It’s winter and we’re all looking for some kind of hearty, rib sticking kind of dinner…what could be heartier than a big glass of dark and rich stout? How about pouring that glass of stout into a Dutch oven filled with browned vegetables and big hunks of beef short ribs? Now just drop that lid on tight, slide it into the oven for a 3 hour sauna and dig into a rich and hearty dinner your mouths and bellies are gonna love! Hint…hint…this might make for a fantastic Valentine’s Day dinner (I’m just sayin’…..).
The last beef short rib recipe I posted used a bottle of red wine, but why should red wine get all the glory? Cooking with beer is quite the cool thing to do these days (and you know I’m all about cool). In all seriousness, cooking with beer is pretty delicious. Especially if you use a beer that has a flavor of it’s own. I can’t recommend cooking with one of those light beers that pretty much taste like fizzy water though.
I used a stout for this short ribs recipe – Guinness to be exact. The rich flavors of the dark beer (stuff like chocolate, coffee and bit of caramel) really add another set of flavors to the meat. You could certainly use another stout that you like in this recipe. By the way these same flavors are also what make stout a favorite ingredient in chocolate baked goods.
One of the things I really like about making up a pot of braised short ribs is that the oven really does all the work (that makes it one of those easy recipes we all love so much). Sure, you’ve got some prep work with a bit of chopping (this one doesn’t have much) and a little pre-browning of ingredients. Once that’s done everything goes into the pot for a long cook. This gives you time to clean up, make some calls, check out TMZ or maybe even take a nap. The only other thing you need to make is a pot of noodles or mashed potatoes. I already had some leftover polenta in the fridge, so I used that.
This is one of those dinners that you could get at a restaurant and easily pay $20 per plate. Even if you don’t get the short ribs on sale you probably won’t spend $20 for all of the ingredients and you’ll feed 4. Short ribs are a great make at home meal so you should order something else when you’re at the restaurant. I haven’t actually had a beef short ribs dinner at a restaurant that’s as good as mine. Yeah, I’m bragging a little, but mostly the restaurants don’t cook the meat until it falls off the bone (because it doesn’t look very pretty when you plate the meat without the bone). That melting meat is one of the things I enjoy most about short ribs.
So look for those short ribs at the store. If you can get them on sale, buy a couple packages and drop one in the freezer for later. Now crack open a tall dark stout and enjoy your dinner.
- 3 - 4 Pounds Beef Short Ribs
- 2 Tablespoons Grapeseed or Vegetable Oil
- 1½ Cups Dark Beer (like Guinness)
- 2 Carrots (roughly chopped)
- 1 Onion (thinly sliced)
- 7 Cloves Garlic (roughly chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Cocoa (the unsweetened kind)
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock
- Sprinkle all sides of the beef ribs with salt and pepper.
- Add the oil to a large Dutch oven and heat over medium high heat.
- Once oil is hot, add the short ribs to the pan and brown them on the 3 meaty sides. This should take roughly 7 minutes per side.
- Remove the short ribs to a plate and set aside.
- Add the carrots, onions and garlic to the pan. And continue cooking over medium high heat and add a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. While stirring, scrape up any browned bits from the pan.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- Continue to cook vegetables until the onions have softened (about 10-15 minutes).
- Stir in the tomato paste and cocoa.
- Cook until the tomato paste becomes a deep brown color.
- Stir in the beer and scrape up any browned bits stuck on the pan.
- Continue cooking for 10 minutes (stir occasionally).
- Add the short ribs back to the pan, along with any drippings.
- Cover, remove from heat and slide pan into the oven.
- Cook for 3 hours.
- Remove pan from oven and turn heat up to 400 degrees Farenheit.
- Take the short ribs out of the Dutch oven and lay them on a rimmed baking sheet.
- When the oven comes to temperature, slide the short ribs on the top rack of the oven and let cook for 10 minutes (this will crisp up the outsides).
- While the ribs are crisping up, strain the juices from the Dutch oven into a medium saucepan.
- Add the chicken stock to the pan and heat over medium high heat. Continue cooking until liquid has reduced by half.
- Serve the short ribs over mashed potatoes, noodles or polenta and drizzle some of the gravy over top.
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