Beer-Braised Short Ribs

November 24, 2011

It seems crazy to fix a meal that require two days preparation for the Wednesday dinner just before Thanksgiving, but that’s exactly what I did. In my own defense, I’m going to a friends house for Thanksgiving so there’s no other culinary pressure this week. I salted the ribs 48 hours before dinner, which makes braised meat more succulent. I did the bulk of the preparation Tuesday; about 4 hours. Finally, on Wednesday evening I reheated the ribs and prepared the sauce. It was similar to this 4-star Carbonnade a la Flamande, which used a chuck roast instead of beef ribs. Today’s results were moist and flavorful, 4-stars. Overall, on par with the Carbonnade. I think beef roast is easier to work with, but the more expensive ribs taste better.

48 hours in the making

Incidentally, I think that these ribs could be made in just one day. The 24-hour refrigerating of the salted beef could be considered optional. You could also de-fat the sauce using a fat separator, instead of Chris Kimball’s cool and scrape method.


  1. I didn’t use the minute tapioca and didn’t have any prunes.
  2. Three tablespoons of Dijon mustard seemed like way too much, so I cut it back to 1 tablespoon and like the result.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $14.50.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 3:00 PM. Dinner time 7:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today are given below:

3-1/2 pounds beef short ribs (about 8 ribs)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds yellow onions
1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 12-oz bottles of dark beer
1 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

  1. Two days before dinner: Trim any excess fat from the ribs. Sprinkle evenly with two teaspoons of kosher salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. The day before dinner: Pat ribs dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Preheat oven to 300-degrees.
  3. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook ribs in small batches until well browned. Cook with meaty side down for 5 minutes. Turn each rib on each side and down for about 1 minute. If the ribs won’t stand on their own, then lean them against each other. Repeat browning with remaining sides. Put cooked ribs on a plate and continue cooking the remaining batches of ribs.
  4. While the ribs are cooking cut the onions in half, peel and slice them thin from pole to pole.
  5. Tip the pan and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Add 1-1/2 tablespoons butter and reduce heat to medium. After the butter has melted, saute the onions until well browned for between 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, stir to coat the onions, and cook for 5 minutes. They will be ready when the paste begins to brown.
  6. Add beer, and use it to deglaze the pan using a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes until foaming subsides.
  7. Remove from heat and add bay leaves, 1 teaspoon thyme, and soy sauce. Place the browned short ribs back into the dutch oven; meat-side down, which will ensure they remain submerged.
  8. Place in oven Cook the meat for 2 hour to 2-1/2 hours until the meat it is very tender.
  9. Let cool for 30 minutes, then use tongs to put ribs into a clean baking dish. Strain liquid into bowl. Press to remove any extra liquids. Cover and refrigerate for 1 day.
  10. When finally ready to serve, use a spoon to skim off the hard fat from the liquid. Put ribs meat-side down, add liquid. If you have less than 1 cup of liquid, then supplement with beef stock. Re-heat on stovetop over medium heat for 20 minutes. Place ribs on a serving platter. Tent with aluminum foil while finishing sauce. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of Dijon, 1 teaspoon thyme. Taste sauce and adjust with salt and pepper.
  11. Pour 1 cup sauce over ribs. Sprinkle with parsley and serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

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