In my travels to automotive events across the globe, I have experienced more than my share of “would you like the beef, chicken or fish option?” situations. All too often, the fish is “freshly caught Pacific salmon” even though we are nowhere near the Pacific. The chicken is usually a pretty safe but unimaginative choice. The beef is inevitably beef tenderloin which is on the high side of well done thanks to its time under the heat lamps as the crew gets their service for our large group in order.
On a recent trip however, I was pleasantly surprised to find slowly braised beef short ribs, which were falling off the bone fantastic. I decided it was time to create my own version.
Just a few blocks from my place in Whitby, the Brock Street Brewing Company opened their doors a couple of weeks ago and I almost instantly fell in love with their Irish Red. This deep and dark delight is nothing like those watery mass market red beers, having a smoothness unlike many other beers. A perfect base for braising rich and flavourful Angus beef short ribs.
- 8 Beef short ribs
- Kosher Salt and Pepper To Taste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- lump of pancetta, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 cups Brock Street Brewing Irish Red
- 2 cups beef stock
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Salt and pepper the ribs and coat with flour. Set aside.
- In a large dutch oven type of pan, over medium heat, cook pancetta until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add olive oil to pan and turn heat to high. Brown all sides of short ribs, about 45 seconds per side, and set aside. Reduce heat to medium
- Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in beer and scrape yummy burnt bits from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil and cook a few more minutes.
- Add in the broth, and season with salt & pepper. Add short ribs to the mixture. They should be mostly submerged. If not, add more broth. Add the pancetta back into the mix as well.
- Put the lid on the pan and put in oven for 2 hours. At that point, turn heat down to 300 and cook for another hour to hour and a half. The meat should be falling off the bones.
- Remove meat from pan and place in another dish, wrap with foil to keep warm.
- Allow fat (there will be a lot of it) to rise to the top of liquid. Skim off fat and discard.
- Using an immersion blender if you have one, a regular blender if not, give the juices a quick zing to break up the veggies and pancetta to give a smooth consistency. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Place one or two ribs atop mashed taters or polenta. For this version, we used grilled cauliflower and potato mash. Spoon a small amount of sauce over top.
Pro Tip: There will be a lot of extra sauce. Refrigerate and keep to use over the next couple of days in the best Shepherd’s Pie you have ever tasted.