Short Ribs Braised in Beer Recipe

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If you purchase a side of beef, there will always be a few less desirable cuts. For our family, it’s the beef short ribs. With three small children, beef ribs are anything but a go-to meal. Get out the napkins. This is worth the mess.

This recipe works well either in the oven or in a slow cooker, but there are a few steps at the end to finish off the sauce.

These beer-braised beef short ribs don’t have a bbq flavor; if that’s what you’re after, head over here for beef short ribs with bbq sauce.

Beer Braised Short Ribs

Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe Ingredients:

  • 3 – 5lbs beef short ribs, excess fat trimmed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 can (12oz) dark beer*
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 slices of uncooked bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

*As commenter La Rêveuse astutely pointed out lager is not dark, what I mean is, do not use any pilsners or Bud, Miller, type beers. I used Yeungling, but my normal preference is Newcastle Brown Ale or Guinness.

Optional additional ingredients for the sauce:

  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP corn starch
  • cayenne pepper (optional!)
  • fresh ground pepper

Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs Instructions

Beef Short RibsSprinkle the trimmed beef short ribs with kosher salt.

Brown Beef Short RibsOn the stovetop, over medium heat, in a large dutch oven or roasting pan, brown the short ribs, about 2 minutes per side. This step gives the meat a lot of flavor, so even if you convert this to a crockpot or slow cooker, it’s best to not omit the browning. Place the ribs into the slowcooker or set aside for a moment, if they will be cooked in the roasting pan.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Bacon PiecesAdd the bacon pieces to the dutch oven which should still be over medium heat.

When the fat begins to render -come out of the bacon- add the onions and cook until the onions soften.

Slowly add the dark beer to the pan using a wooden spoon or spatula to gently scrape up the browned bits. Add the remaining ingredients, stir until well blended and place the short ribs into the roasting pan. Cover tightly and place in a 350F oven for two hours. Turn the ribs once, but don’t freak out if you forget, it’s not critical.

If you are using a slow cooker, pour the sauce over the ribs, cover, and turn on low for 6 – 8 hours or high for 4.

Cover tightly and cook at 350 for two hours. Turn the ribs about halfway through cooking.

When the ribs are done, remove them from the pan, cover tightly, and set aside.

Pour all of the liquid into a fat separator or large measuring glass and remove the fat. Be sure to also separate the solid pieces (bacon, onions, bay leaves) from the liquid, too.

Reduce the saucePour the liquid into the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the volume by half. This concentrates the flavor and slightly thickens the sauce. Add the brown sugar and adjust the seasoning with fresh ground pepper, or cayenne, or even add some additional salt.

Ladle about 1/2 a cup of the liquid into a bowl, whisk in 1 TBSP corn starch and stir until smooth. Pour this liquid back into the sauce and whisk until incorporated. This will thicken the sauce considerably.

Serve over the short ribs.

*Bonus Suggestion* Use 1 TBSP of the fat separated from the pan drippings and use it to saute 1/2 head or a whole head of cabbage. If desired, stir in the bacon and onions from the pan. If you need a tutorial on how to saute cabbage. I’ve got that for you, too.


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9 thoughts on “Short Ribs Braised in Beer Recipe”

  1. It's only 10:30 in the morning and now I'm starving! This is definately going on my list of things to cook.

  2. Um, lager is dark? What do you consider light??? Yeungling is pale golden (I live in central PA, too.) Stout is black, you usually can't see light through it. There's a bit of a difference. 🙂 Sorry, but my husband would beat me with a wet noodle if I didn't speak up on this. Maybe you need to change that to "beer with flavor–in other words, leave the Bud Light in the cooler." On the color scale, it would likely read (from light to dark) : Pilsner, Lager, Ale, Porter, Stout.

      • Yep! If Yeungling were dark, there's no way my father would have even tasted it when he visited! 😉 He's a Heinecken guy, so anything we'd think of as mild, to him is SUPER STRONG. 🙂


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