Guinness-Braised Short Ribs with Scallion and Irish Cheddar Grits

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Years ago, while I putting myself through grad school, I waited tables at this great restaurant down in DC. Back in those days, it was one of those places where locals would come on weeknights for a really quality meal and great beer and absolutely no pretense.

The chef was great, and he would totally indulge me geeking out in the kitchen; pouring over his latest creation. Since the place specialized in beer there was a lot of experimenting in cooking with it–something I didn’t have any familiarity with. Wine, yes, but beer no.

But beer is such a great cooking liquid. The malt and hops are a great compliment to the richness of beef or pork. And something about braising with beer makes it even more comforting. Like wine is trying too hard, but beer-braising is just down home cooking.

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One meal that has stuck with me over this last decade is beer-braised short ribs over grits.  With St Patty’s Day coming up, I tried an Irish-style spin on things and it worked beautifully.

0314 Guinness Braised Short Ribs touched up-1The restaurant is long since closed, and I never got the original recipe from the chef years ago, but the great thing about cooking at home is you can recreate those moments and memories with just a few items from your local market. So this St. Patty’s Day I’ll be cooking us up a special feast, reminiscent of feasts past! What are your plans for St. Patty’s Day?

Guinness-Braised Short Ribs

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 8 hours

Yield: 6 servings

Guinness-Braised Short Ribs

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 lbs meaty beef short ribs
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 2 cups diced carrots (2 very large)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks (2 large), washed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery (4 stalks)
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 shot of Irish whiskey (e.g. Jameson's)
  • 1 pint of Guinness
  • 1 pint water or beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons flour

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium high heat.
  2. Season ribs with half of salt and pepper.
  3. Place half of ribs in pan and sear on all sides until dark brown--approx 15 minutes total. Repeat with other half of ribs. Place ribs in the bottom of a crock pot set to the lowest setting.
  4. Skim off most of fat in the bottom of the Dutch oven, leaving just a tablespoon.
  5. Bring remaining fat back up to medium high heat, add onion, leak, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Saute until tender, approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Add carrots and celery and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, sautéing another 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in tomato paste and thyme and stir until tomato paste turns a copper color, approximately 5 minutes.
  8. Deglaze the pan with the whiskey, stirring until evaporated. Stir in beer and water and bring to a boil.
  9. Pour the broth and vegetable mixture over the short ribs in the crock pot. Cover and cook on lowest setting for 6-8 hours.
  10. 30 minutes before serving, spoon off a cup of the liquid and put back in the Dutch oven on the stove. Bring up to a medium heat and stir in flour, whisking until smooth. Meanwhile, carefully remove short ribs to a platter. Pour remaining liquid into the Dutch oven and cook down for 20 minutes or so. It should be the consistency of a gravy--one that coats the back of a spoon.
  11. Taste and season accordingly.
  12. Serve short ribs with a generous spoonful of gravy.
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Scallion and Irish Cheddar Grits

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Scallion and Irish Cheddar Grits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coarse ground grits
  • 3 cups water or stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces Irish cheddar, shredded
  • 4 scallions, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring water or stock up to a boil.
  2. Pour in grits and salt in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Turn the heat to medium and continue whisking.
  3. Allow to gently simmer, whisking regularly, for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, add cheddar and scallions and stir vigorously.
  5. Serve, topped with more cheese and scallions.
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Comments

  1. Steve says

    Normally when I make short ribs they turn out as a greasy concoction. Your recommendation to buy meaty ones and then a long browning took care of the grease. Instead of grits I made mashed potatoes. There is so much wonderful gravy that you need mashed potatoes (and I hate grits). A great dinner.

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