I love you, Smitten Kitchen. You are one of my favorite food sites, and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is just the best. I have been obsessed with short ribs this year, and your beer-braised version has reinforced why short ribs are worth the attention.
This is an all-day kind of process, but really worth it. And the book has a lot of tips for serving this to a big crowd.
5 lbs. bone-in short ribs (6 large or 10 small, apprx.), at room temperature and trimmed of fat
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 bottles (24 ounces or 110 ml) dark beer
2 to 3 cups beef stock
Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley for serving (optional)
“Generously” season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat, and coat the bottom with olive oil. When the oil is hot, brown the short ribs on all sides, working in batches (SK takes a good 10-15 minutes to brown each batch). Transfer the ribs to a plate and repeat as needed.
Preheat your oven to 325. When all the ribs are done and removed from the Dutch oven, lower the heat to medium-high and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil and fat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook about 10 minutes–until softened and slightly brown.
Add the garlic cloves and saute for 3 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a few more minutes until thickened.
Add the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and beer. Scrape up any brown bits.
Return the ribs to the pot and try to arrange all of them with the meatiest side down. If you run out of room, stand them up on their sides so they’re vertical. Add enough beef stock to just cover them.
Bring the liquid to a simmer, turn off the heat, cover the pot tightly with foil, then add the lid, and bake for 3 hours (or until the meat can be torn with a fork).
Remove from the oven and let the ribs rest uncovered for 15 minutes.
Skim fat off the top.
Preheat the oven to 420. Remove the ribs from the braise and spread them out on a large baking sheet.
Roast them for 15 minutes, until the edges start to crisp.
Meanwhile, strain the braising liquid into a saucepan and simmer on high heat for 10 to 15 minutes until reduced by a third. The sauce “should be fairly opaque and have more body to it.”
Pour the sauce over the ribs when serving (or arrange all ribs on a big serving platter for a crowd) and cover with sauce. Garnish with parsley and serve with something yummy.