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Dark Days Challenge Week 9: Porter Braised Short Ribs

Porter Braised Short Ribs with Maple Rosemary Glaze

The Dark Days Challenge has a couple of extra special challenges this time. The first is to make a one-pot meal or soup. We do a lot of one-pot meals here, so this one was right up our alley. For example:

For our “official” entry, we decided to dust of one of our favorite braising recipes from All About Braising.

Our local meat vendor only had one package of beef short ribs (we should have called ahead!). So we filled it out with beef stew meat. It worked just great. We had enough ribs to get the flavor and complexity from the bone, but the total cost of the meal was cheaper because of the use of the stew meat. Bonus!

For the Porter we used our local brewer’s offering. Our fair city, Somerville, used to be (sometimes still is) referred to derogatorily as “Slummerville”. Local brewers have now been bottling Slumbrew, including Porter Square Porter, named after a local neighborhood here.

Our Local Porter

This recipe can be involved, but many of the steps below can be separated out and done in advance. We braised the meat and then went to the gym. When we got home, we glazed and broiled and were ready to eat in about 15 minutes. Read the whole thing, then strategize.


Short Ribs Braised in Porter with Maple-Rosemary Glaze

Makes 4-5 servings

Amount Ingredient Preparation Where we bought it
4 lbs Bone-in beef short ribs We supplemented with stew meat Stillman’s
2 TBsp Olive oil
2 Large yellow onions About 1 lb, sliced 0.5 inches thick Paffenroth Farm
1 Carrot Chopped into 0.5 inch pieces Red Fire Farm CSA
1.5 cups Porter We used our local Porter Square Porter from Slumbrew Slumbrew
0.75 cup Stock We used homemade chicken stock
1 Fresh rosemary sprig
2 Bay leaves
To taste Kosher salt
To taste Black pepper Freshly ground
3 TBsp Real maple syrup We like Grade B Brookledge Sugar House
2 Fresh rosemary sprigs 3 – 4 inches each
1 TBsp Horseradish Grated with a microplane, or use prepared Red Fire Farm CSA

Directions

  1. Trim the ribs if necessary, but make sure not to overdo it. Some of the material you might want to trim is what will hold the ribs together. Be sure to remove only excess fat.
  2. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel. For us this was especially important with the stew meat, which was packed with a lot of au jus.
  3. Sprinkle the meat liberally with salt. There is no need to rub it in. You can over it with waxed paper and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. The longer it sits, in fact, the better it will be. We only let it sit for about 10 minutes, though, and still got great results.
  4. Pepper the ribs. Get out a dutch oven or cast iron pot (something heavy, conductive, and wide that has a lid). Add the oil to the pan and turn the heat on medium. After about 2 minutes (once the oil is heated), add meat so that the pan is full but there is space between each piece. Leave each piece face down until the first side is truly brown and caramelized, then turn and repeat until all the sides are browned, then set aside and rotate the next piece. Err on the side of having the heat too high rather than too low, or else you risk overcooking the meat in the browning process. We had that problem with the stew meat. If you mix stew meat with the ribs, we recommend browning the ribs first to get the pan to the right temperature, since you will have a greater margin of error than with the smaller pieces.
  5. Once all the meat is browned and set aside, drain all the liquid from the pot except for about 1 TBsp. Put the pot back on medium-high heat and add the onions and carrot. Season with salt and pepper, stirring every once and a while, until they start to brown and soften (about 5 minutes).
  6. When ready to do the braise, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Add the beer to the pot with the vegetables and bring it to a full boil. Boil for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits and keep them from burning. Add the stock, and bring it back to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the ribs/meat back to the pot, along with any juices that dripped off of them while sitting. The ribs should be partially submerged in the liquid; if necessary add more of the Porter or stock. Put one rosemary sprig and the bay leaves in among the meat.
  8. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper, so that it nearly touches the ribs in the middle (but doesn’t) and hans over the edges of the pot by one inch. Put the lid on, securing the paper in place. Place the pot in the oven and cook for about 2.5 hours, turning the meat every 45 minutes or so with tongs.
  9. While the meat is braising, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, add the maple syrup and the remaining rosemary sprigs. Over medium heat, bring it to a gentle boil. Remove it from the heat, cover it, and set it aside for at least 1 hour to let the rosemary infuse the syrup. This is another step that can be done well in advance.
  10. The ribs are done when they are pulling away cleanly from the bone. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to carefully remove them to a plate. Scoop out the vegetables and add them to the plate with the meat. Cover with foil to keep warm.
  11. Skim off as much fat as possible from the braising pot, using a large spoon. If the remaining braising liquid is more than about 0.5 cup, bring it to an aggressive simmer over medium-high heat. Cook it down until it is about 0.5 cup. It should have the consistency of a syrup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Turn the broiler on high. Make sure the glaze is warm enough to pour (in case you made it in advance and put it in the fridge). Remove the rosemary sprigs and use your fingers to squeeze as much syrup off the branch as possible. Stir in the horseradish (if it’s prepared horseradish, strain it first). Put the meat and veggies back into the pan and brush the glaze over the meat. Broil the ribs for 4-5 minutes until the glaze is caramelized and a bit shiny.
  13. Plate the meat and spoon the braising liquid around the ribs (again, so you don’t disturb the glaze).
  14. We served ours with a side salad made of baby Red Russian kale with a dressing made of equal parts apple cider vinegar and local sunflower oil, with a dash of maple syrup (just until the flavor comes through). Note: this isn’t included in the ingredient list up top. Add salt and pepper, and whisk to combine, and toss the greens.

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