The cold weather months are not my favorite.  On weekdays I’m out the door before the sun rises and then I’m rushing from the car to daycare to car to work work work, back to daycare and finally home (obviously after the sun sets because it sets so darn early.)  But winter weekends…I can get on board with those.  Though I do miss the warm weather activities of spring and summer, there is much to be said for being staying inside cozy and comfortable.  And there is even more to be said for taking full advantage of this season, cooking something slowly and with care, filling the house with incredible smells and bellies with warmth.

This meal…oh, my friends, this meal.  Short ribs, Cabernet, pasta, fresh greens – what more do you need to know?  The short ribs are definitely the star of this dish but the whole combination just works so very well together.  Though I love every recipe I share in this space, I reserve gushing for the best of the best.  This meal is completely gush-worthy.  It’s one of those where each and every bite elicits an, “Mmmmm…”, “Wow…”, “So good…”, etc.  Truly comfort food at its finest.

  • Yield about 8-10 servings


  • About 4 lbs. meaty short ribs, excess fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped carrot
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle cabernet sauvignon
  • 6 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 4 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock
  • 1 lb. pasta shapes, such as orecchiette
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed and coarsely chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Season both sides of the short ribs generously with salt and pepper.  In a large pot with a lid, such as a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add a few of the short ribs to the pot (as many as can be easily fit in a single layer).  Sear on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove seared ribs to a plate and repeat with remaining short ribs.

  • 02

    Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.  (If you do not have enough fat, add in more olive oil.)  Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in half of the minced garlic and the tomato paste.  Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and the tomato paste begins to caramelize, 1-2 minutes.

  • 03

    Increase the heat to high.  Add the wine to the pan slowly, scraping the bottom to deglaze the pan.  Maintain the heat at a low boil and let the wine reduce down to half the volume, about 12-15 minutes.  Return the seared short ribs to the pan along with the herbs.  If necessary, add the chicken or beef stock so that the short ribs are half submerged in liquid.  Bring to a boil. Cover the top of the pot with a piece of parchment paper, then top with the lid to securely hold the parchment paper in place.  Transfer the pot to the oven and let cook until the meat falls off the bone easily, at least 2½ hours.

  • 04

    When the meat is finished cooking, remove the short ribs to a platter.  Once cool enough to handle, shred into bite sized pieces.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.  Cook until al dente, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.

  • 05

    Strain the sauce left in the pot to remove the solids.  Return the pot to the stove over medium-high heat and let the sauce reduce to a thicker consistency, 5-10 minutes.  Once reduced, set aside to cool for a few minutes.  Skim the excess fat from the top of the sauce.

  • 06

    In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté the onion and remaining 2 cloves garlic briefly, about 2 minutes.  Add the chard to the pan.  Stir briefly, then cover to let wilt.   Stir if needed to evenly wilt all of the chard. Once the pasta is cooked and drained and the greens are finished wilting, combine them together in the largest pan.  Stir in a small amount of the reserved pasta water (about ¼ cup).  Then toss in the shredded short ribs and the cabernet reduction.  Mix gently until thoroughly combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and if needed, add additional pasta water for moisture.  Serve warm with freshly grated Parmesan.