Braised Beef Neck Bones are richly flavored beef with fall-apart tenderness. They are pan-seared and slow-cooked in a pool of luscious wine-infused broth to achieve mouthwatering goodness. Indeed a comforting meal perfect for the whole family, especially when you pair it with mashed potatoes, fried rice, or egg noodles.
Our braised beef recipe here doesn’t need many ingredients or much effort. However, it will take patience because we need to cook these babies low and slow. Patience, my child, patience! And I’m telling you this extra step guarantees mouthwatering fall-off-the-bone meaty goodness.
What Does Braising Do?
It is a technique that involves searing and simmering the meat in cooking liquid such as wine and broth. It’s often used for tougher cuts of meat like these beef neck bones to make them fall-off-the-bone tender.
We sear the neck bones first to let them develop a beautifully browned and caramelized crust while locking all the moisture inside, making them perfectly tender and juicy inside. Yep! These bad boys are undoubtedly drool-worthy.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutes
The best cuts of beef are near the bones, for example, T-bones and short ribs. Aah! They are the meatiest and tastiest, so no wonder they’re expensive.
But not these beef neck bones because they are equally delicious yet not as expensive as premium cuts. Oh yes! Very economical, indeed! 👌
- Oil – We need the oil to sear the beef neck bones until they form a wonderful crust on both sides. And, of course, to saute the garlic and onion. You can also use butter to level up this recipe. 😉 And while we’re at it, you might want to check out How to Dispose of Cooking Oil.
- Garlic and Onion – My favorite part of cooking will always be sauteing garlic and onion. The exceptional aroma is simply captivating. Am I weird? Nah! I just love cooking… err… and eating. 😅
- Fresh Thyme – I prefer using fresh thyme for this recipe because it’s more flavorful, but dried thyme works, too. Here are some thyme substitutes you can use as well.
- Tomato Paste – Aside from adding lovely color to our braised beef neck bones, it also gives our dish hints of sweet and tangy flavors. You can easily substitute it with tomato sauce, but you’ll notice the sauce will be thin and watery. Just add a slurry if you want to thicken the sauce.
- Dry Red Wine – I opted to use dry red wine because the flavor is more distinct, leaving out the sugary sweetness. Red wines like Merlot and Pinot Noir are also great if you want to add fruity notes to our braised beef. The alcohol will evaporate long before your braised beef necks are ready, but you can use beef broth if you want to make sure it’s kid-friendly.
- Beef Stock – The broth helps tenderize our beef neck bones and adds rich umami flavor to our beef.
- Salt and Pepper – And, of course, perfectly seasoned meat equals a perfectly delicious dish. It only takes a dash of these pantry staples. 😉
How to Make Braised Beef Neck Bones
Sear the Beef
- Preheat oven to 350℉/177℃.
- Season and Sear – While the oven preheats, season neck bones generously with salt and pepper. Working in batches, sear the beef in a large Dutch oven on medium-high, using about 2-3 tablespoons of oil to coat the bottom. (Photos 1-2)
Saute and Braise
- Saute – After all the beef is seared and reserved, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and sauté onions for about five minutes. Then add the garlic and tomato paste. Continue to cook for another ten minutes, stirring constantly. (Photos 3-4)
- Add the Braising Liquid – Add the red wine and beef stock to the Dutch oven, scrape any browned bits off the bottom, and cook for five minutes.
- Add the Beef – Add the reserved beef back to the Dutch oven and stir, making sure at least 75% is covered by a braising liquid, and bring to a simmer.
- Cover and Braise – Cover the pot and braise in the oven for about 2½-3 hours.
- Serve and Enjoy – Serve over mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles and enjoy!
- Meat Swap – Any beef cut will do; you can even swap the beef with pork and chicken. Just remember that cooking time varies depending on the meat’s type, size, and thickness.
- Veggie Additions – To make our dish more nourishing and hearty, I suggest adding carrots, bell peppers, celery, and bok choy.
- Seasoning Surprise – Amp up the flavor with any of your favorite herbs and spices. Star anise, cinnamon, and cloves will go perfectly to our braised beef. You may also try it with curry, cumin, and paprika to add a more robust flavor. Seasoning blends such as Creole Seasoning, Italian Seasoning, Seasoned Salt, or Taco Seasoning are excellent choices, too.
- Spicy Kick – If you want to add just a hint of heat, a pinch of cayenne and pepper flakes are enough to do the trick. And if that’s too mild for you, then you might want to try it with Scotch bonnet pepper, habanero, and serrano pepper. Oh yes!
- Sweet Sensation – You can balance the flavor with a bit of sweetness from granulated or brown sugar.
- Beer-Infused – So, aside from wine and broth, you can also use beer to braise your meat. This alcohol swap is just as impressive. 🤩
- Slow-Cooker Braised Beef – Don’t have an oven? Crockpot to the rescue! Follow the instructions 1-5, then transfer the beef and braising liquid to a slow cooker and simmer it on low for eight hours or high for four hours.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t skip the searing part. Searing the meat makes our meat more flavorful and juicy because it traps all the moisture inside.
- Ensure the beef neck bones are submerged in braising liquid to ensure tenderness.
- Have patience. To achieve its fall-off-the-bone tenderness, we need to cook our braised beef low and slow for about 2-3 hours.
- No oven? No problem! Use a deep pot to accommodate all the beef neck bones and braising liquid and follow steps 1-5. Then let it simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, covered. Stirring occasionally to prevent scorching at the bottom of the pan. You may add a slurry if the sauce becomes too thin.
Serving and Storing Instructions
Since our braised beef here takes a lot of time to cook, planning ahead is a must, especially when serving this dish at a gathering. And guess what? These beef neck bones actually taste better the next day after the meat has absorbed all the flavors from the broth. Oh yes! And it goes great over a pile of egg noodles, too.
- Store – Let the braised beef neck bones cool completely before transferring them to a clean and dry sealed container.
- Refrigerate – Store it inside the fridge for up to four days.
- Freeze – You can also store it in the freezer for up to three months.
Reheating Braised Beef Neck Bones
- Thaw – To prevent bacterias from accumulating, it’s best to thaw our frozen braised beef in the fridge the night before. You may skip the thawing part, but it may take a little longer to cook.
- Stovetop – Transfer the braised beef to a deep pot and cover with a lid. Let it simmer on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until hot.
- Oven – Place it in a deep baking dish and cover it with foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 350℉/177℃ for 15-20 minutes.
- Microwave – This one is better if reheating a small portion. Place 1-2 servings of braised beef in a microwave-safe container and reheat for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
Note: Do the same when storing and reheating leftover braised beef neck bones.
Braising itself tenderizes the meat because of the slow cooking process. Make sure you submerge at least 75% of the beef in broth or braising liquid. Then simmer it for at least two hours to ensure tenderness.
Technically, almost any cut of beef is good for braising. Meaning, it actually depends on your preference and budget. Aside from beef neck bones, you can also go for chuck roast, brisket, rump roast, and short ribs.
Absolutely you can! And it actually gets better the next day when all the flavors have settled in. It’s like the beef continues to marinate after cooking.
What to Serve With Braised Beef Neck Bones
Some of the best pairings for our scrumptious Braised Beef Neck bones are egg noodles, mashed potatoes, and rice. And I bet you’ll love it, too, with these delicious side dishes below.
More Beef Recipes to Try
Watch How to Make It
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Braised Beef Neck Bones
- 3-4 pounds or 1361-1814 grams beef neck bones, cut into medium to large chunks
- salt and pepper, to taste
- canola oil, for searing
- 1 ½ cup yellow onion, sliced
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup or 2 ounces tomato paste, about half a small can
- ½ cup or 4 ounces dry red wine
- 1 cup or 8 ounces beef stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- While oven pre-heats, season neck bones generously with salt & pepper, working in batches, sear the beef in a large Dutch oven on medium-high, using about 2-3 tablespoon of oil to coat bottom.
- After all beef is seared and reserved, add another tablespoon of oil to pan and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and tomato paste. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add the red wine, beef stock, and thyme to the Dutch oven and scrape any browned bits off the bottom and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the reserved beef back to the Dutch oven and stir to make sure at least 75% is covered by braising liquid and bring to a simmer.
- Cover the pot and braise in the oven for about 2 ½ – 3 hours.
- Serve over mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles and enjoy!
Tips & Notes:
- Don’t skip the searing part. Searing the meat makes our meat more flavorful and juicy. Because it traps all the moisture inside.
- Make sure that the beef neck bones are submerged in braising liquid to ensure tenderness.
- Have patience. We need to cook our braised beef low and slow about 2-3 hours to achieve its fall-off-the-bone tenderness.
- No oven? No problem! Just use a deep pot to accommodate all the beef neck bones and braising liquid and follow the steps 1-5. Then let it simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, covered. Stirring occasionally to prevent scorching at the bottom of the pan. You may add a slurry if the sauce becomes too thin.
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.