17 March 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day: Guinness-Braised Beef Ribs

Happy St. Patrick's Day to one and all. I hope you are able to spend the day with those who mean much to you.

This year's Guinness-inspired recipe was supposed to be Guinness-braised shortribs. I bought a couple of slabs of shortribs from my favourite butcher and put them in the freezer, until I had time to create this recipe. Sounds like a good idea, right? I'm thinking ahead, making sure my supper's star is ready to make his (her?) grand entrance.

One of my many great flaws is I rarely label my beef ribs. Everything else--sausages, bacon, chicken, lamb--they are all adequately labelled so I can easily pull out what I need.

Not beef ribs. In my addled brain, they are an identifiable shape in my freezer, so I think I'm pretty safe. Not this time.

This is not a beef shortrib bone. This is a beef...ummm...longrib bone.

Oh well.

I didn't realise my error until after I'd thawed the ribs. No worries. They were gorgeous and meaty and soon the original idea of braised shortribs morphed into braised beef ribs.

Knowing how well my contraption of a slow cooker works on pork ribs, I decided pull it off my shelf and put it to work on this recipe. A great move, especially as I set it to cook before I toddled off to bed the night before I wanted to serve this.

The beef was meltingly tender and the jus was nicely balanced: sweet from the tomato and the onion, but with those great deep chocolate-bitter notes from Guinness. It paired well with the cheddar'd mashed potatoes and roast asparagus, for a hearty cold-weather supper.

Guinness-Braised Beef Ribs
Serves 2-4


For the rub:
2Tbsp (30ml) brown sugar (dark, preferably)
1tsp (5ml) sweet paprika
1tsp (5ml) black pepper
1tsp (5ml) salt
0.5tsp (2.5ml) dry mustard
0.25tsp (1.25ml) garlic powder
0.25tsp (1.25ml) onion powder

For the braising liquid:
440ml (1.75c/1 can) Guinness
440ml (1.75c) passata/tomato puree
250ml (1c) beef broth
1.5tsp (7.5ml) Worcestershire Sauce
0.5tsp (2.5ml) dried thyme
0.5tsp (2.5ml) dried rosemary
2 dried bay leaves
0.5tsp (2.5ml) salt
0.5tsp (2.5ml) pepper

Flavourless oil, for frying
1kg (2lbs) beef ribs (meat still on the bone) or beef short ribs, cut into one-rib pieces
1 onion, sliced into thin lunettes
1-2 garlic cloves, minced

Mix together the rub ingredients and pat onto meat and let sit for at least an hour, but preferably overnight in the fridge. Do not discard any leftover rub.

Mix the braising liquid's ingredients together and set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet until it shimmers. Sear the meat, in batches, on all sides. Set the browned meat on a plate and cover with tin foil. In the same skillet, cook the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and stir until it releases its fragrance.

Slow cooker method:
Prep the contraption, as per manufacturer's instructions. Tip the onion mixture into the slow cooker. Layer the seared meat over top. Stir in any remaining rub mixture into the braising liquid and pour over the meat. Set to low and cook for eight hours. The meat should be fork tender and almost fall off the bone.

Oven method:
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Add the ingredients in an oven-safe lidded pot (such as a dutch oven), or in a deep baking dish as per the slow cooker instructions. Lid the pot or tightly cover the dish with tin foil. Braise, cooking in the oven for about 2.5 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender.

Serving suggestions:
If you are using beef ribs, cut the meat off the bone, and into bite-sized chunks.

Serve over plain, garlic or cheddar-mashed potatoes, buttered rice, buttered egg noodles or slices of hearty, crusty bread with plenty of the braising liquid. Accompany it with sautéed greens, asparagus or peas.

- This dish tastes better the next day (and the next), although it is mighty fine served the day of.

-If you are serving it the next day (or later), allow the pot to cool to room temperature before popping into the fridge. Before reheating (in a lidded pot, in the oven at 350F/180C for about 30 or so minutes), remove as much of the solid that has floated to the top of the liquid.

I'm a quill for hire!


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Comfort food at its best Jasmine.

Grandma Kat @ Easy Recipes Land said...

This recipes looks perfect for me and my family for this weekend when everyone is coming to visit grandma and grandpa.

So, I will give it a try and thank you for posting it. I'm sure it will be a hit!

Grandma Kat

The Head Caterer said...

This looks delicious!! I'm going to be trying this, this Easter weekend! YUM! Thanks for sharing.

Caterers in Manchester