Fall off the bone tender, these beer braised short ribs are slow-cooked in the oven for maximum flavour. If you've only ever made short ribs with wine, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes or rice, fried mushrooms, and coleslaw for a fantastic dinner.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
Savoury, tender, and a great way to use a less expensive cut of meat, braised short ribs are one of my favourite ways to cook beef. With dark beer, tomatoes, and herbs, these are top-notch and easy to make at home.
- Short active time: you're not standing at the stovetop for a long time, as most of the work is done by the long braising time in the oven.
- Gravy is included: the liquid left in the pot after cooking makes the best gravy with no extra additions, perfect for serving with potatoes.
- It's made with simple ingredients: it's not too expensive to make, but a fabulous meal as the cooking method really highlights everything here.
Everything used in this recipe is easy to find at any grocery store. Ask the butcher or person working at the meat counter to cut the short ribs into smaller pieces before wrapping them up to make things go a bit faster at home.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Ribs: chuck short ribs will be the most common cut available and work perfectly for this recipe. You can also use plate short ribs, but they're harder to find.
- Tomatoes: canned crushed tomatoes are great but if you have a lot of fresh tomatoes, you can also use fresh.
- Beer: Guinness is going to be the easiest dark beer to find in most places, and it works perfectly, but another stout beer can be substituted.
- Herbs: for the herb bundle, woody herbs like rosemary and thyme are ideal. Top with parsley for a bit of extra colour and flavour, and include it in the herb bundle as well if you'd like.
How to Make This Recipe
These ribs take about three hours to make from start to finish, but only about 20-30 minutes of that is active cooking time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your meal after the braising is finished.
1. Sear: Season the short ribs and sear on all sides. Don't crowd the pot.
2. Cook the vegetables: add the mirepoix and garlic to the same pot and cook to soften.
3. Cook the tomato paste: add along with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper, then cook for another couple minutes.
4. Add the ribs: transfer the ribs back to the pot.
5. Add the liquids: add the beer, tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce.
6. Add the herbs: add the herb bundle and bay leaves.
7. Braise: cook the ribs for about two hours, until the meat is very tender.
8. Garnish and serve: top with fresh parsley and serve with any sides you like.
Make Ahead, Storage, Freezing
- Make Ahead: short ribs can be made a day in advance. Simply cook according to the instructions, then cool fully before refrigerating, covered, for up to 24 hours. Skim the fat off if desired. Reheat on the stovetop at a gentle simmer until heated through.
- Storage: leftovers should be placed into an airtight container, and can be refrigerated for up to four days.
- Freezing: Cool fully and remove the meat from the bones. Place into an airtight container and freeze for up to three months, thawing in the refrigerator before reheating.
What to Serve with Short Ribs
While you can go for a more old-fashioned meal with classic meat and potatoes, it's not the only option! Short ribs are often served with flatbread and Middle Eastern dips like hummus, too.
- Traditional: think cookout or family dinner style with mashed potatoes and the gravy from braising, some fried mushrooms, and Dolly Parton's Coleslaw.
- With a Twist: try serving with naan, eggplant hummus, and roasted vegetables for something that matches equally well flavour-wise.
Braised short ribs are easy to make at home if you follow the recipe and check through all the notes and tips listed here. Just don't under or over cook them and the ribs will be perfect every single time.
- Use a braiser or Dutch oven: while a braiser is the ideal option due to the low sides (meaning a lower risk of steaming when you want to sear the meat) a Dutch oven is a good option due to the thick walls and bumps on the lid that will continuously baste the ribs.
- For a slow cooker: these are best made in the oven, but the ribs can also be cooked in a slow cooker. The timing will need to be adjusted, depending on whether you use a high or low setting. Be sure to sear the meat and cook the vegetables beforehand in a separate pan if necessary.
- Cutting the ribs: you might want to ask your butcher to cut the short ribs into the cubes when buying them if you don't have a sharp enough knife for it.
- Don't crowd the pot: if you add too many short ribs at once while searing them, they'll end up steaming rather than browning due to the high moisture content. Do this in batches if needed.
- Make them ahead: short ribs are very rich due the high fat content in the meat. To reduce this, make them ahead of time (see above for how) and skim the fat before serving. This lightens them up a bit but doesn't make them any less flavourful.
Beef short ribs are a cut of meat that contains short pieces of rib bone encased in meat, meaning they contain a lot more meat than other cuts of ribs.
If they aren't braised long enough, short ribs will be tough. If you cook them too long, they'll lose a lot of texture. For these beer braised ribs, cook them following the recipe guidelines and you'll have perfect ribs every time.
Absolutely. Searing and then braising gives the best flavour and texture. Searing first creates a Maillard reaction and adds flavour when adding high heat to the meat protein.
You'll want to use a dark beer for the best taste. I recommend Guinness or another dry stout. Serve with a pint of the same beer for a perfect pairing.
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Beer Braised Short Ribs
- Braiser or Dutch oven
- 2 ½ lbs Beef Short Ribs - Bone in, cut into 2" cubes
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil - Use light olive oil or vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup Onion - Diced
- 1 cup Celery - Diced
- 1 cup Carrot - Diced
- 4 Garlic cloves - Minced
- 2 tablespoon Tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 2 cups Crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups Dark beer
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Herb bundle - Parsley, thyme, rosemary
- 2-3 Bay leaves
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Parsley for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 300°F/150°C.
- Season short ribs with kosher salt on all sides.
- In a large braiser or Dutch oven on medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of light olive oil. You can also use vegetable oil. Add the short ribs and sear on all sides. Do not crowd your pot. Do this in batches if needed. Transfer seared short ribs to a plate.
- To the same pot, add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Sauté on medium high for 3-4 minutes, until onion softens.
- Add tomato paste, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
- Return seared short ribs back to the pot and add beer, crushed tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add herb bundle and bay leaves.
- Bring to the pot to a simmer, cover and transfer to the preheated oven. Braise for 2 ½ to 3 hours. The meat should be tender. Cook longer if needed.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
- Serve tender short ribs with mashed potatoes, mushrooms or your favorite sides.
- Optional: If you're feeling fancy, use an immersion blender to smooth out the sauce and cook it down further to thicken it. Taste and season the sauce to your liking.