Braising beef is a somewhat like living a long term relationship with it. You start out with super high heat and sizzle. Snappin’, cracklin’, hot, hot passion that sears just surface. Sparks and oil fly as you fight to tame each other. Then, just as the fire of meat lust begins to fade, you add in a lot of beer, because we all know there’s nothing like alcohol to fuel the growth of a relationship!
But as the alcohol buzz simmers away, you lower the heat to keep that burn on steady and unwavering, and here the magic of braising happens. The connective tissues in the meat get softened, and the meat gently tenderizes while soaking in the flavor of the all the seasonings you’ve added to the mix. The patience of love transforms the tough, once resistant meat into a mouth meltingly succulent dish that gives way with the gentle push of a fork and sings “I LOVE YOU!” the moment it touches your tongue.
To braise is to love, slowly and tenderly, with lots of alcohol, and the result is truly a beautiful thing. Beef short ribs, this is my drunken love song to you!
A few notes:
- I bought the short ribs at the asian market b/c I couldn’t find them at regular grocery stores. I’m sure you can find them for much more than $3.99/lb at the fancy gourmet markets
- Estimate about 1/2 – 3/4 lbs of ribs per person. I had a party of 11 including big guys and small ladies, and 8 lbs left me with about 2 servings of leftovers
- Using a heavy dutch oven with a secure fitting lid is very important to keep all the heat in as you keep the pot on a low simmer
- The resulting broth from this recipe is very straightforwardly BEEFY! YUM! Next time, I’d love to play with the recipe and add more spices to mix things up!
- 8 lbs beef short ribs
- Olive oil
- 2 shallots
- 1 medium white onion
- 3 stalks of celery
- 3 cloves garlic
- 5 bottles Guinness
- Salt, pepper, sugar to taste
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- Handful of fresh parsley
1. Pat your short ribs dry with a paper towel and season each piece with some kosher salt. Try to get it rubbed in on all sides.
2. Heat up a large heavy bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid to high and add a few swirls of olive oil (about 1.5 TB)
3. Place the ribs into the pan to brown on all sides. About 2 min per side depending on the size of the rib. Do this in batches so you have enough room. Place the browned ribs onto a plate and continue until all the ribs are browned.
4. While browning, peel and dice the shallots, onion, celery, and garlic.
5. Once you’ve finished browning all the meat, pour off all but maybe 1 TB of the rendered fat.
6. Keep the heat on high and add the diced shallots, onions, celery, and garlic. Stir to cook about 2 min until onions are browned and translucent.
7. Add the browned ribs back into the pot, patting any excess fat off of them with a paper towel.
8. Now add the beer! It took me 5 bottles of Guinness to cover the meat thoroughly (leaving 1 bottle for me!) This may range for you depending on your pot.
9. Heat up til boiling and skim off some of the scum that rises to the top (Don’t have to be too precise here, just get some of it). Add the bay leaves, thyme, 2 tsp black pepper, and 1 TB salt. Lower the heat to low and cover.
10. Cook for 2 hrs and check the taste. I added 1 TB salt & 1 TB sugar at this point to give a little more OOMPH!
11. Cook for another hour and the meat should be falling of the bone tender! Skim off any excess fat at the top (this will depend on how fatty your ribs were. I didn’t have too much to skim off, so I just left it :-))
12. Chop up a handful of fresh parsley and throw it on top for some color & flavor!
13. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or maybe some crusty french bread to soak up all that delicious broth!
*Note – Over the next few weeks, expect to see a lot of delicious BEEF recipes here at Cookie Loves Eating, sponsored by the Texas Beef Council! There will be 4 sessions total, so get ready to get BEEFY with me!! Check out the other recipes below: