The Perfect Fall Dinner Party Recipe


The Perfect Fall Dinner Party Recipe.  If your hosting friends this fall, here’s the perfect dinner party recipe for you.  You can make most of it ahead of time, so you’re spending the night with guests and not in the kitchen!

Fall is the perfect time for slow cooking and comfort food.  These braised short ribs have a deep, rich flavor that you can only get from slow cooked comfort food; and they are even better when prepared ahead of time – another reason they are perfect for a dinner party.   Serve the short ribs atop creamy risotto, and your guest will be in heaven!  This hearty meal is a soul mate for a rich Cabernet Sauvignon.

Braised Beef Short Ribs in Cabernet Sauce

Serves 8  (These servings are not huge; they are meant to be savored as a topping to the risotto.)


  • 4 lbs. natural beef short ribs, cut English style, 1 ½ inch thick and trimmed,
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, as needed to coat the bottom of the pot for browning the beef
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 24 sprigs fresh thyme (8 for braising and 16 for garnish)
  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon wine (don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink)
  •  6 cups beef stock


  1. Using a nine-quart braising pot, add just enough oil to cover the bottom. Heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Pat ribs dry and season ribs with sea salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the ribs.
  3. Brown all four sides of each rib. Remove ribs from the pot. Pour off most of the fat in the pot, leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Also, leave the nice brown bits at the bottom of the pan; they will create rich flavor in the sauce.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. With the small amount of oil and fat left in the pan, sauté onions and garlic for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, just until onions are translucent, but not brown. Stir in the wine, bay leaves, and thyme. Boil the liquid mixture to reduce to half its original volume.
  6. Return the ribs to the pot and add enough stock to just cover the meat. Bring to a boil on the stove top, cover tightly, and transfer to the preheated oven.
  7. Braise for three to four hours. The ribs are done when the meat is tender and just begins to fall off the bone.
  8. Remove meat from the pot and cool.
  9. Strain the remaining liquid into a container and refrigerate overnight.
  10. When the meat is cool, you can remove it from the bone and cut off the excess fat and tendons that hold the meat to the bone. Leave large chunks of meat, don’t completely shred beef. Cover meat and refrigerate.
  11. 11.  The next day remove the solid fat that has formed on the top of the sauce. This is the best way to separate and remove the fat. If you separate the fat when the sauce is warm, you are apt to lose a good portion of your sauce.
  12. One hour before serving, return the sauce and the ribs to your clean braising pot, cover and heat in a preheated 300-degree oven for an hour before serving.


We recommend using the following method to get a “jump start” on preparing the risotto. This method saves you from standing at the stove for twenty-five minutes, stirring while your guests wait for you.


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 medium shallots, diced
  • 7 ½ cups chicken broth (1/2 cup extra if needed in final preparation)
  • 2 ¼ cups Arborio rice
  • 1 ¼ cups dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano


  1. Set aside 2 ½ cups of the chicken broth for use in the final preparation of risotto.
  2. In a saucepan, heat five cups chicken broth, cover, and keep warm on low heat.
  3. In a six-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender, about ten minutes. Add Arborio Rice to the shallots, mixing well until rice is lightly toasted.
  4. Stir in the wine and continue stirring until the wine is almost entirely absorbed.
  5. Add ½ cup of heated chicken stock to the rice mixture, and constantly stir until the rice absorbs the broth. Continue this process until you’ve stirred in the five cups of broth.
  6. Pour rice into a shallow baking dish, cover, and refrigerate.
  7. Thirty minutes before serving the risotto, remove it from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
  8. Heat remaining 2 ½ cups chicken broth in your risotto pan. Add partially prepared risotto to the chicken stock and stir until absorbed.
  9. The risotto should be creamy, not soupy; test it by putting a spoonful on a plate. If a puddle of liquid forms, continue cooking and stirring until creamy. If the risotto is dry, add some additional warm broth until it is the correct consistency.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
  11. For an elegant presentation, place two spoonfuls of risotto on the center of each plate and make a well in the middle. Neatly place a serving of Braised Beef Short Ribs in the well and spoon a tablespoon or two of the Cabernet Sauce over the beef. Do not douse the dish with sauce.
  12. Garnish with thyme (form an X using two sprigs). Serve immediately
  13. Cover remaining amount to keep warm for anyone who wants seconds.
  14. The initial serving amount should not overwhelm. As guests finish their servings, offer seconds.

Dawn Sandomeno and Elizabeth Mascali

Dawn Sandomeno and Elizabeth Mascali, co-founders and owners of Party Bluprints Inc. and The Partybluprints Blog, a are lifestyle and entertaining experts. In October 2010, Dawn and Elizabeth published their first book, Plan to Party.  Their mission is to make home entertaining simple and special. Dawn and Elizabeth have been featured on NBCTODAY Show, Fox TV Good Day NY, Good Housekeeping, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, Consumer Report’s Smart Shopper, Redbook Magazine, Woman’s World Magazine, Money Talks News, Denver Life, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Fox News Strategy Room, CBS NY2, and many more regional and local radio shows and newspapers. In addition, they have been featured on countless sites and blogs including,,, and’s “Insider’s Blog”.

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