Smoked Porter & Apple Braised Short Ribs

By • January 5, 2011 • 20 Comments



Author Notes: I had some smoked porter made by the Alaskan Brewing Company, and suspected it would be great for braising short ribs. I thought apples, leeks, and fennel would compliment the beer's flavor so used them in place of a traditional mirepoix. The beer with the apples made me think of rye bread for some odd reason, so I added caraway seed to the mix. The resulting sauce is rich and slightly tangy. It's got a whisper of bitterness from the beer and caraway, which I think adds nice flavor depth. A small amount of brown sugar added at the end of cooking will temper the bitterness if desired. My absolute favorite thing to serve this with is mashed parsnips. The sweetness from the parsnips is a perfect foil for the succulent beef and robust sauce. - hardlikearmourhardlikearmour

Food52 Review: Beer + beef... what a great combination. Throw in some apples, leeks and fennel and it is 10 times better. With a delicious, rich sauce, this meal screams out for a cozy fire and a lovely bottle of red wine. - VictoriaA&M

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 4 pounds English-style short ribs, trimmed of excess fat and fascia
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Braeburn (or other sweet/tart) apples
  • 4 medium leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1 large fennel bulb (or substitute 2 celery stalks and 2 tsp fennel seed)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
  • 22 ounces bottle Alaskan Brewing Company smoked porter (or other porter)
  • 2 shots espresso or 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 to 8 springs fresh thyme
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • 2-3 shallots, thinly sliced (optional)
  • brown sugar
  1. Core apples and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Cut leeks in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/4-inch half moons. (Make sure to clean your leeks well, dirt likes to hide between the layers!) Core and roughly dice fennel bulb.
  2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until smoking. Add half of beef and cook on each side until well browned. Do not move the pieces until nice crust has formed, which should take about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer beef to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and ribs.
  3. Pour out all but 2 Tablespoons oil. Reduce heat to medium, add apples, leeks, and fennel (or celery), and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown (about 10 – 15 minutes.) While they are cooking mince the garlic. Add garlic and caraway seed (and fennel seed if using) cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and stir to combine for about 1 minute. Add broth, beer, espresso, mustard, thyme, and bay leaves, then stir, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any stuck bits. Add ribs and any accumulated juices to pot, nestling the ribs in, so they are submerged. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and transfer pot to oven and cook until tender, turning ribs once at about 90 minutes. Ribs will take at least 2 & ½ to 3 hours to cook. Transfer pot to wire rack and allow to cool partially covered for about 1 hour.
  4. Transfer ribs to a large plate, scraping off excess apple and veggie bits clinging to the ribs. Strain liquid into medium bowl, pressing the solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Transfer liquid into a fat separator, allow to sit for 5 or so minutes, then pour liquid into clean bowl. Discard the fat. You may need to do this in batches. Clean your dutch oven.
  5. Optional step: melt 2 tablespoons butter in dutch oven over medium-low heat. Once it has stopped sputtering, add the sliced shallots and a pinch of brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally until the shallots are lightly caramelized.
  6. Add the braising liquid to the dutch oven, and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by about 1/3 to ½ depending on personal preference. Taste the liquid, and add salt and pepper to taste. You may also add brown sugar to taste if necessary to temper bitterness from the beer and caraway. Reduce heat to medium, and add the ribs back to the pan. Simmer until the ribs are heated through, stirring and flipping ribs occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with something that can soak up the sauce.
Jump to Comments (20)

Tags: savory, winter

Comments (20) Questions (1)

Default-small
Default-small
Rachel-olive-tree2

over 1 year ago Well Worn Whisk

I'm a bit late to this... like, 3 years, but this looks amaaaaazing. We Brits are way behind you Yanks when it comes to ribs. Going to try this, oh yes.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yay! Glad to see this got an EP! Yum. :)

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks! It was a bright spot in an otherwise yucky day.

My_love-1

over 3 years ago Table9

Loving the flavors in this dish. Great idea with the coffee!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks. It was a last minute addition thanks to a Portland Monthly magazine article.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

If you can't get the smoked porter (live in PA where the state gov't has a stranglehold on the beer, wine and liquor distribution channel), I can obvioulsy use a local porter, but anything I can add to get the "smoke"?

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

The smoked porter isn't ridiculously smoky, so maybe just a small amount of liquid smoke. I'd probably start with a 1/4 tsp, and add more if you wanted it smokier.

Default-small

over 3 years ago clintonhillbilly

this sounds really delicious. i love the idea of using smoked porter with short ribs

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks. I think the smoked porter makes the sauce extra rich, but I'm likely biased.

Dsc_0675-x2a

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Love your flavor combinations! Very succulent, and with parsnips, divine.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, I really love parsnips. Such an under-appreciated veggie!

Steve_dunn02

over 3 years ago Oui, Chef

I LOVE porter, but have never had a smoked one. I'll have to search out some, if only to make this great sounding dish. - S

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Oui, Chef! The smoked porter is really good, imo. You should get some to drink, and if there's any leftover you could make the dish!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Wow, this looks awesome! I love a good smoked porter, and the idea of cooking with it is brilliant!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I love smoked porter, too. When I was tinkering with the recipe, I'd only make a half batch at a time, leaving plenty for myself to drink!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Haha! Yes. I totally do that too!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Love all the flavors going on here. Sounds great!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Midge!

036

over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow, these sound really good - I like the idea of leaving them the slightest bit bitter and serving with the sweet parsnips.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks! I think the sauce is excellent with the parsnips.