Short Ribs with Beer and Buckwheat Honey

By • January 25, 2011 26 Comments

763 + Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

Author Notes: A couple of years ago, I did a write-up on buckwheat honey for the New York Times, and in preparation I met up with Zeke Freeman, one of the founders of Bee Raw honey. He sat me down for a formal honey tasting and took me through several of his favorite varieties. He saved the earthy brown buckwheat for last. While we talked about ways to maximize its rich, faintly funky flavor, he suggested using it for short ribs. With beer. Needless to say, I thought that was a splendid plan.

The recipe below is what I came up with after a little experimentation, and it ran in T Living in November, 2006. It's a rustic version of short ribs (no mirepoix or reductions here), and one that won't take up your whole day.
Merrill Stubbs

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 pounds short ribs, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat honey
  • 12 ounces good brown ale (I used Dogfish Head this time)
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the oil in a large, heavy pan or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper and brown them on all sides, about 1 minute per side. (You will probably need to do this in batches.)
  2. Remove the short ribs from the pan and pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of fat. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard, honey, ale, and bay leaf. Return the meat to the pan and coat with the sauce.
  3. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cover the pan tightly with a lid or foil. Put in the oven and cook until the meat is pull-apart tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove the ribs, and skim as much fat as possible from the sauce. Reduce the sauce by simmering it for a few minutes if you'd like. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you like. Serve the meat warm with some of the sauce spooned over the top.

More Great Recipes: Beef & Veal|Entrees|Stews|Ribs

💬 View Comments ()

Comments (26) Questions (3)


6 months ago sevenfaces

Made this last night to enjoy tonight - fantastic! I only had a pale ale and a fairly standard honey on hand, so I think my flavour was milder than the original; I still think it tasted superb on a bed of cheddar polenta and steamed green veg. It was so simple to put together yet had such depth, absolutely will make again. :)


11 months ago Adam LG

I'm making this dish in my apartment for a dinner and I have a tiny oven. Towards the end of cooking I need to switch my oven to use it for the roasted vegetables. Is it possible to take it out of the oven and then at the last minute put it on a low heat on the stove?


11 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, that should work!


11 months ago Chef Tracy D

I have made this dish a couple of times in a dutch oven. Wondering if I can make it in a crock pot as well? I'm planning to make it next weekend and would be much easier if I can throw it in a crock pot instead. Just wondering how long it would need to cook etc.


11 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I haven't made it in a crock pot, so can't advise unfortunately. This would be a great question for our Hotline!


about 2 years ago Aidyn Mills

What can I use in place of the ale? Sounds like a fabulous recipe, but we're not big on strong flavors of beer.


about 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You could use stock -- or even water.


about 2 years ago rapearson

I'm going to try this one in the crockpot for the oven cooking step. Also I love that this is an excuse to pick up some of my favorite brown ale, (Big Sky Brewing) Moose Drool.


over 2 years ago Chad Stiles

This was really phenomenal! Tasted as a sample at Whole Foods then finally made it at home. My 2 teen kids and I ate 4 pounds. The "sauce" was very thick so I diluted with chicken broth and a splash of balsamic...during cooking I also added a little red wine. delicious!


over 2 years ago healthierkitchen

I made this tonight and my son who is home from college briefly, said it was like a birthday dinner! I made it with mashed potato and celeriac and sauteed and glazed brussels sprouts. Subbed in maple syrup because that is what was going in to the brussels sprouts. I also added in some pearl onions. This was much simpler and easier than most short rib recipes on a day when I really wanted to go out to see a movie and not be tied to the oven for too long.


almost 3 years ago Chef Tracy D

I made this wtih a cheesy polenta and it was out of this world. Even better the next day!!!


almost 3 years ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

I made this last week for a dinner party and have no words to describe the success! Actually I do – we had six guests, and I made enough ribs for 12, so that hubby and I can enjoy it the day after. And they ate EVERYTHING. Despite the fact that I had to take the meat of the bones, since FreshDirect delivered the most gigantic short ribs I have ever seen (serves me well for being too lazy to go to the butchers), and the saw almost broke when we tried to cut the ribs to fit into my 14 inch Dutch oven (yes they were that big!). When hubby offered to go to Home Depot to get new saw, I decided to go boneless, cut the meat into 2 inch cubes, and it was one of the best dishes we had in a long time!


over 3 years ago Eden

My guest positively swooned over these! I added a wee bit of soy sauce and served it with garlicky ginger green beans and cheesy mashed potatoes. Thank you! What a fabulous recipe!!


over 3 years ago WoooPigSooie!

just made this for dinner tonight with some cheesy polenta. Everyone's plate was licked clean! Thanks for another great recipe, Merrill!


over 3 years ago Regine

Hmm very tender but i confess I am not too crazy about the malt- ish flavor imparted by the beer and honey combination. I should have known since i am not a fan of beer and its flavor. But if you are, it is quite good. Next time I may replace the beer with red wine or maybe some nice tomato sauce.


almost 4 years ago Brenzo

Made this for supper twice in under a week! First, for my husband and I on a Saturday night. We loved it so much that we added it to our dinner party menu the following Friday. The buckwheat honey is such a great addition. Love this recipe. Thanks so much!


almost 4 years ago Teri

Made this for our Food52 cookbook party. It was a hit. And one of the easiest dishes I ever made for a party. Put in oven, and go take a nap. Two hours later, dinner is ready!


almost 4 years ago ahstone

Trying this in the crockpot worked okay--browned it first per recipe than switched over to the pot. Recipe itself yielded mixed reviews--my 12-year-old daughter ( who loves all things ribs) absolutely loved it. I thought it was a tad on the sweet side, but worth trying.


almost 4 years ago blanka.n

I got this recipe out of Gourmet Magazine - don't remember when - I think Merril wrote it even then - anyway it's THE GREATEST ribs recipe ever. I've made is at least 6 times for company. Wonderful that you're resurrecting such treasures from your past.


almost 4 years ago Francescap

I made these a small dinner party. The shortribs were fall off the bone amazing, and the flavor so tasty. I will definitely make them again, and my guests wanted the recipe. Because I was going to be short on time, I prepared them the day before, cooking them for 2 hours and then put them in the refrigerator. This made it easy to take off much for the fat the next day before putting them back in the oven for another 1/2 hour. I served another Food 52 recipe Creamy Polenta with Mascarpone with Mushrooms Gravy and plain steamed string beans from our farmers market. Fantastic meal, thank you all!


almost 4 years ago Rokovak

Oktoberfest is in September. lol

Anyways I look forward to trying this recipe. Thank you!


over 4 years ago jams

Made this last night to rave reviews, locally raised boneless short ribs, onions grown in the garden, home brew and local honey. Delicious.


over 4 years ago xMarcus

This was yummy, thanks. We added a little water to the sauce after removing from oven as our sauce was really thick. Also threw in a couple teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.


over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, it is a hearty sauce. Love your balsamic addition.