Fall is upon us, which means comfort food and stew season has begun. Perfect timing to try a new combination of beef short ribs and beer. Usually, I choose to braise short ribs in red, red or red wine, which is always delicious, but I was looking for something different when I came across this epicurious recipe for short ribs braised in a stout. Stout has such a creamy, nutty, almost coffee like flavour that it is just beautiful with the ribs.
Beef short ribs are actually just the end of the ribs, and the equivalent of the pork spare rib. Because of their high fat and connective tissue I highly suggest that you trim off that fat first, cook slowly in a moist environment, and make them a day ahead so you can skim the fat. You will definitely be rewarded for your efforts, and then you have an excuse to make a risotto or a polenta to help sop up all that delicious sauce, my favorite part.
Stout Braised Short Ribs(serves 2-4)
Adapted from epicurious
Combine sugar, paprika, curry, cumin, pepper, salt, and dry mustard. Trim short ribs of excess fat or silver skin. Cover with spice rub and massage into meat. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 375F. In a large dutch oven over medium high heat add olive oil until hot then brown the ribs in batch on all sides but the bone side. Remove to a plate and add onion and carrot. Cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring regularly. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook for another minute. Add beer and chicken stock and bring to a simmer, scraping up the bottom of the pot to get all the good rib flavour. Put ribs back into the pot, cover and put in the oven. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
You can serve immediately, but it is even better the next day, or in a few hours. Separate the meat from the sauce and put the sauce into a tall container, when the fat has pooled at the top remove from surface, reheat and serve over polenta.