from the plate area and have more fat than some other types. The short ribs from the chuck have the least fat.

a stack of beef short ribs on a platter

It doesn’t really matter where yours come from on the cow but you may have meat with more fat and I’d recommend trimming a bit of that away if there’s a lot of it. Otherwise your final result is pretty greasy. Ask me how I know.

Beyond that, a few basic ingredients and time in the oven will yield the baked beef short ribs of your dreams.

Tips for the best oven baked beef short ribs

  • As always the quality of your ingredients matter. Use a good chicken stock (I recommend this one) if you don’t make your own. I recommend chicken stock instead of the more obvious beef broth because canned or store bought beef broth is just awful. Chicken stocks are a bit better in quality and they’ll work fine.
  • Make sure you don’t use bouillon powders with their sky high amounts of salt. You’ll ruin the recipe for sure.
  • Fresh herbs are used here but they will lose a lot of their flavoring power during the cooking time. Save some to sprinkle over the top of your dish when serving.
  • The apple cider and diced apples in the sauce don’t make the dish truly sweet. They just add a nice depth.
  • I did use red wine in this version. I was pretty excited to find it in a 2-cup box at the store since I don’t drink or use wine often. You can just use an extra cup of chicken broth if you’d like to leave it out.
  • Depending on the fat and marbling in your ribs, you could be left with a significant amount of fat on your sauce when your ribs are done. I used a ladle and dipped that out–I had nearly 2 cups of fat to remove!

How to prepare your beef short ribs for the oven

Start by coating your beef in salt and pepper. Don’t by shy. They can handle it. Then lightly coat in flour (I used gluten free) and sear in hot oil. Make sure to brown all sides. This builds flavor for the final dish.

a pot of browned beef short ribs in cooking liquid ready for the oven

Then take out the ribs, sautee the onions, pack the ribs back in and put everything else in the pot. Put the lid on and bake it low and slow until the meat is sinfully tender. About 3 hours depending on the size of your short ribs.

Should beef short ribs be covered in the oven?

Yes. I recommend a solid dutch oven for the best results. It keeps the moisture recirculating inside the pot and ensures it stays moist.

Should the ribs be served on or off the bone?

With this method, you’ll be lucky if the bone doesn’t totally fall out before you can even think of getting them to the table. That’s why I saved everyone the work and just brought the meat to the table minus the bones. Either way is fine though.

What to serve with baked beef short ribs

I served ours on a bed of sour cream mashed potatoes but mashed cauliflower would be good if you are watching your carbs.

A crusty roll or no knead quick dinner roll would be good for sopping up the delicious sauce, too.

If you need something green on the side, roasted Brussel sprouts or a pear and gorgonzola salad would be delicious.

a plate of pulled oven baked beef short ribs over mashed potatoes
a plate of mashed potatoes with oven baked short ribs and sauce

Truly Tender Oven Baked Short Ribs with Apple Cider

Make the most tender, deeply flavored beef short ribs you've ever had with this easy recipe.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 5 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 5 pounds beef short ribs bone in
  • 3 tablespoons flour gluten free works
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 medium yellow onions peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup chicken broth beef broth is fine
  • 1 cup red wine optional, use 1 more cup broth if omitting
  • 6 carrots peeled and cut in to 1" pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 tablespoons thyme fresh
  • 1 apple cored and quartered, unpeeled, optional
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Preheat the oven to 325. Adjust the rack to the middle to make room for your dutch oven.
  • Sprinkle the short ribs evenly with salt and pepper. Add the flour to a plate and roll the ribs on all sides (even the ends) to coat. Set aside, and heat the oil in the dutch oven over medium high heat until just shimmering, about 3 or so minutes.
  • Add the ribs, a few at a time and sear until golden brown on all sides, turning every minute or two. Remove the ribs to a plate if needed and repeat with any ribs that wouldn't fit, then place all the ribs on a plate while the onions cook.
  • To the fat remaining in your pot, add the onions and saute until just softening–6 to 8 minutes. Add the ribs back in then add the cider, broth, wine if using, carrots, garlic, thyme, apple, and bay leaves.
  • Cover and bake until the ribs are fork tender and the meat is falling off the bone. That was about 3 hours for me. Check yours halfway through cooking to make sure the liquid isn't evaporating.
  • Once out of the oven, remove any excess fat from the sauce if needed. Use a ladle to gently scoop any fat from the surface or use a fat separator.
  • Serve the ribs warm over mashed potatoes with a bit of fresh thyme on top.


Serving: 1poundCalories: 832kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 66gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 1377mgPotassium: 1780mgFiber: 5gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 12390IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 9mg
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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.