Chocolate, Porter, & Short Ribs? You Bet!
There are some weekends in Winter when you simply are not going to go outside. Yet those are the days that just scream "slow-cooked, pull apart tender, fill your home up with delicious smells, beef dinner!" One of our go-to Winter recipes here in our test kitchen takes a simple, yet fun take on slow-cooked short ribs by adding your favorite dark beer and a touch of chocolate. Don't let the chocolate throw you, this is no dessert! The chocolate just adds a nice richness to your ribs and sauce that enhance all of the flavors you are spending a few hours to put together.
Cook's Tip: Get 2 bottles of your favorite Porter. The Chef gets to enjoy at least one while cooking.
16oz Boneless Certified Piedmontese Chuck Short Ribs
1 White Onion
6-8 clove garlic, minced
1 bottle of Porter or Stout
3 tbsp vinegar (We used Omed Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine Vinegar)
1 cup hoisin sauce (easily found in the Asian aisle of the grocery store)
1 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped 2-3 Bay Leaves
2-3 sprigs of Thyme
That's it! We are focusing on a falling apart, tender beef short ribs and a luscious sauce, and these simple ingredients will deliver!
We used a dutch oven to sear and braise the beef, but if you don't have a dutch oven, you can start in a skillet and transfer to a slow cooker.
Pre-Heat Oven to 290 degrees F.
Thaw your short ribs and pat the ribs dry with paper towels.
Season liberally with salt and pepper.
In your dutch oven or skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil and sear ribs 1-2 minutes on each side and take out and set aside.
In the same pan (add more oil if dry), add onions and garlic and sauté for 2-3 mins, season with salt and pepper.
Add the bottle of porter and scrape the bottom of the pan with wooden spoon to bring those browned bits of flavor into your sauce, bring to a simmer and add vinegar, hoisin sauce, and chocolate.
Return the short ribs and remaining juices into the dutch oven or skillet. Make sure the top of the short ribs are slightly exposed over the liquid. Add some beef stock if the liquid seems a little too low.*
Add the herbs and push under the liquid. Cover, and place into oven for 3 hours or till fall apart tender.
When finished, pull your ribs apart and can stir in a slurry of cornstarch to thicken your sauce or reduce down in a pot on the stove. Serve over your favorite starch of Mashed Potatoes or risotto.
*If you are using a slow cooker, you can add your seared short ribs, onions, garlic to a slower cooker and add the porter, hoisin sauce, chocolate and herbs. Then cook 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours on high or until tender.