Short-Rib Beef Stew with Ale

Beef short-ribs, slow cooked and braised in brown ale. A hearty winter stew.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 4 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bottle (12 oz.) a malty brown ale (we used Newcastle Brown ale)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 pound turnips (optional)

Method

1 Cook the bacon and render the bacon fat: Place bacon strips in a large (5 to 6 quart), thick-bottomed Dutch oven. Set the heat to medium and cook the bacon until much of the fat has been rendered. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.

Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat from pot. (Do not pour down the drain or you will clog your drain when the fat hardens as it cools.)

bacon cooking in pot for short rib stew

2 Dredge short ribs in flour spice mixture: Preheat oven to 300°F. While the bacon is cooking, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, hot paprika, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Dredge the short ribs in the flour mixture.

3 Brown the short ribs in the bacon fat: Add the short ribs to the pot with the bacon fat, taking care to not crowd the pot (work in batches if necessary). Brown on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

If you want to get good browning, do not stir the short ribs unless to turn.

While the short ribs are browning, chop the bacon and set aside.

short ribs in pot browning short ribs in pot for stew

4 Cook the onions and garlic: Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the short ribs from the pot to a bowl. Add the chopped onions to the pot. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

cook onions in pot for short rib stew brown onions in pot for short rib stew

5 Add ale, tomatoes, bring to boil: Add the ale and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add tomatoes and their juices and reserved bacon. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil.

deglaze onions with ale for short rib stew

6 Cover and cook in oven for 2 hours: Return short ribs to pot, cover, put in the 300°F oven, and cook for two hours. (Alternatively, you can do the cooking on the stovetop, just lower the heat to the lowest setting and cover.)

add short ribs to stew

7 Add root vegetables, cook 30 to 45 minutes longer: Peel potatoes, turnips (optional), and carrots, and cut into 1-in. pieces. Add to short ribs, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender and meat pulls away easily from the bone, about 30-45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

add root vegetables to short rib stew cook short rib beef stew

8 Remove bones, excess fat: Spoon off excess fat (it helps if you have a fat separator). If you want, remove the bones before serving and cut any big pieces of meat into smaller chunks.