Friday, March 6, 2009

Stout Braised Short Ribs

All winter I have been looking at recipes for braised short ribs. On blogs, in magazines, everywhere. I kept intending to make them, but I kept putting it off. And the longer I put it off, the more my mind formed an idea of what these braised short ribs would taste like.

Now I know it is ridiculous, but I feel like braised short ribs tricked me. Don't get me wrong they were delicious, they just weren't what I was expecting. And what was I expecting exactly? Well, something closer to bar-b-que. Yes, I do know that this makes no sense. Yes, I realize that if I had simply looked at the ingredient list of the braised short rib recipe I decided on, I would have known that there was no way those ingredients were going to come together to form something like bar-b-que.

What can I say, I guess I just spent too much time thinking about these ribs before I made them. Luckily the people I fed them to hadn't thought about them at all before, so they seemed to enjoy them a lot.

Luckily, even though they weren't what I expected, they were delicious. The flavors in the dry rub bring a sweet and slightly smoky flavor to the meat, and the long braise really makes the meat very tender. The recipe suggested making them a day ahead, then reheating before serving, which really helps the flavors soak into the meat. This is also makes it easier to skim off some of the fat from the surface. These are great served with some fluffy mashed potatoes. (And you know, something green on the side, so you feel better about all the beef and potatoes.)

Stout Braised Short Ribs

Adapted from Gourmet, January 2007

cup packed dark brown sugar
tbs. paprika (not hot)
tbs. curry powder (preferably Madras)
tsp. ground cumin
tsp. black pepper
tsp. salt
tsp dry mustard or 3 tsp. dijon mustard
4 to 4 1/2
lb. beef short ribs, cut into 4-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (2 cups)

tbs. olive oil
medium carrots, chopped (2 cups)
celery ribs, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
cup chopped garlic (5 to 6 large cloves)
1 3/4
cups beef broth (14 oz)
(12-oz) bottles stout such as Guinness
(14- to 15-oz) cans diced tomatoes

6-qt heavy nonreactive pot with a lid (mine was smaller, and it barely fit)

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Combine brown sugar, paprika, curry powder, cumin, pepper, salt, and mustard in a small bowl.
-Pat ribs dry and arrange in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan or a shallow dish, then generously coat all sides of ribs with spice mixture. Marinate, uncovered and chilled, 1 hour.
-Heat oil in pot over high heat until hot and quickly brown ribs on all 3 meaty sides (but not bone side) without crowding, in batches if necessary, about 1 minute per side. Transfer meat to a large plate.
-Add onions, carrots, celery, and bay leaves to pot and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
-Add broth, beer, and tomatoes with their juice, then add ribs with any juices and remaining spices accumulated on plate and bring liquid to a boil, uncovered. Cover pot and transfer to oven, then braise until meat is very tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
-Skim off excess fat from surface of sauce. Discard bay leaves.

NOTES: Short ribs improve in flavor if braised 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat, covered, in a 350°F oven until hot, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

1 comment:

muddywaters said...

I always like to cook something special for St. Patty's day, and since my wife doesn't like corned beef & cabbage, this might be a great option. I bet this dish as a deep beefy flavor.

I'm leaning toward this recipe or a beef/Guinness pot pie. I'll keep you posted.