I started cooking the short ribs on Wednesday night, in honor of the Top Chef DC finale, but didn’t actually eat them until Friday. They’re braised in Guinness Stout and Bass Ale and served atop polenta and kale (I’ll post these recipes soon). The whole stack is garnished with strips of fried parsnip.
I can’t take credit for this combination; this is my version of the fabulous main course served at a recent Primavera Cooks! meal at Lodge on the Desert. Under the guidance of Executive Chef Ryan Clark, this is the plate prepared by the Apprentice Chefs.
I don’t recall ever cooking short ribs before, and I didn’t time this meal to coincidence with a weekly special on ribs. Paying full price, I was surprised to see that they run over $5 per pound, about the same price as sirloin. Next time, I watch for a sale.
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I sat next to a charming, retired couple at the Primavera dinner. They’ve both volunteered with the organization for 15 years, and I learned more about the good works at Primavera from them.
The gentleman had been a pathologist. His wife mentioned that they had eaten a lot of short ribs when he was in medical school, because at that time, they were only 29 cents a pound.
I’ve used this formula, freshly made polenta topped with sautéed greens, most often spinach, to serve other proteins, such as grilled salmon or baked chicken. The vertical arrangement makes for striking, professional looking presentation, and the flavor combos are fantastic!
A hearty, chef-inspired winter dish
- 6 beef short ribs
- salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 carrots, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bottle Guinness Stout
- 1 bottle Bass Ale
- beef broth
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Dry ribs with paper towels, season with salt and pepper
- Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat, brown ribs on all sides
- Remove ribs and add carrots and onion to pan, cook, stirring, until lightly browned
- Add just a little of one of the beers to deglaze the pan, scrapping up the browned bits
- Place ribs on top of vegetables, and add equal parts of the beers until the liquid covers the bottom third of the meat
- Bring to a simmer, cover, place in the oven
- Bake 3 to 4 hours, basting two or three times every hour
- Add stout and ale, as needed to keep the liquid level constant, when the beer bottles are empty, use beef broth to add to the liquid
- After 3 to 4 hours, allow the pan to cool, remove the ribs, refrigerate in a covered container, do the same with the carrots, you might serve these on the side or reserve for another use. (The onions seem to have disintegrated and were nowhere to be found)
- Refrigerate the broth
- The next day, or after the fat has solidified on top of the broth, remove and discard the fat. Return the now gelatinous broth to the Dutch with the ribs
- Heat, adding broth until you have enough liquid to over the bottom third of the meat, simmer another two hours, either on the stove top or in the oven
- Dissolve the cornstarch in a little water (about 1/2 cup) and add to the broth, continue simmer for about 5 minutes, until the broth thickens
- Serve with polenta and greens