Red Wine Braised Bison Short Ribs

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Method: Braising

Get ready for some seriously impressive comfort food! This recipe for Red Wine Braised Bison Short Ribs will have your mouth watering all day as you slowly simmer dinner in a sauce of aromatic herbs and red wine. The result is an incredibly tender, flavorful dish that tastes as good as it smell. Best of all, it can be easily cooked in your oven, slow cooker or instant pot for the ultimate flexibility. 

Recipe & photography by Modern Farmhouse Eats

Recipe Notes from Modern Farmhouse Eats

Braised bison short ribs are one of my favorite things to make throughout fall & winter, and they are especially perfect for the holidays. Even though braising short ribs sounds fancy and a little intimidating, it’s actually super simple. This recipe requires minimal effort but is insanely flavorful, comforting, and impressive. Once you give the recipe a try, you’ll know what I mean. Serve these short ribs to your family and friends, and everyone will be raving!

The flavor of these braised bison short ribs is nothing short of incredible! The aromatics and fresh herbs combined with red wine and beef broth add so much flavor to the ribs and create a delicious gravy at the same time! I like to add a few secret spices that really up the flavor making this recipe extra cozy and comforting.

I highly recommend bison short ribs for this recipe, but you can definitely substitute beef short ribs if need be. Bison has a rich, clean flavor that I love. It’s also higher in protein and nutritionally superior to beef.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Incredible flavor.  The combination of red wine and unexpected spices like a little bit of paprika, chili powder and cinnamon create a savory, comforting flavor.

Insanely tender short ribs. Cooking the ribs low and slow in delicious braising liquid is the key to juicy, tender ribs.

Impressive Presentation & Taste. Though simple to make, the complex layered flavor of these Red Wine Braised Bison Short Ribs will definitely impress anyone lucky enough to try them. 

Can be cooked in the oven, slow cooker or instant pot. This recipe can easily be cooked  in the oven, slow cooker or instant pot for the ultimate flexibility. 


  • Bison Short Ribs (2-3 lbs) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt + more to season the ribs
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper + more to season the ribs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp smoked (or regular) paprika 
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef (or bison!) broth
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 sprigs fresh (or dried) thyme 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
  • mashed potatoes for serving

Directions (Oven) 

  1. Start by cutting away any silver skin from the top of the bison ribs (the meaty side).
  2. Cut the short ribs into pieces with 1-2 bones. This makes the short ribs easier to work with and divides them into single portions. 
  3. Pat the ribs dry with paper towel and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  5. Brown the short ribs by searing them in a hot pan. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a dutch oven over medium high heat. Working in batches, sear the ribs on both sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side, adding more oil if needed. Once browned, transfer to a plate and set aside. 
  6. Reduce the heat to medium. Add another tablespoon of olive oil, onion, garlic, celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions and celery begin to soften.
  7. Mix in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, then mix in the flour, paprika and chili powder and cook for another minute.
  8. While mixing, slowly pour in the red wine, then the beef broth. Add the apple cider vinegar, fresh thyme, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks.
  9. Add the carrots and browned short ribs to the pot.
  10. Coverand transfer to the oven. Cook for 3 – 3 ½ hours, or until the ribs are fork tender.
  11. Remove and discard the thyme, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks.
  12. Serve the ribs, carrots and gravy over mashed potatoes.

Slow Cooker Directions

Red wine braised bison short ribs can also be prepared in the slow cooker, but it does require a little stovetop cooking first.

Follow the directions above to prepare the short ribs, brown the short ribs, and make the braising liquid. Next, transfer the braising liquid to your slow cooker along with the browned short ribs and carrots.

If your slow cooker has a sauté feature, then you can actually prepare the entire recipe from start to finish in the slow cooker!

Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

Instant Pot Directions

Using your Instant Pot’s sauté feature, the entire recipe can be prepared from start to finish in your Instant Pot. Just follow the recipe directions above, using your Instant Pot’s sauté mode to brown the ribs. 

Add the browned ribs and braising sauce to your instant pot, place the lid on and seal it.

Cook on high pressure for 50 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes, then turn the valve to the “venting” position to release any residual pressure. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Have some questions about this recipe, how to cook bison meat, or even what it tastes like? Take a peek at these FAQS. If you still have questions, contact us, and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Is there a substitution for red wine?

If you prefer, you can substitute more broth for the red wine. Keep in mind that the flavor profile will change slightly.

Should I use good wine or a cheap one?

I do not use expensive wines when cooking, especially when using a large amount. Whether you use the cheapest red wine you can find or the finest wine you can find, when it cooks down you will likely not be able to tell the difference… even The New York Times agrees.

What kind of red wine?

For this Red Wine Braise Bison Short Ribs recipe, you will want to use a full-bodied red wine, such as merlot.

What are bison short ribs?

Bison short ribs are a cut of meat taken from the rib area of the bison. They consist of a short portion of the rib bone and the surrounding meat, which varies in thickness.

What do bison short ribs taste like?

When cooked properly, bison short ribs are incredibly tender and full of rich flavor. Bison tastes similar to beef, but is much leaner and almost sweeter. Contrary to popular belief, it does not have a”gamey” taste at all. 

Are bison short ribs tender?

Yes! When cooked low and slow in braising liquid, the bison becomes fall off the bone tender. 

Storage Instructions

Braised bison short ribs actually store incredibly well. Transfer cooled short ribs & red wine sauce to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Reheat the short ribs with the red wine sauce on the stovetop  until warm. If needed, thin out the liquid with a little water or broth. 

Freezing Instructions

To freeze, transfer cooled bison short ribs & red wine sauce to a freezer container (or divide it up between multiple freezer containers for smaller portions). Freeze for up to 3 months.

To serve, allow the short ribs to thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat the short ribs with the red wine sauce on the stovetop until warm. If the reheated sauce is too thin, let simmer on the stove until thickened to your liking. If the sauce is too thick, thin out the liquid with a little water or broth.

Other tasty recipes you might enjoy:

Bison Short Ribs Instant Pot Ramen
Instant Pot Venison Curry
elk short ribs
Beer Braised Elk Short Ribs
Instant Pot Short Ribs Ragu