Thursday, October 10, 2013

Beer-Braised Short Ribs

The ribs I mentioned in the mash post? These are those ribs.

Beer-Braised Short Ribs
adapted from Cooking Club
click to print

1 1/2 - 2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
2 oz. pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 lb. trimmed boneless beef short ribs or 4 lb. bone-in beef short ribs, cut into 1 ½-in. pieces, patted dry
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 large onions, halved, thinly sliced (3 cups)
1 (8-oz.) pkg. sliced button mushrooms
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole star anise
1 1/2 c lower-sodium beef broth
1 (12-oz.) bottle dark beer, preferably porter or stout (1 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/3 c chopped fresh parsley

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot.

Cook pancetta 3 to 4 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a bowl.

Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper.

Cook beef, in batches, 5 minutes or until browned on all sides, turning frequently. Transfer to plate; reserve.

Add a tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven if necessary. Cook onions over medium-low heat 10 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of Dutch oven. Place onions in a bowl.

Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to skillet. Cook mushrooms over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until juices are released, stirring occasionally. Place mushrooms in a bowl.

Meanwhile, prepare spice packet by placing bay leaves, cinnamon stick and star anise in square of cheesecloth; tie securely with kitchen twine.

Add broth to Dutch oven; bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up any browned bits on bottom of skillet.

Return pancetta, browned beef and any drippings, and onions to Dutch oven.

Add beer to Dutch oven; bring to a boil over high heat.

Stir in spice packet; cover.

Reduce heat to low; simmer 1 1/2 hours, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a bare simmer.

Stir in mushrooms.

Cook, covered, on low an additional 30 to 60 minutes (OR in 250°F oven for 2-2.5 hours) or until beef is fork-tender.

Remove and discard spice packet. (Beef can be prepared to this point 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

Remove and discard any fat; if refrigerated, gently warm on stove-top.

After scraping the fat chunks off the top of the braise, I warmed the beef liquid gently over medium-low heat about 10 minutes just to get things loosened up.

Transfer beef mixture to a large bowl with a slotted spoon.

Bring liquid to a boil over high heat; boil 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally.

Whisk in mustard.

Stir in beef mixture.

Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until hot, stirring occasionally. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Even though there was beer in it and the beef was the expensive stuff from Costco, the results didn't wow me. I think I prefer herbs for my beef rather than cinnamon and anise. It's amazing how such small components can really drive the flavors.

Don't sweat the quantity of beef you use. I had almost 50% more beef than the recipe called for but with the quantity of broth and beer, there was plenty of liquid to do the braising. Of course, that means that instead of the four servings expected I got six.

  • vegetable oil: $0.15
  • pancetta: $1.62
  • boneless beef short ribs: $19.43
  • onions: $0.62
  • button mushrooms: $1.99
  • beef broth: $0.24
  • stout: $2.14
  • Dijon mustard: $0.32
  • fresh parsley - I used it all in the potatoes!
Total: $26.51 or about $4.42 for each of six servings.