Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stout-Braised Short Ribs

Love cupcakes? Then enter the Kim Chee Casserole First Birthday Contest! Follow this link and leave a comment there, then come back and leave another comment here for an extra chance to win!

It's been hot here recently so I haven't done much cooking that involves long oven use. But I got some lovely short ribs in our meat package this month, and so I picked a cooler day and made myself some stout-braised short ribs.

The great thing with braising is that your prep time is relatively short, and your cook time is relatively long, but you don't have to do anything while they cook other than ... well, let them cook. And apart from that big bottle of Guinness, everything else was already in the fridge.

The first step was to chop those nice slices of bacon into pieces and cook them to render out the fat.

I am not sure why this pot looks so small. Must be the huge spoon? This is my big soup pot, but it looks much smaller!

While the bacon cooked, I cleaned and cut up my vegetables. Since they were going to be cooking for a while, I left them in rather rough chunks.

Now, the bacon was removed when it was cooked through but not crisp. It's going back in the pot anyway so it wouldn't stay crispy anyhow.

Seriously. Small-looking pot.

I set the pot of bacon fat aside for a moment while I cut my short ribs into individual ribs. You could leave them whole, but I find them a little more manageable (and in a single-serving size) by cutting them into single ribs.

They got a light dredge in seasoned flour.

Then they were carefully placed in the same pot that the bacon cooked in.

Now the pot looks big again. I just don't get it. Apparently I was having trouble with perspective when I took these pictures!

The short ribs were browned on all sides.

I didn't want to crowd the pot, so I browned my short ribs in two batches. If you have more than one batch, you may notice that your pot starts to get dry and some of the flour may start to get dark. If this happens, add a little vegetable oil or olive oil. This will keep the pan moist and help the flour from burning to your pot.

Once your short ribs are deliciously blistered on the outside, remove them and carefully put your vegetables in the pot. Stir them around to pick up all those delicious meaty bits from the bottom of the pot.

I also stirred in a spoonful of tomato paste.

I'm sure I've shared this before, but I always freeze leftover tomato paste. I find very few recipes have a need for even the smallest can of tomato paste, but I hate to throw it out, so I scrape it all out of the can and put it in a plastic bag. Then I smoosh it so it's flat, and pop it in the freezer. That way, it's easy to break off a piece of tomato paste whenever needed.

Once the vegetables are softened, I poured in the beer. Mr. Kim Chee wasn't sure how much beer to get when I asked him to pick up some stout, so he picked up one of those extra-large bottles.

The best part about that? It's the exact perfect amount of beer to make these short ribs, as well as an Eight-Ender Stout Cake. How amazing is that?

To offset the bitterness of the stout, I also added a little brown sugar.

A couple bay leaves joined the brown sugar.

A little thyme was added as well, just because thyme and braised foods are good friends.

Once all the seasonings are added, the short ribs can go back in the pot.

A can of beef broth was added, to cover the short ribs.

Oh, and don't forget to put the bacon back in, too!

That looks like the most delicious bath ever!

Then I covered the pot and placed everything in a 375F oven for about 3 hours.

When the meat begins falling off the bone, your short ribs are ready to serve! Spoon them over your starch of choice--rice, boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, polenta, noodles, etc. I chose egg noodles because I love egg noodles (and because The Kid kept asking for noodles for dinner. Everyone wins that way!)

These are even better the next day; if you're expecting guests, make these short ribs ahead of time and simply heat them up before serving. Complete your meal with a big piece of Eight-Ender Stout Cake and you'll be the most popular hostess ever!

Recipe: Stout-Braised Short Ribs

3 strips bacon, roughly chopped

flour, for dredging
salt and pepper
3-4 lbs. short ribs, cut into individual ribs
1/2 lb. mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, cut into large chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into large chunks
5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 c. stout
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. thyme
1 can beef broth

In a large pot, render bacon until just cooked through. Remove and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, combine flour and salt and pepper. Lightly coat short ribs in the flour mixture, tapping off excess. Brown short ribs in the pot with the bacon fat, until short ribs are browned on all sides (do in 2 or 3 batches if necessary, to avoid crowding the pot.) Remove short ribs and set aside.

Add carrots, mushrooms, onions, celery, and garlic to the pot. Saute until slightly softened. Stir in tomato paste.

Add stout, brown sugar, bay leaves, and thyme to the pot. Stir to combine.

Carefully add short ribs back into the pot, setting them on their side (so a bone end is facing up), if possible. Add beef broth and bacon to pot.

Cover pot and place in a 375F oven. Let short ribs braise 2 1/2-3 hours until fork-tender. Serve over rice, boiled potatoes, egg noodles, or polenta.

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious! I must have missed your post about the tomato paste. I always hate throwing away the leftovers after they sit in my fridge for a month :)
    -Keira (still not letting me post from my account)