Well, I figured one good beer-themed recipe deserved another.
Braised beef spare-ribs are something that sounds a lot fancier than it is. It just takes some time to do it properly. NOLA Brewing’s Irish Channel Stout has always been one of my local faves, and it happens to pair really well with beef. And dark beers, as well as wine, also happen to be great additions to a braising liquid.
So, this was a natural pairing for me, with some ingenuity on the spices a little — something warm and earth-y like rosemary goes well with the sweetness you get from a stout, in my opinion.
1-2 pounds beef spare ribs
1 pint can of NOLA Brewing Irish Channel Stout
1 can beef consomme
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 shallot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp rosemary
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Worcestershire Sauce, to taste
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp vegetable oil
salt & pepper to taste
1⁄2 can, NOLA Irish Channel
You’ll want some big, meat-y spare ribs here. The onions are nice accouterments to this dish, which you can pretty much serve over any starch. I recommend a nice pile of garlic mashed potatoes.
1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Yes, this is a low-and-slow dish. Like I said, it takes time. You’ll want to wash your spare ribs and pat them dry. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
2. Heat your oil in a large skillet with a nice lip and a cover — you can use a Dutch oven if that’s what you have. We want medium-high heat here, and sear your spare ribs on all sides, turning as you go. You aren’t cooking the meat through here, just creating a nice brown crust on the outside, which is crucial to get the most flavor here.
3. Remove the ribs and set aside, reduce heat to medium, then add the diced shallots and garlic to the pan and saute in the remaining oil until wilted slightly. Deglaze the pan with the beer, stirring to make sure you get as many bits of meat residue off the bottom.
4. Once the foam of the beer subsides, stir in the consomme and rosemary and bring to a simmer to marry all the flavor together. You’ll want to adjust your flavors some with pepper, a little salt, maybe some Worcestershire sauce. Simmer about five minutes or so.
5. Return your spare ribs to the pan, cover, then cook in the oven for two to two-and-a-half hours, or until the meat is fork-tender and has really retracted away from the ends of the bones.
You can serve this as you like — I like removing the bones, chopping the meat and serving it with some pan gravy and the onions:
Heat a teaspoon or so of oil in a small skillet, and add your onions, over medium-high heat. Throw in a pinch of salt and black pepper. Once the onions are good and wilted, add your Irish Channel, and reduce until you’ve got a nice, carmelized and syrupy mixture.