Cooking With Beer: Alaskan Smoked Porter Braised Short Ribs

February 2nd, 2010 · 11 Comments · Beer & Food

After the amazing short ribs we had at the Corson Building Belgianfest beer dinner, I knew that I had to try and recreate that dish myself. Thanks to a comment from Tim Nichols over at the Seattle Beer Pairing Examiner, it was brought to my attention that the Alaskan Smoked Porter would be a perfect beer to use for braising some short ribs. I used his suggestion, and then loosely followed a recipe on Phoo-D which they adapted from All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking. The result could not have turned out much more to my liking, and I’d like to think my ribs were pretty darn close to as good as what we had at Corson Building. Best of all, this was not hard to do. Time is the¬†toughest ingredient. I opted to try my hand at making some homemade gnocchi to go along with it, and those were a perfect accompaniment to the ribs. One thing I might change for next time is to add more vegetables into the braise. The carrots tasted wonderful after braising in beer for almost 4 hours. If you missed my review of the Alaskan Smoked Porter yesterday, check it out.

4 lbs meaty bone-in short ribs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 whole cloves of garlic
2 large yellow onions, sliced in 1/2″ thick rings
1¬†carrot, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
22oz bottle of Alaskan Smoked Porter (don’t forget more for drinking!)
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 rosemary sprig (3-4″ long)
2 small bay leafs

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Season ribs with salt & pepper.

Pour the olive oil into a shallow dutch oven or wide oven-proof skillet with lid (4-6 quart capacity or larger; I used a large oven-proof stock pot). Heat over medium heat. Brown short ribs in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the meat. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side until nicely browned. Transfer seared ribs to a platter and keep aside until all ribs are browned.

Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Return the pan to medium heat and add in onions, garlic and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook until just softened and beginning to caramelize – approximately 5 minutes.

Add the beer into the pot and bring to a full boil. Cook for two minutes. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot to dislodge any remaining food. Pour in the stock and bring liquid to a boil again. Reduce heat to a simmer and place ribs in the pot in a single layer. Pour any juices released from the ribs into the pot as well. Tuck the rosemary sprig and bay leaves in between the ribs. Check the liquid level of the pot to make sure the ribs are all partially submerged in the liquid. If necessary add more beer.

Tightly fit lid in place. Place pot in the oven and cook maintaining a gentle simmer for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours (until ribs are fork tender). While braising, gently turn the ribs with tongs, as not to tear up the meat, every 45 minutes until done.

When the ribs have finished braising, carefully transfer the meat using tongs and a slotted spoon to a flameproof shallow baking dish big enough to fit the ribs in a single layer. Do your best to keep the bones and ribs intact, but if a few slip out don’t worry – just discard them. Scoop out the vegetables with the slotted spoon and place around the ribs. Cover the dish with foil and keep warm.

Tilt braising pot to gather juices in one end and skim off as much surface fat as possible with a big spoon. Pour the remaining liquid into a medium saucepan and reduce by simmering strongly for 10-15 minutes. Reduced sauce should be syrupy. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Heat the broiler on high. Place the dish under the broiler and watch closely. Remove after about 4 minutes once the ribs start to sizzle – this is a step to be watched closely or you risk burning the ribs.

Transfer the ribs to serving plates and spoon the liquid around the ribs. Serve immediately with more Alaskan Smoked Porter.

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • Sean Finney

    Interesting take on braised short ribs. Since this is basically a Beef Carbonade recipe let me provide a few suggestions:

    1) Prior to browning the beef, dice three strips of bacon or pork belly for lardons. Brown and render fat, remove, then go ahead and brown the beef in the same pan with reserved fat. Add oil if needed.

    2) For the bouquet garni (rosmary sprig(s), bay leave(s) etc) don’t be afrait to try thyme, sage, lavender, etc.

    1a) Skip the vegetable stock and move to a decent beef stock.

    3) In my opinion if the meet is well submerged there should not be any reason to turn them. I’m just lazy and three and a half hours of a good braise should take care of short ribs no problem.

    4) If you have more time try lamb shank, or ox tail. They’re tougher meat and will take longer to braise (at least 6 hours) but well worth it.

    5) While reducing if you’re at a point where the flavor is right a Burre manie can be used (Google: Burre manie) to thicken.

    6) I’d serve this with crusty bread and/or over garlic mashed potatoes.

    I guess that I know what is cooking at my house this weekend.

  • Russ

    Damn Geoff this looks and sounds tasty. I’ll have to give it a shot! Thanks…

  • Kaiser

    Thanks for the tips, Sean. I had some rendered bacon fat in the fridge that I definitely should have thought to use. The rosemary flavor was borderline too strong for my liking, so changing it up with a different mix would be interesting.

    I didn’t turn the ribs at all, actually. It was in the original recipe, but I honestly forgot to. No ill-effects as far as I can tell.

    Russ – hope it turns out well!

  • Kevin

    Geoff, that looks fantastic. I just brewed a smoked porter that is too heavy on the peat. I’m using some of it to marinade flank steaks for the Super Bowl. And a couple of bottles are being cooked down with a bunch of sugar/spices to make a bbq sauce.


  • Phoo-D

    These look wonderful! A smoked porter would add a terrific flavor profile to the recipe. So glad you enjoyed the results!

  • Russ

    Alaskan Smoked Porter acquired! I like Sean’s input, I routinely make Chinese oxtail stew (so good and beeeefy) in a pressure cooker. I wonder if I can do this recipe in a pressure cooker as well and cut the cook time to 45 minutes…. hmmmm

  • Kaiser

    But, Russ, if you cut the time to 45 minutes then you have much less time to drink while you cook…

  • Robert

    I’m going for it tonight; going to cook through the braising and let them rest overnight. Tomorrow I’ll bring them to room temperature and finish the sauce and broiling. Switching three nice shallots for one of the onions, bumped up the carrots and am using two small celery ribs. We had a reservation for a restaurant tomorrow night, but I think now we’re gonna cancel!

  • Robert

    P.S.: Also switched the veg broth for some Glace de Viande’s gold concentrate, which is veal and beef stock…

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  • llane

    Making this tonight….just put it in the oven and so far it smells wonderful.

    Used veal stock instead of veg stock. Planning on having it with lemon parsley pappardalle tomorrow night.

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