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Island Braised Short Ribs

I haven’t been feeling so hot the last two days. My dad and stepmom just came and went, a week full of beach, hiking, eating and wine- including my birthday. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the indulging on the sweets, the lack of sleep or that “that time of the month” is around the corner… but I feel BLAH. My autoimmune symptoms are a brewing. Yesterday my right leg hurt a lot. From my pelvis, down through my knee. I could barely walk. Today my head is about to split open.  I can feel my HS scars begin to swell. It puts me on edge. Every time this happens I begin to scrutinize everything. What am I doing different? What did I do? I have this anxiety that my HS will come back full blown, and I don’t know how I would handle that.  Ok, thinking positive thoughts. I’ve been eating really clean, even sort of “low carb” paleo, doing epsom salt baths and upping my probiotic intake, so this too shall pass. Woooosssaaahhhh….

In the midst of all this, I cooked these killer short ribs. Because even when I feel like shit, you better believe I’m going to eat well. I bought them while my dad was in town at Whole Foods, local beef. I was really planning on making them while he was here, but time got away from us. Today was absolutely the last day to use them, because I hand’t frozen them.

I knew they were going in the dutch oven, I knew I would use Otto’s Cassava Flour (that bag on the side bar), I knew there would be bacon involved. The rest just kind of happened. You know, pantry open; pulling out random things from my fridge as I went. But as with these kinds of things (slow cooked meat), there is a formula. Or at least, I have a formula… the method to my madness sort of goes like this:

The base: onion, garlic, salt, pepper (pretty much always the same, maybe shallots, leeks etc)

The spice: mustard powder, cinnamon (could have been cumin and ginger)

The herb: rosemary (could have been thyme or sage)

The vegetable: cabbage (could have been celery and carrots)

The sweetness: pineapple, papaya, applesauce (could have been maple syrup or honey)

The liquid: Beef stock (or any kind of broth)

The acid: White wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, or lemon)

With those seven components any slow cooked meat will turn out delicious. In the case of the dutch oven short rib, the fancy cousin of the slow cooker pork, we use little {grain free} flour for a roux, there’s more cooking on the front end, but the pay off is big, or should I say delicious. Ready to eat- you don’t really need a side dish kind of amazing meal.

These short ribs definitely classify as food porn. The pineapple and bacon play hide and seek around the tender rib meat, while the rosemary shines in the creamy sauce.

Yields serves 3-4

Island Braised Short Ribs

30 minPrep Time

3 hrCook Time

3 hr, 30 Total Time

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Recipe Image


  • 3lbs english cut short ribs, cut in to 2-3 inch pieces
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 head cabbage
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup papaya (If you can't find it, use more pineapple)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder (sub ginger powder for AIP)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper (sub carob powder for AIP)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 cups beef broth, liquid, warm or room temperature
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup Otto's Cassava flour
  • 3 rosemary sprigs


  • Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  • Prep you veggies: small dice your onion, shred cabbage & mince garlic.
  • Dice your bacon.
  • In your Dutch oven, on the stove, on medium-high heat, cook bacon, until crispy.
  • Remove from the Dutch oven and set aside.
  • Sprinkle the short ribs with a little salt. Add them to the Dutch oven and brown in bacon fat, about one minutes each side.
  • Once browned on all sides, remove and set aside.
  • Add in all the veggies and sauté until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add all the seasoning and the flour. Stir well.
  • Immediately add in the broth and vinegar, stir well, it will begin to thicken like gravy.
  • Add in the fruit and coconut aminos.
  • Add the short ribs and the bacon. Stir well.
  • Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-8 minutes stirring often. If the sauce seemed lumpy, keep stirring as it comes to a boil and it should smooth out.
  • Add in rosemary sprigs. Cover Dutch oven with lid and place in the oven, on the middle rack, for 3 hours.
  • When ready to serve, open and remove the bone and rosemary stems carefully.


I cook it 4-5 hours before dinner, that way I can turn off the oven and let it sit until it's time to eat. The I open up the lid, use tongs to plate 2 ribs per person and then use a ladle to scoop up all the saucy, vegetables goodness and pour it over them. We had these with roasted jicama fries and broccoli rabe.



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11 Thoughts to “Island Braised Short Ribs”

  1. Jessica Merideth
    OMG these look and sound amazing!!!!
  2. apelila
    This looks & sounds amazing! I love short ribs. Thanks for sharing.
    1. Thank you! It's a delicious recipe, one facebook someone commented today that they made it and their "minds were blown" love that!
  3. Tami
    Hi Cristina! LOVE YOUR BLOG! <3 Do you think I could substitute either water or chicken broth for the broth? I'm doing Whole30 (round 2!), and I can NOT for the life of me eat enough beef to produce beef stock on my own. I haven't been able to find compliant broth at the grocery store (regular grocery store, Whole Foods, New Leaf) either. :(
    1. Hi Tami! Thank you! Not sure I understand your question... If you're asking if you could substitute the beef broth for water or chicken stock, yes. I recommend chicken stock for flavor. If you're asking if you would use chicken instead of short ribs, I guess so! Did I answer your question?
      1. Tami
        Sorry, not enough coffee this morning! I was wondering if I could substitute chicken broth or water for the beef broth. :) Thank you for responding so quickly!
  4. Tami
    Hello again! I just wanted to let you know that I made these tonight at WOW! These are AMAZING. I substituted in water instead of beef broth and used arrowroot powder instead of cassava flour, but otherwise followed your directions to a T. Thank you so much for such a tasty, Whole30 recipe!
    1. Hi Tami! Thank you for taking the time to leave this comment! I am so glad you loved them <3
  5. Alice
    Do you think you could make this and use as a sauce? I've already got pork shoulder going in the crockpot and thought of frying up in the sauce when done! Your ig pic the other day made me want to make it 😉
    1. Hi Alice! I think you totally could. Cook up the bacon, then add in all the veggies, fruit and herbs, cook until broken down and caramelized. Mix in the flour, then whisk in the broth and vinegar... should totally be delicious!!! What a great idea :)

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