Smoked Porter & Apple Braised Short Ribs
This recipe is for the record books, seriously. As you can see it is a meat & potato meal, so it's not for those dieting out there, but if you're snuggling up at home on a wintery evening it fits the bill to a tee! And, you have to give yourself a night off from salads and light meals for overwhelming deliciousness every once in a while, right? Besides, "all in moderation" is what my Mom used to say! I paired this recipe with a supped up version of mashed potatoes (post to come). You won't regret the extra effort on this homemade goodness.
2 tbsp. grape seed oil
4 lbs. short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
4 Braeburn apples - cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 medium leeks - cut in 1/2 and then cut into 1/4 inch half moons
1 large fennel bulb (or substitute for 2 celery stalks & 2 tsp fennel seed) - cored and rougly diced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
3 tbsp. flour
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
22 oz. bottle of your favorite smoked porter
2 shots of espresso
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
6 to 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 large bay leaves
2 tbsp. butter (optional)
2-3 shallots, thinly sliced
1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 300*
2. Pat the beef dry and season with salt & pepper.
3. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium-high heat until smoking.
4. Add half of hte beef and cook on each side until well browned. Do not move the pieces until nice crust has formed, which should take about 4-5 minutes each side. Transfer beef to a medium bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and ribs.
5. Pour out all but 2 tbsp. oil. Reduce heat to medium, add apples, leeks, and fennel (or celery) and cook, stirring occasionally (cook for 10-15minutes). Add the garlic, caraway seed, and fennel seed and cook until fragrant - 30 seconds.
6. Add flour and stir to combine. Then, add broth, beer, espresso, mustard, thyme, and bay leaves.
7. Add the ribs and make sure they are well submerged. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
8. Once you have a good simmer, cover and transfer the pot to the oven and cook until tender, turn once at about 90minutes. Cook for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
4. Transfer the ribs when done to a large plate w/ veggies. Strain the remaining liquid into a bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then scrap any excess fat off the top.
5. Optional (which I did and recommend): melt 2 tbsp. of butter, add the sliced shallots and lightly caramelize. Add the liquid and cook until 1/3 to 1/2 reduced. Then put the ribs back in and simmer together for about 8-10 minutes - it adds just another note of flavor!