By December 31st I had done most of my shopping for New Years Eve dinner (and New Years Day brunch), except for picking up the ingredients for my main course. Slip and I had a busy morning— unfortunately we are looking for a new apartment.
Long story short, we are technically on a sublet, because the previous renter broke off an engagement and could not afford to live here solo. We’ve lived in this fabulous apartment we call home for only 6 months. We met with the sublessor last week to sign renewal papers in our own names, only to be shocked and dismayed with the news that she has gotten back together with her ex and they are moving back in. We have no legal recourse as this is a sublet (and completely unexpected), and are being forced out of our home— mid semester, in the midst of our birthdays, and worst of all only 6 months after we moved in. We are searching as hard as we can but having a difficult time finding a place we love, and we have to be out by February 28th. The morning was spent apartment hunting and quite stressful, to say the least.
Well, arriving at DiBruno Bros. at 2pm, I went to the meat counter to purchase my planned out main course, beef tenderloin, politely asking for 4-5 pounds to be trimmed and tied. It turns out that beef tenderloin costs $29.99 a pound! I turned to Slip and quietly said, “We are gracious hosts, but not quite that gracious.” So quickly I had to rethink my plan. I found a recipe that looked delicious, and we picked up 4 lbs. of (much more reasonably priced) beef short ribs. Here’s what you’ll need:
Stout-Braised Beef Short Ribs
(Recipe adapted from epicurious.com)
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. curry powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 4-4 1/4 lbs. beef short ribs (we used w/out bones but can be bone-in)
- 4 leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic (5-6 cloves)
- 1 3/4 cup beef broth
- 2 12 oz. bottles of stout beer
- 2 cans (14 or 15 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 1 lb. egg noodles (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp. butter (optional)
- 3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
First, preheat your oven to 375. Stir together the brown sugar, paprika, curry powder, cumin, pepper, salt, and mustard in a small bowl, until combined. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and arrange in one layer in a shallow dish. Generously coat all sides of the ribs with the spice mixture, then marinate 1 hour, uncovered and chilled.
(Side note— meat should be cut into about 4 inch pieces. I cut the large piece above in half before cooking and then sliced the rest into serving sizes after it was braised, which is fine, too).
Wash leeks in cold water then drain in colander. Heat oil in pot over high heat until hot but not smoking (I used a dutch oven). Quickly brown meat on 3 sides (not bone side, or all sides if you’re using meat without bones, like me) without crowding meat— you can do this in batches if necessary— about one minute each side.
Transfer meat to a large plate, then add leeks, carrots, celery and bay leaves to pot and cook over low heat until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute.
Add broth, beer, and tomatoes with their juices. We used Founders Breakfast Stout (Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Stout), which was an awesome choice by Slip. Add in ribs with any juices accumulated on plate and remaining spices from dish and bring liquid to a boil, uncovered. My pot didn’t quite fit everything, so I only used 1 1/2 cans of tomatoes, which was totally fine.
Cover pot and transfer to the oven, allowing beef to braise until very tender, 2-2 1/2 hours. Before meat is done cook egg noodles according to package, until al dente. Toss with butter and parsley.
When meat is done cooking skim excess fat from surface of sauce and discard bay leaves. Serve with buttered egg noodles.
I love short ribs and these definitely lived up to my expectations. The meat was tender, falling apart, the sauce was hearty and delicious, and the noodles were of course a great accompaniment. Along with our other side dishes (details to follow) it was a wonderful meal, shared with wonderful friends.