Pumpkin Braised Short Ribs are every bit as dreamy as they sound. Perfect for a cozy fall dinner, these ribs are super succulent and the pumpkin sauce is subtly sweet, rich and creamy.
Every year as we head into fall, we naturally feel the urge to cook with pumpkins and make warm, comforting one-pot meals.
These pumpkin ribs are braised to perfection, and are not to be missed!
Whether you’re making a cozy dinner for the family, or casually entertaining a few friends on the weekend, this recipe will be a huge hit.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Ribs
(Often I suggest brands I love and use — they’re only suggestions, this is not a sponsored post.)
- bone-in beef short ribs – Look for well-marbled, meaty ribs, firmly attached to the bone, without too much surface fat.
- olive oil – I like this one.
- fresh garlic – Look for firm heads of garlic without any soft spots or green shoots, which is an indication of old garlic. (Raw garlic cloves should be firm without any dark spots.)
- fresh thyme – For all fresh herbs, choose bunches that are perky and avoid any brown, bruised or yellow leaves.
- ground cinnamon
- pumpkin purée
- beef stock – Try to purchase one with little to no sodium.
- red wine – I like to cook with dry red wines, such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Pinot Noir.
- salt – I cook with Kosher salt. (It’s coarse and salts foods in a subtle way that enhances their flavor without making them taste salty.)
- black pepper – Freshly ground is best.
How to Make it
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
– Place the ribs on a baking sheet and season all sides generously with salt and pepper.
– Lightly coat the bottom of an oven-safe pot with olive oil and place it over high heat. Add the ribs to the pot once it’s very hot, about 4 at a time. Once all sides are nicely browned, remove them from the pot and place them on a plate. Repeat until all of the ribs are browned.– Add the onions to the pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until they are golden and are soft.
– Add the garlic, fresh thyme and cinnamon and cook for another minute or so, until it’s very aromatic.– Now add the pumpkin and cook until it begins to brown. The bottom of your pot will become brown, too, and this is okay.
– Pour in the stock and wine and use a deglazing spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan, working all the flavor back into the sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and do not cover.
– Preheat the oven to 325°F, and let the mixture simmer until it has reduced by about a third.
– Return the ribs to the pot and gently stir them into the sauce. Cover and place the pot in the oven and braise until the meat is very tender and easily comes off the bone, about 2 hours. (Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time.)– If the braising liquid is as think as you’d like it to be, then it’s ready. Or, to thicken it more, remove the lid, place the pot over low heat on the stove, and let it simmer until it’s as thick as you’d like. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- These Pumpkin Braised Short Ribs are divine served with polenta — especially this Creamy Gorgonzola Polenta.
- Like most short rib recipes, pasta, rice or bread are great to soak up the delicious braising sauce.
Can you make it ahead?
Yes, you can make this over the weekend and enjoy it all week long. It only gets better with time.
This recipe takes some thoughtful planning, but after you get it going, it’ll just hang out in the oven for a couple of hours (and perfume your home while it does).
I know time is precious, but so is good food.
I hope you love the pumpkin ribs as much as my family and I do!
More comforting savory pumpkin recipes . . .
Pumpkin Braised Short Ribs Recipe
- 4¼ pounds beef short ribs, bone-in
- olive oil to coat pan
- 4 cups sliced onion (about ¼-inch thick)
- 1½ tablespoons finely chopped garlic
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, washed and dried
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 3 cups beef stock
- 1 cup dry red wine (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Season the ribs. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and season all sides generously with salt and pepper.
- Sear the ribs. Lightly coat the bottom of an oven-safe pot (approximately 10 to 12-inch diameter), with olive oil. (A Dutch Oven is perfect.) Place the pot over high heat. Add the ribs to the pot once it's very hot, about 4 at a time -- you should hear a sizzling sound, and if you don't, it's not hot enough. Wait until it's very hot and listen for the sizzle! Searing the meat this way seals in the juices, caramelizes the surface, and reduces the overall cooking time. Brown the ribs very well, about three minutes per side. Remove the ribs from pot, place them on a plate, and set aside. Repeat this until all of the ribs are browned.
- Begin making the braising liquid/sauce. Add the onions to the pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until they are golden and are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the fresh thyme and cinnamon and cook for another minute or so, until it's very aromatic. Now add the pumpkin and cook until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. The bottom of your pot will become brown, too, and this is okay. In fact, it's great! It is flavor!
- Deglaze, simmer and set the oven. Pour in the stock and wine and use a deglazing spatula (a wooden one with a flat edge is best), to scrape the bottom of the pan, working all the wonderful flavor back into the sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and do not cover. Preheat the oven to 325°F.Let the mixture simmer until it has reduced by about ⅓, about 20 minutes.
- Add the ribs to the liquid and braise in the oven. Return the ribs to the pot and gently stir them into the sauce. Cover the pot and place in the preheated 325°F oven. Braise until the meat is very tender and easily comes off the bone, about 2 hours. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. If the braising liquid is as thick as you'd like it to be, then it's ready. Otherwise, to thicken the liquid further, remove the lid, place the pot over low heat on the stove, and let it simmer until it's as thick as you'd like.
- Season and serve. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)Serve with the braising liquid.