Stout-Braised Short Ribs

Winter 2012

Saucy, fall-off-the-bone short ribs are the ultimate winter comfort food — and with the creative addition of intense stout beer and piquant spices — this recipe from executive chef Sean Bedford of Aspen Glen Club in Carbondale, Colo., should become a new tradition. Serve over creamy mashed potatoes to absorb the wonderful sauce. “Slow-braised short ribs are tender-to-the-bone and never fall short of delivering satisfying, juicy flavor.”

1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
4 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1/4 cup garlic, chopped
1-3/4 cups beef broth

2 (12-ounce) bottles stout, such as Guinness
2 (14- to 15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together paprika, curry powder, pepper, salt, and mustard. Pat ribs dry with a paper towel and arrange in one layer in a shallow baking pan or dish. Generously coat all sides of ribs with spice mixture. Marinate, uncovered and chilled, 1 hour.  

Heat oil in a heavy, deep braising pan over high heat until hot but not smoking. Quickly brown ribs on all three meaty sides (but not bone side), about 1 minute per side. Transfer meat to a large plate and reserve. 

To the braising pan, add leeks, carrots, celery, rosemary, and bay leaves, and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute. 

Add broth, beer, and tomatoes with their juices, then add reserved ribs with any juices and bring liquid to a boil, uncovered. Cover pot and transfer to the oven, then braise until meat is very tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Skim off excess fat from sauce’s surface. Discard bay leaves before serving. 

Yield: 6 servings

CHEF’S SECRET: “The best pan for braising is a heavy nonstick with a fitted lid and two handles for ease in and out of the oven.”

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