These hearty Irish-inspired Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs are slowly-simmered until they’re fall-off-the-bone tender. Paired with Colcannon, it’s perfect comfort food goodness!
Why This Recipe is a Keeper!
My first encounter with Guinness (aka stout) beer didn’t involve much love. My husband used to travel extensively throughout Europe for his job. I was the fortunate recipient of his work assignment in that I got to travel to places I had longed to travel to….like Ireland.
While there, one of the things we did was tour the Guinness plant in Dublin. At the end of the tour, we were all treated to a bottle of Guinness stout beer. Both my husband and I agreed that it must be an “acquired” taste.
But oh, it pairs beautifully with beef!
Braising is an easy cooking method that’s perfect for beef short ribs. The tough connective tissue in short ribs breaks down during the braising process which creates a fall-off-the-bone super flavorful silky result!
How to make Stout-Braised Beef Short Ribs:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.
- Beef Short Ribs: For this recipe, I used English cut. Each piece that you see above is a half-rib so in total, four ribs. A butcher will also cut the rib into thirds but a half-rib is one good portion size if there is plenty of meat. Short ribs have a substantial amount of connective tissue (the white veining). During the braising process, that connective tissue melts away which is what produces the succulent, tender result.
- Fresh Thyme: Use fresh thyme if at all possible. Dried thyme has a tendency to become bitter from being cooked for an extended period of time.
- Stout Beer: You don’t have to use Guinness stout, but it is the quintessential stout beer!
- Gather and prep all the ingredients.
- If not already done for you, you’ll want to trim the excess fat from the top which is the side opposite the bone. Leave the bone side intact as bones add flavor. Leaving the bone intact makes for a nice presentation and gives the diner a “handle” to hold the rib and easily shred the meat using a fork with the other.
- Season the ribs with salt and black pepper and brown those bad boys!
- Transfer the ribs to a plate and discard the oil as it will be scorched after the high-heat browning.
- Refresh the oil and cook the onion, celery and carrot until nice and melty soft and then add the garlic.
- Add the flour and cook for approximately 1 minute then add the tomato paste and cook briefly.
- Add the stout beer and bring to a boil.
- Add the beef broth and fresh thyme and return the short ribs to the Dutch oven.
- Bring that up to a simmer, cover securely then place in a preheated oven and braise for 2 ½ to 3 hours.
- Remove the thyme sprigs and skim as much fat as possible from the top.
- MAKE AHEAD: At this point, you can make the ribs ahead of time. Let cool then refrigerate overnight.
How to remove fat from cooking short ribs:
After the ribs are cooked tender, there’s always a significant amount of fat on top of the braising liquid. To remove it:
- Carefully tilt the pot to one side. Skim the fat with a large spoon, saving as much of the braising liquid as possible. Another option is to use a gravy separator.
- If you can, braise the ribs a day ahead of time, cool and refrigerate overnight. Before reheating, skim the hardened fat from the top. Don’t worry about sacrificing any quality–most meaty braised dishes such as this often taste better the next day.
Pair the stout braised beef short ribs with colcannon, a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. Other ingredients in colcannon may include scallion, leeks, ham or bacon, but ALWAYS plenty of butter, milk or cream. The garlic in this recipe is not traditional, but we love garlic mashed potatoes so it seemed right to add it. It’s delish!
How to make Colcannon:
- Boil the potatoes in salted water.
- Cook the cabbage in butter.
- Add the scallions and garlic the season with salt and pepper.
- Mash the potatoes and add butter and milk, half-and-half or heavy cream.
- Stir in the cabbage and season the colcannon to taste. Done and delish!
Then combine the Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs and Colcannon for hearty, delicious Irish-inspired slowly-simmered fall-off-the-bone comfort food goodness!
Chef Tips and Tricks:
- These can also be cooked in a slow cooker. Keep in mind that slow cookers tend to water down flavors because of the steam that is produced. You can minimize that effect by cooking the ribs on HIGH for 30 to 45 minutes with the lid off at the end.
- When braising beef short ribs, I always make sure the meaty side is facing the bottom of the Dutch oven with the bone on top so it stays submerged in the braising liquid.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Most stout beers are very dark–almost black–in color with a deep, rich flavor. There are numerous varieties and brands and it’s origin dates back to 1677. However, when people think of stout, they probably think of Guinness.
This deep, rich flavor of stout pairs particularly well with beef, especially slowly-braised beef dishes like beef short ribs.
Before cooking, it’s difficult to know the amount of meat that will remain after being braised and after the connective tissue breaks down. One long-cut rib per person may suffice if meaty and it often will. However, to be on the safe side, I cook a few extra. Six good-sized short ribs should feed four people easily.
Braising uses both moist and dry heat. A tough cut of protein that has lots of connective tissue such as short ribs, is first seared at a high temperature. Then, it simmers at a low temperature for several hours. During this process, the connective tissue breaks down and the tough cut of protein is transformed into something buttery and fall-off-the-bone tender.
And to you, dear reader, this Irish prayer for you:
May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
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Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs and Colcannon
- 4 tablespoons canola oil - divided
- 4 pounds beef short ribs - 6 long-cut ribs, trimmed of excess fat
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion - chopped
- 2 stalks celery - chopped
- 2 large carrots - peeled and chopped
- 8 cloves garlic - chopped
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can (14.9-ounce) stout beer - such as Guinness
- 3 cups beef broth
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- Chopped parsley for garnish - optional
- 3 pounds Russet potatoes - 6-7 large, peeled and cubed
- 6 tablespoons butter - divided
- 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
- 1 bunch scallions - white and light green part only, chopped
- 2 clove garlic - minced
- 1 ½ cups milk - half-and-half or heavy cream, warmed
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- Chopped parsley for garnish - optional
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pat ribs dry with a paper towel, then season generously with salt and black pepper.
- Heat half the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Working in batches if necessary, sear the ribs well on all sides then transfer to a plate.
- Remove the scorched oil from the Dutch oven and replace it with the rest of the fresh oil being careful to not remove any fond. Return the Dutch oven to medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, celery and carrot, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until beginning to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook briefly–about 15 seconds.
- Add the flour and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the tomato paste and cook briefly–about 15 seconds.
- Reduce heat to low. Slowly add the beer then bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.
- Add the beef broth, thyme sprigs and the ribs back to the pot. Bring to a simmer over high heat but do not boil.
- Place aluminum foil or parchment paper over the pot first (to help minimize evaporation) then cover securely with the lid. Transfer to the oven and cook 2 ½ to 3 hours.
- Skim off as much fat from the top as possible. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve with colcannon.
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain.
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the cabbage and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until wilted. Add water as necessary to keep the cabbage from browning.
- Add the scallions and cook 1-2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook 15 seconds. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter along with the warmed milk, half-and-half or cream and mash well.
- Stir the cabbage into the potatoes. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve with ribs.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.