Ale-braised Short Ribs

From Dishing Up Vermont by Tracey Medeiros (Storey Publishing).

At the Cliff House, this dish is served in the fall with a Yukon gold potato gratin and in the summer months with a potato salad.  The tasty short ribs are from the local Wood Creek Farm.  The smooth and rich Ridge Runner Barley Wine Ale from Rock Art Brewery brings all the dish's flavors together.  Buttermilk onion rings may also be added for a tasty, crunchy garnish.



1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
4-5 pounds of short ribs, cut so each piece has 2 bones
1/4 cup olive oil, or more as needed
1 pound yellow onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
2-3 bay leaves
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 cups veal stock or low-sodium beef broth
1 (22-ounce) bottle Rock Art Ridge Runner Barley Wine Ale, or other dark ale
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

Method of Preparation

1.  Stir together the sugar, paprika, cumin, pepper, salt, and mustard in a small bowl until well combined.
2.  Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and layer in a shallow baking dish.  Coat all sides of the ribs evenly with the spice mixture.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
3.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the ribs and sear on both sides, in batches if necessary.  Transfer the ribs to a plate and set aside.
4.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add the onions, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 15 to 20 minutes.  Add the bay leaves, thyme, and garlic, and mix until well combined.  Whisk in the stock and beer, scraping the bottom of the pot.  Add the tomatoes and stir until well combined.  Return the ribs to the pot and increase the heat until the liquid reaches a strong simmer.
5.  Cover the pot and place in the oven for 2 to 3 hours, until meat is tender and falling off the bone.  Skim off any fat and remove short ribs.  Strain the broth and continue to cook until sauce reduces and thickens, about 10 minutes.  Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.