Rich, hearty and fall apart tender, these beer braised short ribs are comforting and absolutely scrumptious!
There are two things I love about these short ribs. One, the flavor is simply outstanding. Two, they are very easy to make. It’s all about using simple ingredients to build rich flavors. This recipe should be made in a dutch oven and cooked low and slow in the oven. I know that there are tons of recipes out there to cut time in half using a pressure cooker, but this is not what we’re doing here. This is a cold weather, slow food Sunday recipe, period. Sometimes you just need to roast things on Sundays, am I right? Let’s get into it.
I adapted this recipe over the years from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook: Essential Recipe Collection for Today’s Home Cook. It’s a great cookbook and I highly recommend it. This is an affiliate link (as are some of the ones below) and I may earn a small commission on Amazon (at no additional cost to you) if you are inclined to purchase it. It’s one of the favorites in my cookbook collection.
What do I need to make beer braised short ribs?
Beer – Use whatever kind of beer you like. I’m not much of a beer drinker but I would say go with a craft beer and choose a lager. There are a lot of recipes that call for stout beer which is an entirely different flavor but I recommend keeping it light.
Short Ribs – Short ribs come from the beef chuck of an animal and consist of the ends of the ribs near the breastbone. They are narrow cuts of been and shorter than traditional ribs. They don’t make for a good steak as they are not very tender, but they have tons of flavor and rich marbling, making them perfect for slow cooking. For this recipe you can use boneless or bone-in, depending on what you can find at your market. Just don’t get the Korean or flanken style. We’ll make those another time.
Onions – I recommend using yellow onions. You could also use white.
Carrots – Grab 4-6 big ones from the loose bin at the grocery store. Whole foods always has a bin of loose carrots.
Garlic – Pretty standard.
Crushed Tomatoes – I love these big jars of crushed tomatoes from Thrive Market. So many recipes only call for a small amount (this one included) and it’s annoying to open a can and then store the rest in something else. Maybe this is just me, but I love the jars here. Also, I order most of organic pantry staples from Thrive Market as it’s 25-40% cheaper than the grocery store! It’s easy to navigate the site and your stuff shows up perfectly packaged to your door in just a few days. Love it.
Dijon Mustard – I get Sir Kensingtons which is 25% cheaper at Thrive Market.
Salt and Pepper – yup yup, of course I have a favorite salt! It’s Redmond Real Sea Salt and yes, I can taste the difference.
Fresh Thyme – Tie about half a bunch together and just place it on top of the mixture while cooking. If I don’t have twine, I carefully tie it with some of the tough stems in a few different places so it holds together!
Neutral Oil – The ribs will get seared in a screaming hot skillet to build flavor so I recommend using an oil with a higher smoke point. Canola or vegetable is fine. My go-to is always avocado oil for high temp cooking like this.
Dutch Oven – not an ingredient but a necessary piece of equipment for making this recipe. If you don’t have one yet, it’s one of the best investments you can make in yourself as a home cook. It’s so versatile for cooking soups, stews, braised meats, even baking bread! It’s the big ol’ heavy bottomed pot you’ll have for the rest of your life. You can never go wrong with classic Le Creuset, but if you’re looking for a more affordable option, Lodge is the way to go.
Tips for making great short ribs
This recipe comes together with simple ingredients to build complex flavors. Each step is about building in another layer that will help you achieve the tender, fall apart meat in a rich sauce goal. Do not skip any of the steps in this recipe!
Set your short ribs out on a plate and let them hang out while you prep your veggies. They don’t need to come to room temp, but you do want to knock the chill off.
Slice your carrots into big, one inch chunks. I like to so this on the bias. It looks nice and the big chunks ensure that the carrots keep some integrity while slow cooking for hours.
Get your skillet screaming hot to get a good sear on the short ribs. Do them in batches and do not crowd the pan. You want the short ribs to brown and crust on all sides which will take about 7-10 minutes. Be patient! This step is the most work in the whole recipe, but it’s the most important for building flavor.
Tender, fall off the bone short ribs braised in a rich and flavorful sauce with beer.
- 3–4 lbs boneless short ribs or 4–5lbs bone in
- 2 large yellow onions, or 3 smaller ones
- 5–6 big carrots, cut on the bias into one inch slices
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 half cups craft beer
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- half a bunch of fresh Thyme
- neutral oil for searing, avocado, canola or vegetable
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Pat short ribs dry with a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Slice onions into 1/2 inch thick rings. Peel and slice carrots into 1 inch chunks on the bias. Mince garlic cloves. Set veggies aside.
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons avocado oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, until screaming hot. Sear short ribs on all sides until brown crust forms. Do this in batches and transfer them to a large dutch oven as you go.
- Once the ribs are seared and in the dutch oven, lower the heat on the same skillet and add in the onions. Cooking down until they are browned, but not burned. About 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about another minute, until fragrant. Add beer, crushed tomatoes and mustard to the skillet and another pinch of salt. Turn up the heat, stir and let simmer for 2-3 minutes, giving flavors time to meld. Taste for seasoning.
- Place the carrots on top of the short ribs in the dutch oven. Pour the contents of the skillet over the short ribs and carrots in the dutch oven.
- Bundle half a bunch of fresh thyme with twine. If you don’t have any twine, I use a few extra touch thyme stems to tie it together in several places! Place thyme bundle on top and put the lid on the dutch oven.
- Bake covered with the lid in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until the meat is fall apart tender. Turning the ribs every 40-50 minutes.
- Remove bundled thyme from the pot and discard. Serve the short ribs with mashed potatoes and sauce.
Make sure that your dutch oven has a heat safe knob as these short ribs need to bake covered! Most of them do up to a certain temperature.
This is also a great dish to make ahead as it’s one of those things that tastes even better the next day. Skim the fat off of the top if any collects overnight, then gently reheat the ribs before serving.
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