Happy St. Patrick's weekend, everyone! What's on your menu for the day??
I'm 100% Irish and I grew up eating some incarnation or other of the traditional boiled dinner, (not just on St. Patrick's Day, mind you) so I'm always trying to come up with new ideas for our St. Pat's Day dinner. Last year, I braised a beef brisket in a good Irish Ale, cooked up some traditional Colcanon and fried up some cabbage with bacon and onions. I seriously thought about making it again this year, but as they say, variety is the spice of life, right? Well, the hubs and I have been seeing (and eating) all kinds of braised short rib dishes in restaurants here at home and when we've been traveling and I've been wanting to make my own version for some time now. So St. Patrick's Day gave me the perfect reason to give it a try!
(This is a dish that you want to start early in the day or even the night before, if you can. It is a bit labor intensive - but it's soooooo worth the time.)
Guinness Braised Short Ribs
- 4 Lbs Beef Short Ribs (bone-in)
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
- 2 Medium Turnips, **peeled and chopped
- 4 Lg Carrots, chopped
- 2-3 Tbls Ketchup
- 1 15oz Can Guinness Stout, draft style (14.9oz to be exact)
- 2-3 Cups Beef Stock/Broth
- Vegetable or Light Olive Oil
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Onion Powder
- 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
Remove the short ribs from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you wish to cook them, so they can come to room temperature. If there is an excessive amount of fat on any of them, trim a little off, but don't remove any more than necessary. Ribs are naturally well marbled with fat and fat is what makes cheaper cuts of meat tender and gives it an incredible depth of flavor. Keep in mind... This is not a low-fat dish. LOL
Place 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour in a large zip-top bag. Add the dried thyme, onion powder, cinnamon, salt and fresh ground pepper. (about a teaspoon of each) Twist the top of the bag closed and give it a good shake to distribute the seasonings. Using tongs (or clean hands) place 4 or 5 of the short ribs at a time in the bag, twist to seal and shake well. Remove each rib from the bag, being careful to tap off any of the excess flour as you go. Pile them up on a platter until you have all of them done.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable or light olive oil in a large, heavy dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the short ribs to the pot in a single layer, spacing them about an inch apart. When searing or browning meats/poultry, don't overcrowd the pan or the meat will give off quite a bit of liquid and will basically stew in it's own juices. That prevents the meat from getting that nice golden brown crust on it and that crust is what helps to keep the meat tender and juicy. And remember... brown equals flavor my friends, so please, please, please be patient and brown your meat in small batches. Your taste buds will thank you for it. OK. Lecture over. :~) Remove the browned ribs to a plate and loosely cover them with a little foil to keep them warm.
To the same pan, add the chopped onions, turnips and carrots and season them with a bit salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and saute for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the vegetables to take on a light golden brown color or caramelize, just like the meat. You might need another tablespoon or so of oil, if it has dissipated while cooking the beef.
Once the vegetables are nicely caramelized, add the short ribs back to the pot. At this point, you can start adding the rest of the ingredients. Start with a heaping tablespoon of ketchup and give it a good stir, so that the meat and veggies are well coated with it. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the Guinness. This might foam up a bit, but it will subside in a minute. Once the foam subsides, add the beef stock/broth. Toss in your bay leaves and a little more salt & pepper and turn the heat back up just a bit. Once it comes to a simmer, give it a good stir and place the pot in your pre-heated 350 degree oven and cook it for 2 hours, covered. After the 2 hours are up, remove the cover and continue to cook it for another hour to hour and a half, uncovered. The meat should be falling off the bone.
When the ribs are done, take the pot out of the oven and remove just the ribs to a large platter. The sauce in the pan will have quite a bit of fat/grease in it. This is why making it ahead of time is important... You need to remove this fat from the sauce. There are two ways of doing this: (I did it a little backwards by not removing the meat from the sauce before cooling it down, but hey... ya live, ya learn and you all get to benefit from my mistake!)
1) If you are making this the day before, you can refrigerate the sauce right in the pan, once it has cooled down to room temperature. The next day, the fat will have solidified and can be removed easily with a spoon or spatula. (Tip: save a couple of tablespoons of the fat if you're going to saute the additional turnips and carrots later. I know that might sound gross to some, but it really gives the vegetables the added flavor that they would've absorbed if they'd cooked along with the ribs)
2) If you wish to make it the same day, cover the platter of ribs tightly and refrigerate them. Then, you can remove the sauce to a large bowl and cover and chill it in the fridge. This will take at least 1 to 2 hours, but if you start it early in the morning, you should have no problem.
Whichever way you choose to do it, remove the meat from the bones (the ones that are still on the bone, that is. lol) while it's still warm. It's much easier. There's also a little bit of thick fat left on a good number of the pieces, so I just remove that as well and I discard it.
Once everything has been chilled and defatted... Heat the sauce over medium-low heat, adding the meat back in once it warms up a bit. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until everything is nice and hot.
The sauce will be very thick and a little chunky. You can leave it this way, but I like to use the stick blender and a bit of beef broth to thin it out and make it smooth before I add the meat back in.
I chose to serve mine over mashed potatoes and parsnips, but it would be just as delicious with plain mashed or roasted potatoes. Even simple boiled potatoes would be 1,000% improved with these delectable short ribs accompanying them. Trust me... You will not regret the time spent making these. They're so tender and moist, they practically melt in your mouth. This is definitely one that will be going on my keepers list! The Hubbs agrees!
The Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips recipe is HERE.
If you want to garnish with the carrots and turnips, blanch them first in some simmering salted water, drain and set them aside. The turnips should blanche for about 5-6 minutes and the carrots for about 3-4 minutes.
Put a little oil, butter or reserved fat from the ribs in a saute pan. (I used some of the reserved fat from the ribs for the added flavor!) Add the blanched carrots and turnips to the pan and saute over medium heat, stirring often, until they're a light golden color, fork tender and heated all the way through.
Looking for a Brisket recipe? Well then, you've come to the right place! Check out another great idea for your St. Patrick's Day feast, my Ale Braised Beef Brisket HERE!
Of course, I'm linking this up with my dear friend, Kat'leen for her 5th annual St. Pat's blog Crawl! To join in or to check out all of the goodies, click HERE
Don't forget that you can print this (or any) recipe using the "Print Friendly" button at the foot of each post. It's a great little feature that allows you to remove any pictures (or any text that isn't relevant to the recipe) before printing. That can save on ink and paper & in today's economy, who doesn't want to save a little cash when you can?!