Short ribs, unlike their pork counterpart, are larger, meatier, and generally more tender, and that’s exactly what we had in mind when coming up with today’s recipe. We wanted to capture that tenderness in the meat and really show off the potential for a deep, robust flavor.
To really properly cook the short ribs to tenderness, we decided to braise them in a great dark beer that really brought out the heartiness inherent in the ribs. To help the flavor, we added in some vegetables and of course a few great spices. The trick to braising is to make sure you have just the right amount of liquid. Too much, and you’re just boiling the meat into a stew. Too little, and it’ll come out too dry. You want the tops of the short ribs just peeking out above the liquid. To get the flavor right, we added a surprise ingredient: prunes. They melted into the dish and added a sweetness that perfectly balanced out the bitterness of the dark beer. Keep reading below for this fantastic recipe…
Beer Braised Short Ribs
(makes 6 servings)
- 6 big, meaty short ribs (about 4-5lbs in total)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3lbs yellow onions, halved and sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bottles dark beer (like Guinness or Newcastle Brown Ale)
- 2 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 12 pitted prunes
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half the ribs, meaty side down, and cook until well browned (about 5 minutes). Turn each rib on one side and cook until well browned (about 1 minute) then repeat with the remaining sides. Transfer the ribs to a slow cooker, arranging them meaty side down. Repeat with the remaining ribs.
- Pour off all but 1 teaspoon fat from the skillet. Add butter and reduce the heat to medium. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned (25-30 minutes). Stir in the tomato paste and cook, coating the onions with the tomato paste until it begins to brown (about 4 minutes). Stir in the beer and bring to a simmer.
- Cook, scraping off the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon until the foam subsides (about 5 minutes). Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the tapioca, bay leaves, cumin, paprika, 1 teaspoon thyme, garlic, soy sauce, and prunes. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Cook in the slow cooker, covered, on high for 4-5 hours or low for 10-11 hours. Transfer the ribs to a serving platter and strain the liquid into a bowl.Use a spoon to skim off any extra fat from the top of the liquid, then whisk in the mustard and remaining teaspoon thyme into the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour 1 cup of sauce over the ribs, then sprinkle the ribs with the parsley and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
Recipe adapted fromEpicurious