Margarita's International Recipes


Molasses Brined Melting Beef Short Ribs

I really like short ribs, but I haven't yet found a recipe that enthralls me. This one, from the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California, was pretty good (my husband really liked it), but not outstanding. It's worth making, but I'll continue searching for the perfect short rib recipe.

I made it pretty much according to the instructions, though I used bone-in short ribs rather than boneless one (what my supermarket had). I also halved the marinade (and there was plenty for the short ribs) and used beef stock instead of expensive and difficult to find veal stock.

The dish was supposed to be accompanied by sauteed root vegetables, but I decided to serve it with mashed potatoes instead.

Molasses Brined Melting Beef Short Ribs


  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 4-5 lbs short ribs
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups beef broth


In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup molasses with the kosher salt, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf peppercorns, dry mustard, onion and warm water. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Trim the short ribs of excessive fat. Put them in the bowl with the marinade, making sure they are covered. Marinate overnight.

Remove the short ribs from the marinade and discard the marinade. Put the short ribs in a paper towel and let them drain for a while. Season with salt & pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Heat the oil in a roasting pan or other wide pan. Sear the short ribs until nicely brown on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and saute until brown. Add 1/4 cup molasses and the broth and stir. Remove from heat.

Return the short ribs to the pan and cover (use aluminum foil if the pan doesn't have a lid). Place in the oven and cook for 2-3 hours, until the short ribs are very tender. Remove the short ribs from the pan and keep warm. Place the pan on the stove top and boil liquid to reduce by half. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Return short ribs to the pan and warm, then serve.

Adapted from Linda & Steve Baurer Recipes from Historic California: A Restaurant Guide and Cookbook

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