3 lbs. bone-in beef short ribs
½ tsp. kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
2-4 tbsp. canola/olive oil blend (75%/25%)
2 large cooking onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. dried thyme or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme left whole
4 tbsp. tomato paste
12oz. good quality ale or dark beer
3-4 c. beef broth (low sodium)
- Preheat oven to 300º F.
- Sprinkle meat with salt & pepper and let sit for 5 minutes.
Brown the meat: In order to brown the meat, rather than steaming it, work in batches, leaving at least ¼” between meat pieces. In a heavy Dutch oven or pot at least 10” in diameter, with oven proof handles, heat 2 tbsp. oil over med-high heat and add a batch of the meat. Remove the meat to a plate. Repeat, adding more oil if necessary until all meat has been browned.
- Drain excess fat, leaving the brown bits (fond) at the bottom.
- Lower the heat to medium. Stir in a tbsp. of oil, along with the onions, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Cook the onions stirring occasionally until they are limp & browned (5-10 minutes).
- Add a pinch of salt, the bay leaves , thyme and tomato paste. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Return the meat to the pot, along with the beer & broth. Liquid should cover about ¾ of way up the meat.
Bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with foil and then with a heavy lid.
- Place in a 300º oven for 2-3 hours, until the meat is tender & falling off the bone.
- Remove from the oven and adjust salt & pepper to taste.
- Move the meat to a plate.
- Skim the excess fat from the gravy or place it in the refrigerator overnight. See “make ahead” note below.
- Serve over homemade Späòtzle (recipe follows), along with roasted root vegetables (recipe follows). You can also short bibs with noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.
Serving & storing suggestions
For a really nice finish, serve ribs & root vegetables with a drizzle of root beer (soda) reduced to a syrup consistency.
Make ahead for best flavor & convenience. Like stews, these ribs are great made ahead. These actually taste better if made a day or two ahead and refrigerated. Separate the liquids (sauce) from the meat, to make skimming the fat easier. Once cold, skim the fat from the sauce. To reheat, place the meat & sauce into a large sauté pan over med-low heat. Cover and stir occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
To freeze: Place in an airtight freezer container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost the meat & sauce in the refrigerator (takes 24 – 48 hours, depending on the size of the container).