Booze-Braised Beef Short Ribs Two Ways

June 11, 2013

I don’t know why I’m so late to the party on braised short ribs. Did you know that they are delicious? Yes, you probably did, because I’m apparently the last one to figure it out. How have I been missing out all these years? Short ribs are also often slow-cooked in wine or beer, which makes them my new favorite food to cook. I do so love pouring an entire bottle of wine into a pot and letting it work its magic.

Here are two ways to make braised short ribs; both are incredibly tasty and surprisingly easy. They take about three hours to cook, but most of that is hands-off time in the oven. Ingredients and cook times are also very forgiving, so feel free to adapt, tweak and get a little crazy with your own version.

red wine-braised short ribs

Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs

Ingredients

3 lbs. bone-in beef short ribs
Small package of pancetta, diced
1 onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 carrots, diced
Flour
1 T. tomato paste
1 bottle of red wine
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 can pureed tomatoes
1-2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
Salt & pepper
Dried or fresh herbs – I used bay leaves, rosemary and thyme
Olive oil

1. In a large Dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove from pot and set to the side. Reserve drippings and add a little olive oil.

2. Dredge short ribs in flour and shake off excess. Sear ribs on all sides until browned, working in batches if necessary (about 10-15 minutes total for each batch). Remove ribs and let rest on a plate.

3. Add onion, shallot and carrots to the pot and cook for 2-5 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add 3 T. flour and 1 T. tomato paste to the mixture and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour in the bottle of wine (yes, all of it) and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits and mixing them into the sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until it is reduced by half.

5. Add herbs, garlic cloves, cooked pancetta and salt and pepper to the liquid. Place the short ribs meaty side down in the sauce, then stir in stock.

6. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours at 350, then turn down to 325 and cook for another 30-45 minutes. Meat should be falling off the bone, and your mouth should be watering.

7. Serve with mashed potatoes or creamy polenta (this Pioneer Woman recipe is simple and delish). Feeds four people (or two with leftovers).

Beer-Braised Short Ribs

Ingredients

3 lbs. bone-in beef short ribs
1 onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
Flour
1 small can tomato paste
2 bottles of dark beer (I used a homebrew porter)
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 cups beef or chicken stock
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
Salt & pepper
Dried or fresh herbs – I used bay leaves, rosemary and thyme
Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 T. olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Dredge short ribs in flour and shake off excess. Sear ribs on all sides until browned, working in batches if necessary (about 10-15 minutes total for each batch). Remove ribs and let rest on a plate.

2. Add onion and shallot to the pot and cook for 2-5 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add 5 T. flour, tomato paste and garlic to the mixture and cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Pour in both bottles of beer and deglaze the pan. Let the sauce simmer until it is thick and bubbling, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in balsamic, Worcestershire sauce, cocoa powder, herbs, salt and pepper.

4. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours at 350, then turn down to 325 and cook for another 30-45 minutes.

7. Serve with mashed potatoes or polenta. Feeds four people (or two with leftovers).

Recipes I used for inspiration: