Geoffrey Zakarian Braises Short Ribs In A Full Bottle Of Red Wine

Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian is spilling the beans — or rather, the wine — on his secret to perfectly braised short ribs, sharing that he doesn't just use a splash of wine in his recipe — he uses the entire bottle. During an episode of Food Network's "The Kitchen," Zakarian demonstrated how he uses red wine to infuse his short ribs with rich, complex taste.

By using a full bottle of wine, ideally, a Bordeaux or Burgundy, Zakarian ensures that every bite is packed with a bold, robust wine flavor that is a hallmark of this dish and will leave you craving more. Both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines have rich, dark red fruit flavors like plum and black currant in Bordeaux and cherry and blackberries in Burgundy. These dark red fruits all marry with the savory flavors of the short ribs beautifully.

But why use a whole bottle? It's all about depth of flavor. The wine is a flavor enhancer that imparts the short ribs with intense, fruity notes. As the ribs braise low and slow in the wine, they soak up all of its delicious flavors, resulting in a dish that's bursting with savory goodness.

Using so much wine also elevates the texture of the short ribs

And let's not forget about texture. Wine also acts as a tenderizing agent, helping break down the tough tissue of the short ribs. This results in melt-in-your-mouth meat that falls off the bone with ease. The wine, along with a thickening agent, also helps to create a luxurious, velvety texture in the braising liquid, which in turn coats the short ribs with a silky glaze that's simply irresistible. 

But what about evaporation? By braising the short ribs at a low temperature for an extended period, Zakarian minimizes evaporation — though some should take place — and ensures that the braising liquid remains rich and flavorful until the very end. Note that you want to use a large enough pot that the ribs are not fully immersed in the wine. 

To incorporate this much red wine into Tasting Table's Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs, it's important to understand the amount of liquid you are working with and that needs to be replaced. A 750-milliliter bottle of red wine is the equivalent of three cups. To get the most flavor by using more red wine as Zakarian does, replace one cup of beef broth with wine. This will allow you to use the whole bottle, one cup of broth, and more broth as needed for additional liquid. With a full bottle of wine and some patience, you'll be serving up restaurant-worthy ribs sure to impress even the most discerning palates.