Okay, okay, so it’s been a month since I’ve posted any recipes. What can I say? Life got in the way. Between minor illnesses and injuries, as well as work, I haven’t been able to really cook up anything creative…until now! I bring you Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Short Ribs.
Those of you who are friends with me (most likely all of my readers) may recall a picture I posted on Instagram last year. In fact, I posted it about 11 months ago, just a few weeks after I bought my tiny infant daughter home from the hospital. About a month before my due date, I froze a bunch of meals to reheat after the baby came. One meal was short ribs braised in beer, brown sugar, and a whole bunch of other things. Those reheated short ribs were just…divine. Beer. Brown sugar. Garlic. Onions. Tomato paste and fragrant herbs. In my sleep deprived mind, I had created a masterpiece. I blissfully snapped a picture of that meal, posted it on Insta, and then let the next 11 months get busy enough to completely forget about this wonderful meal. I only recalled the meal as I was making a shopping list for Costco, which is where I usually buy the short ribs. Since we had company coming this weekend, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make these ribs again.
Part of the problem with cooking when you’re super pregnant, though, is that you don’t really remember much about what you’re making. All I remember frantically cooking 2 or 3 meals the weekend before I went into the hospital. I added things here and there, and didn’t really measure much. With multiple dishes bubbling on the stove, it’s hard to pay attention to how much of each ingredient goes into which pot. I reread my Instagram post, which contained many of the ingredients, and then added a few things that I thought would taste good. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. My aunts and cousin seemed to like our meal this time around, so I think you will, too.
Why should you make this recipe? Lots of reasons. Despite the long cooking time, it’s almost completely inactive. It requires only about 20 minutes of actual hands-on cooking. This recipe makes enough for eight people (maybe more), which probably means you’ll have leftovers. These short ribs freeze well, and can be reheated quickly for a weeknight meal. Since this makes such a huge amount of food, these are also great for company. I had family visiting, and was able to spend only about 20 prepping this dish; once it went in the oven, there was really very little for me to do.
There are so many ways you could change up this recipe to make it your own. For starters, you don’t need to use short ribs. I do like that the short ribs feel a bit more luxurious than your average beef chuck stew meat. However, you could certainly use that. You could even make a pot roast with the same sauce. I tried hard to pack as much umami flavor into the dish as I could, with soy, miso, and tomato paste; you could add mushrooms, which would help, or substitute a little extra soy sauce for the miso paste, if you don’t have any. Finally, you can add more veggies at the end, like peas or even Brussels sprouts. Or, you could add potatoes to the dish, rather than serving it over mashed potatoes. The possibilities are truly endless.
Tag me if you make it! @whitecoatpinkapron on Instagram.
Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Short Ribs
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 4-4.5 lb boneless beef chuck short ribs you can cut them to fit in the pot, if you need to
- 1 medium-large onion roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 large carrots peeled, each cut into about 5-6 pieces (try to make the pieces approximately evenly sized)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1 12 oz bottle plus 1 cup of brown ale I used Bass Ale
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 225 F.
Heat a 5 qt Dutch oven (or larger) on a burner over medium-high heat. Add canola oil.
Season the short ribs with salt and pepper on both sides. In batches, add the short ribs to the oil, and brown on each side (approximately 5 minutes per side). Set aside on a plate.
Leave the fat in the pan, and add the onions, garlic, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, gently stirring every 2-3 minutes, until vegetables begin to brown.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the brown sugar, soy sauce, tomato paste, beer, rosemary, thyme, and miso paste. Stir well to combine. Set aside.
When the vegetables are ready, add the meat and juices that collected on the plate back into the pan. Add the bowl with the sauce to the meat. Cover, and place in the oven for 4 hours, or until meat falls apart easily. If the meat seems tough, cook it for longer; it will eventually start to fall apart.
Remove the pan from the oven. Place over a burner on the stove, and turn on medium-low heat.
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 3 tbsp cold water into a slurry. Stir the slurry into the short ribs, and cook for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit. If you'd like a thicker sauce, you can use more cornstarch; just make sure to mix it with some water into a slurry before adding it to the meat.
Pull apart the meat into big chunks. Serve the short ribs with carrots and sauce over a bed of mashed potatoes.