Short Ribs Braised in Porter Ale with Maple-Rosemary Glaze

Posted On March 24th, 2013 Author Lia Rinaldo

Short Ribs Braised in Porter Ale with Maple-Rosemary Glaze
From Molly Stevens' book All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Serves 6, Do ahead if can (2 days of salting), Braising time 2 1/2-3hours

3 1/2-4 lbs of meaty, bone-in beef shprt ribs
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 tbsps pure maple syrup
Two 3-4 inch leafy fresh rosemary sprigs
1 carrot, chopped into 1/2inch pieces
1 1/2 cups porter ale, more if needed (couldn't find porter, so used a Guinness)
3/4 cup of beef, veal or chicken stock
One 3-4 inch leafy frsh rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp of prepared horseradish

1. Preparing the ribs (if you have the time). Trim any excess fat from the short ribs, but don't take off any silverskin or tough-looking bits that hold the ribs together. Optional: 1-2 days before braising, arrange the short ribs in a loose layer on a tray or non-reactive dish. Sprinkle them all over with 1 1/2-2 tbsps of salt (there's no need to rub the salt into the meat) and cover loosely with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refridgerate for 1-2 days. This helps tighten the meat, improving its texture and also helps it to brown more readily in the first step of the braise and deepen its hearty taste.

2. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel, but don't try to rub off the salt. Season with pepper. If you didn't salt the ribs in advance, season them both with salt and pepper now. Browning the ribs- Pour the oil into a Dutch oven or other heavy braising pot wide enough to accomodate the short ribs in a crowded single layer and heat over medium heat. Add only as many ribs as will fit without touching, and brown them, turning with tongs, until chestnut brown on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the seared ribs to a platter, without stacking, and continue until all ribs are browned.

3. The Aromatics- Pour off and discard all but about a tablespoon of fat from the pot. If there are any charred bits in the pot, wipe them out with a damp paper towel, being careful not to remove the precious caramelized drippings. Return the pot to medium-high heat and add onions and carrot. Season with salt and pepper and sauté, stirring a few times, until the vegetables start to brown and soften, about 5 minutes.

4. The Braising Liquid- Add the ale and bring to a full boil. Boil for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to dislodge and dissolve any tasty bits cooked onto it. Pour in the stock, and bring again to a boil, and reduce teh heat to a simmer. Return the ribs to the pot, along with any juices released as they sat. Tuck the rosemary sprig and bay leaves in between the ribs. The ribs should be partially submerged in the liquid. If necessary, add a bit more ale or water.

5. The Braise- Cover with a sheet of parchment paper, pressing down so that it nearly touches the ribs and hangs over the pot about an inch. Set the lid securely in place. Slide the pot into the oven and braise at a gentle simmer, turning the ribs with the tongs ao as not to tear up the meat, every 40 to 45 minutes, until fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Check under the lid after the first 10 minutes to see that the liquid isn't simmering too aggressively; if it is, lower the oven temperature by 10-15 degrees.

6. Prepare the Glaze. While the ribs are braising, combine the maple syrup with the rosemary sprigs in a small saucepan. Heat to a gentle boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside to infuse for about an hour.

7. Removing the ribs from the braising liquid- When the ribs are tender and the meat is pulling away from the bones, use tongs or a slotted spoon to carefully transfer them to a shallow baking dish that is large enough to accomodate them in a single layer. Try your best to keep the ribs on the bones and intact, but don't worry if some bones slip out. Scoop out the vegetables with a slotted spoon and arrange them around the ribs. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

8. Finishing the Braising Liquid- Tilt the braising pot to collect the juices at one end and skim off as much surface fat as you can. If the braising liquid exceeds 1/2 cup, bring it to a vigorous simmer over medium-high heat and cook it downto close to 1/2 cup, 10 to 15 minutes; it should have a syrupy consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

9. Glazing the Short Ribs- Heat the broiler on high. If the glaze has been refrigerated, warm it slightly so that it's pourable. Remove the rosemary sprigs, lightly running your fingers down the length of the sprigs so you save every drop of glaze. Put the horseradish in the palm of your hand and and press over the sink to eliminate as much liquid as possible, then stir the horseradish into the glaze. Brush the glaze on the tops of the short ribs. Pour the braising liquid around the ribs–don't pour it over the ribs, or you'll wash off the glaze. Slide the ribs under the broiler and broil until the surface of the ribs develops a shiny, almost caramelized glaze and you can hear them sizzle, about 4 minutes.

10. Serve! Warm your serving plates. Transfer the ribs to serving plates. Spoon the braising liquid around, not over the ribs and serve immediately.
Further notes- These can be made ahead and briefly reheated and glazed under the broiler before serving. Their flavour apparently actually improves if they sit for a day or two in the refridgerator. These are great with a rich dark beer or an intensely flavoured red wine. Serve with other oven-roasted vegetables, like beets or potatoes. On this particular occasion, I did a light blue cheese mash and cheesy leeks, a traditional Welsh side (I'll share that one later too.) These were FANTASTIC as leftovers a couple more days later.


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