Short Ribs with Beer and Buckwheat Honey

January 25, 2011

Test Kitchen-Approved

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

Ingredients

  • 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
In This Recipe

Directions

  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:
Stew|Beef|Honey|Mustard|Rib|Slow Cook|One-Pot Wonders|Father's Day|Winter|Fall|Entree

Reviews (32) Questions (3)

32 Reviews

Vanny O. February 3, 2018
Loved this recipe!! Had to tweak a bit for ingredients on hand: used Sweetwater 420, local Georgia honey, and added 4-5 small serrano peppers sliced in half (lengthwise) for a little kick. Steamed broccoli for our side. My husband loooooooved this meal. The sauce is not going to come out spicy, it is mostly sweet. Reheated the ribs in oven in the same glass container the day after for a quick breakfast: layered a couple over-easy eggs with the meat and added freshly baked biscuits), amazing.
 
Vanny O. February 3, 2018
Loved this recipe!! Had to tweak a bit for ingredients on hand: used Sweetwater 420, local Georgia honey, and added 4-5 small serrano peppers sliced in half (lengthwise) for a little kick. Steamed broccoli for our side. My husband loooooooved this meal. The cause is not going to come out spicy, it is mostly sweet. Reheated the ribs in over in the same glass container the day after for a quick breakfast: layered a couple over-easy-eggs with the meat and added freshly baked biscuits), amazing.
 
hmmary April 18, 2017
I had about three lb of short ribs so I halved the whole recipe including the liquids. Do not do this! Since there was insufficient liquid for the height of the ribs, it caramelized and then blackened into a bitter tar. I took the rins out and roasted them to finish cooking, and they were fine, but I would have liked some of the sauce too. So reduce the recipe with caution.
 
Chef K. March 1, 2017
made this today with boneless shortribs and Stone Brewery's Milk Stout Porter plus my bee's honey, all else according to directions. Par boiled some fingerling potatoes and then added them in the Dutch oven for the last hour. Husband thought it was sublime!
 
Victoria March 7, 2016
Recipe calls for 5 pounds short ribs but doesn't specify bone-in or boneless. Photo shows bone-in so I'm assuming that factor, but just curious what others thing. This will make a big difference in yield if weighed with bone or without. Thanks!
 
Grizzlucas December 7, 2015
Excellent Short Ribs! I chose the Saranac Caramel Porter for my liquid-It worked well. The buckwheat honey also added a nice touch. My sauce was thick and lumpy so I made some long grain rice and mixed in some roasted delicata squash. Thanks for the recipe!
 
sevenfaces February 23, 2015
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. :)
 
Adam L. October 22, 2014
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?
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. October 22, 2014
Yes, that should work!
 
Chef T. September 25, 2014
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.
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. September 26, 2014
I haven't made it in a crock pot, so can't advise unfortunately. This would be a great question for our Hotline!
 
Aidyn M. June 15, 2013
What can I use in place of the ale? Sounds like a fabulous recipe, but we're not big on strong flavors of beer.
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. June 18, 2013
You could use stock -- or even water.
 
rapearson June 7, 2013
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.
 
Chad S. February 18, 2013
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!
 
healthierkitchen January 1, 2013
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.
 
Chef T. November 30, 2012
I made this wtih a cheesy polenta and it was out of this world. Even better the next day!!!
 
QueenSashy October 23, 2012
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!
 
Eden March 13, 2012
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!!
 
WoooPigSooie January 8, 2012
just made this for dinner tonight with some cheesy polenta. Everyone's plate was licked clean! Thanks for another great recipe, Merrill!
 
Regine January 8, 2012
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.
 
Brenzo November 13, 2011
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!
 
Teri November 6, 2011
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!