While short rib sliders make an amazing meal any time of year, they are a fall staple and a fantastic tailgate snack. This is a fairly simple yet time intensive recipe, but so worth every second. Every bite drips with decadence and the savory bacon blue slaw washed down with a bold Zinfandel or meaty, spicy Syrah is like a symphony on your palate.

You can pair a few different varietals quite well with this dish. I prefer a Zinfandel or Syrah, but a Napa Cab works quite well too!  Grab your favorite bottle or try one of these selections to pair with this feast.

Recipe: Short Rib Sliders w/Bacon Blue Slaw

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours
Makes 12-16 sliders

Ingredients: Short Ribs (Can be made one day ahead of time)

 8 short ribs (trimmed of excess fat)
½ cup brown sugar
Salt  & Pepper
2 tbls. olive oil

4 carrots
4 stalks of celery
1 large yellow onion
1/2 medium fennel bulb
4 sprigs rosemary & thyme
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 bottle dry red wine (Bordeaux, Cotes du Rhone, Chianti)
1 qt. low sodium chicken or beef stock
1 tbsp. juniper berries
1 bayleaf
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 

Ingredients: Bacon Blue Slaw

1 head of red cabbage (shredded)
½ medium fennel bulb (shredded)
4 scallions
¼ cup mayo
8 oz. stilton
1 tbsp. honey
8 strips of thick-cut bacon (cooked & chopped)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1tsp. pepper


Pre-heat oven to 350°

In a large dutch oven, drizzle a thin layer of oil over medium heat. Generously coat short ribs with salt, pepper and brown sugar.  The sugar will help caramelize the beef.   Once the oil has a slight shimmer place the short ribs in pan and let brown on all sides – about 4-5 minutes per side. Patience is key here. This is where all the flavor develops.

While the beef is caramelizing, place carrots, celery, onion, garlic and ½ the fennel bulb in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Once beef is browned on all sides, remove from pan.  Add chopped veggies to the beef rendering and caramelize for 10-12 minutes.  Once veggies are caramelized, add tomato paste and let cook 2 minutes.  Add red wine and deglaze pan. Let reduce for 10 minutes.  Add 1 quart low sodium chicken or beef stock, rosemary & thyme bundle, juniper berries and bay leaf and stir.  Gently place short ribs in dutch oven. Make sure there’s enough liquid covering all the ribs. You can add extra stock if needed.

Cover dutch oven and place in oven at 350° for 4 hours. Check halfway through the cooking process and turn the meat and ensure it’s fully covered.

While the short ribs are braising in the oven, you can prepare the slaw.  Take the mayo, red wine vinegar, honey, salt & pepper and whisk in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine shredded cabbage, fennel, scallions ,stilton, bacon and pour mayo mixture over top and fold in all of the ingredients.  Set aside.

Now that the short ribs are done, take the ribs out of the pan and let cool for about 30 minutes.  Shred the meat.  Add ¼ cup of pan sauce to beef mixture. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper to taste.  If you like a little heat, you can add ½ tsp. of Siracha.

Assembling the sliders

Take dinner rolls (White House Rolls or King’s Hawaiian Rolls), split, butter and lightly toast.

Place short rib mixture on bottom roll and top with slaw. Bon Appetit!