← Back to Search Results
Beef Short Ribs Braised in Beer Recipe-10494

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 1


Short ribs have enjoyed something of a revival in the past few years for two very good reasons—their succulent, wonderfully beefy flavor and reasonable cost. This dish is a variation on carbonnades à la flamande, a traditional Belgian specialty in which chunks of beef stew meat are tenderized to the melting point by slow-cooking in a generous amount of Belgium’s famous beer. Here short ribs receive a similarly transformational braising in a good dark beer, preferably one that’s neither too bitter nor too sweet. I generally choose Brooklyn Brown Ale, but a strong Belgian beer, such as a robust Rodenbach red ale or Ichtegem’s brown ale, or even a domestic one, such as Samuel Adams, would work just as well. By the time the ribs have finished cooking, the combination of thinly sliced, nearly caramelized onions, beer, and stock has created a mellow, flavorful, thick sauce with subtle hints of bitterness and sweetness. As you might expect, potatoes—mashed, or plain boiled—would be an ideal accompaniment. And there should be plenty of good crusty bread for mopping up every last speck of delicious sauce.

Yield: SERVES 6 TO 8


  • ¾ cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • 5 to 6 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed of fat
  • 4 large onions, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 bottles (12 ounces each) dark ale or beer
  • 8 cups Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Coarse (kosher) salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste


1. Heat ½ cup of the oil in a very large, heavy, flameproof casserole or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add only enough of the short ribs to fit into the casserole without crowding and brown well on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. As the ribs are browned, transfer them to a platter and continue browning the remaining ribs in batches.

2. When all the ribs are browned and removed from the casserole, discard the oil from the casserole, but do not wash it (you want to keep those flavorful brown bits). Return the casserole to the stove. Add the remaining ¼ cup oil and the onions and cook slowly, covered, over low heat until the onions are very soft but not browned, about 20 minutes.

3. Uncover the casserole and sprinkle the sugar over the onions. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the onions have caramelized slightly and are just light brown in color, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the flour turns light brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 bottle of the beer and increase the heat to medium high. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the casserole with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.

4. Return the ribs to the casserole along with the stock, remaining beer, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, skimming the top occasionally, then reduce the heat to low and cook, tightly covered, until the meat is very tender, 1½ to 2 hours; you should be able to pull the bones from the meat with ease. Using tongs, transfer the ribs to a platter and let cool.

5. While the ribs cool, check the liquid in the casserole. If it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it’s ready to use as a sauce. If not, increase the heat to medium and reduce the liquid until it reaches the proper thickness. This may take up to an additional 15 minutes. Taste; the sauce should be slightly bitter, with a subtle, balancing touch of sweetness from the caramelized onions. Season with salt and pepper; remove and discard the bay leaves.

6. When the ribs are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and return the meat to the casserole. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. If you’ll be serving immediately, skim the fat from the surface of the sauce; otherwise, refrigerate overnight and remove the hardened fat before reheating.

© 2000 David Waltuck and Melicia Phillips

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information based on 8 servings.

Nutritional information is based on using 5lbs of Short Ribs.

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

1500kcal (75%)
61mg (6%)
6mg (10%)
3mcg RAE (0%)
223mg (74%)
493mg (21%)
47g (234%)
127g (195%)
5mg (30%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
  • Christie23

    11.25.11 Flag comment

    This depth of flavor is fantastic!! By the time the dish was complete, I was barely interested in the short ribs... I just wanted bread to soak up that beautiful sauce!


Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

cooking-for-friends Cooking for Friends
by Gordon Ramsay
julias-kitchen-wisdom Julia's Kitchen Wisdom
by Julia Child
fresh-from-the-farmers-market-year-round-recipes-for-the-pick-of-the-crop Fresh from the Farmers' Mar...
by Janet Fletcher
everyday-chinese-cooking Everyday Chinese Cooking
by Katie Chin, Leeann Chin
lidias-italy Lidia's Italy
by Lidia Bastianich
mexican-everyday Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless
the-mozza-cookbook The Mozza Cookbook
by Nancy Silverton
the-provence-cookbook The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
hudson-valley-mediterranean-the-gigi-good-food-cookbook Hudson Valley Mediterranean...
by Laura Pensiero
food-to-live-by Food to Live By
by Myra Goodman
how-to-be-a-domestic-goddess How to be a Domestic Goddess
by Nigella Lawson
david-rosengarten-entertains-fabulous-parties-for-food-lovers David Rosengarten Entertain...
by David Rosengarten
desserts-4-today Desserts 4 Today
by Abby Dodge
a-bakers-odyssey A Baker's Odyssey
by Andrew Schloss

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?