These hearty Irish-inspired Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs are slowly-simmered until they're fall-off-the-bone tender. Paired with Colcannon, it's perfect comfort food goodness!
My first encounter with Guinness (aka stout) beer didn't involve much love. My husband used to travel extensively throughout Europe for his job. I was the fortunate recipient of his work assignment in that I got to travel to places I had longed to travel to....like Ireland.
While there, one of the things we did was tour the Guinness plant in Dublin. At the end of the tour, we were all treated to a bottle of Guinness stout beer. Both my husband and I agreed it must be an "acquired" taste.
But oh, it pairs beautifully with beef!
Braising is an easy cooking method that's perfect for beef short ribs. The tough connective tissue in short ribs breaks down during the braising process which creates a fall-off-the-bone super flavorful silky result!
How to make Stout-Braised Beef Short Ribs and Colcannon:
Here's everything you'll need to make this recipe along with how to prep. See the FULL RECIPE AT FROM A CHEF'S KITCHEN FOR THE EXACT QUANTITIES. (Post includes affiliate links. If you purchase anything through the affiliated links, the author/website may earn a commission.)
- Canola oil
- Beef short ribs
- Salt and black pepper
- Tomato paste
- Stout beer such as Guinness
- Beef Broth
- Fresh Thyme
- Russet potatoes
- Milk, half-and-half or cream
- Black pepper
- Beef Short Ribs: For this recipe, I used English cut. Each piece that you see above is a half-rib so in total, four whole ribs. A butcher will also cut the rib into thirds, but a half-rib is one good portion size if there is plenty of meat. Short ribs have a substantial amount of connective tissue (the white veining). During the braising process, that connective tissue melts away which is what produces the succulent, tender result.
- Fresh Thyme: Use fresh thyme if at all possible. Dried thyme has a tendency to become bitter from being cooked for an extended period of time.
- Stout Beer: You don't have to use Guinness stout, but it is the quintessential stout beer!
- Gather and prep all the ingredients.
- If not already done for you, you’ll want to trim the excess fat from the top which is the side opposite the bone. Leave the bone side intact as bones add flavor. Leaving the bone intact makes for a nice presentation and gives the diner a "handle" to hold the rib and easily shred the meat using a fork with the other.
- Season the ribs with salt and black pepper and brown those bad boys!
- Transfer the ribs to a plate and discard the oil as it will be scorched after the high-heat browning.
- Refresh the oil and cook the onion, celery and carrot until nice and melty soft and then add the garlic.
- Add the flour and cook for approximately 1 minute then add the tomato paste and cook briefly.
- Add the stout beer and bring to a boil.
- Add the beef broth and fresh thyme and return the short ribs to the Dutch oven.
- Bring that up to a simmer.
- Cover securely then place in a preheated oven and braise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Remove the thyme sprigs and skim as much fat as possible from the top.
- MAKE AHEAD: At this point, you can make the ribs ahead of time. Let cool then refrigerate overnight.
How to remove fat from cooking short ribs:
After the ribs are cooked tender, there's always a significant amount of fat on top of the braising liquid. To remove it:
- Carefully tilt the pot to one side. Skim the fat with a large spoon, saving as much of the braising liquid as possible. Another option is to use a gravy separator.
- If you can, braise the ribs a day ahead of time, cool and refrigerate overnight. Before reheating, skim the hardened fat from the top. Don't worry about sacrificing any quality--most meaty braised dishes such as this often taste better the next day.
Pair the stout braised beef short ribs with colcannon, a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. Other ingredients in colcannon may include scallion, leeks, ham or bacon, but ALWAYS plenty of butter, milk or cream. The garlic in this recipe is not traditional, but we love garlic mashed potatoes so it seemed right to add it. It's delish!
How to make Colcannon:
- Boil the potatoes in salted water.
- Cook the cabbage in butter.
- Add the scallions and garlic the season with salt and pepper.
- Mash the potatoes and add butter and milk, half-and-half or heavy cream.
- Stir in the cabbage and season the colcannon to taste. Done and delish!
Then combine the Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs and Colcannon for hearty, delicious Irish-inspired slowly-simmered fall-off-the-bone comfort food goodness!
Tips and Tricks:
- These can also be cooked in a slow cooker. Slow cookers tend to water down flavors because of the produced steam. You can minimize that effect by cooking the ribs on HIGH for 30 to 45 minutes with the lid off at the end so the liquid reduces.
- When braising beef short ribs, I always make sure the meaty side is facing the bottom of the Dutch oven with the bone on top so it stays submerged in the braising liquid.
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