Beer Braised Short Ribs Stew
Adapted from Canadian Living Magazine, November, 2007
I do this over two days!
Prep time: 30 minutes
Roasting time: 3 hours
I like to refrigerate overnight to remove all the fat from the short ribs
Final cooking time: 30 minutes
3 slices of fresh gingerroot
1 stick of cinnamon
3 star anise
1 tsp black peppercorns
4 lbs/ 2kg beef simmering short ribs , cut into individual rib portions
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup beef stock
1 can(28 oz/796 ml) diced tomatoes (I used pureed Fire Roasted tomatoes)
1½ cups of dark lager beer
2 tbsp cooking molasses
1 tbsp soy sauce
1. Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C.
2. The recipe says to tie the star anise, ginger, cinnamon, and peppercorns in a cheesecloth bundle. Naturally, I didn’t have any cheesecloth on hand, so I just threw them in the pot. Since I put everything (except the ribs) threw a strainer at the end, it wasn’t essential.
3. In a large oven-proof Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high and sear the ribs.
Two important tips for searing:
- don’t crowd the pan, or you’ll just steam the meat, so sear in small batches. It takes a little longer, but well worth the effort;
- the meat is ready for flipping when it no longer sticks to the bottom of the pan when you try to lift it with some tongs. If you’re patient at this stage, you will have crispy outsides that hold in all the juices. If you rush things, the juices will run out during the slow cooking and you’ll just end up with a tough stew. Transfer the seared ribs to a bowl.
4. Drain most of the fat from the pan and sauté the garlic and onions until the onions soften. Stir in the beef stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate all the stuck bits into the sauce. It will make the "gravy" so much richer. Add the tomatoes and beer, give a stir and add the ribs, meaty side down with any juices left in the bowl. Bring the mix to a boil.
5. Cover and place in the oven for at least 2 hours, turning the meat halfway through.
6. Uncover and continue to roast until the meat if fork tender (about 30 minutes). Transfer the ribs with a slotted spoon to a bowl. If you’ve tied up your spices, just remove the bag. If, like me, you didn’t have any cheesecloth, don’t worry. Just pour the “sauce” into large bowl through a fine sieve. It will catch everything you DON’T want in your stew.
7. I place the drained ribs in a large baggie, separate from the stew and store them in the fridge. It makes the next step (removing the congealed fat) the following day easier. Cover the bowl of sauce and allow it to cool before refrigerating overnight.
The next day:
1. Remove the thick layer of hard fat that covers the stew. No matter how much you try to remove fat when it’s liquid, there will still be lots left in the pan. This way, no wasted sauce, no time-consuming, spills on the counter mess to deal with.
2. Pour the sauce into a large Dutch oven, stir in the molasses and the soy sauce and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the ribs, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
I like to serve it over Cauli-fried “Rice” to sop up the juices, but who am I kidding, even with taking off most of the fat, this is not really a diet dish. So go ahead and serve it over garlic mashed potatoes (just put 2 peeled cloves of garlic in with the boiling water - or chicken broth and potatoes. Once the potatoes are soft the garlic will be too. Just mash, add salt & pepper, plus a little milk if you like them really creamy.)
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