Guinness Draught Braised Beef Short Ribs is my go-to St. Patricks Day meal (well, next to Corned Beef and Cabbage). This dish is similar to Beef Bourguignon; substitute the wine with Guinness Draught beer in the braising process. I’ve tried Guinness Extra Stout, but it’s a bit too bitter, so stick with the original Guinness Draught for best results.
The classic take on this dish is to braise the beef short ribs in rendered bacon drippings for an extra level of richness. However, I’ve skipped this step because the dish is already rich with beef bone-based sauce and used sunflower oil to sear the short ribs. Any neutral-flavored oil will do.
An Alternative to Short Ribs
While I’m using beef short ribs in this recipe, it works with several cuts. Brisket or chuck/braising steaks cut into cubes work as well. Essentially any tough amount requiring a long braising time can benefit from this method. This dish is straightforward to make and very forgiving since you are braising covered in the oven.
Guinness Draught Braised Beef Short Ribs
- A large heavy bottom pot. Cast iron works best, or alternatively, porcelain. Preferably one with a well fitted lid.
- aluminum foil if needed
- rubber spatula or kitchen spoon
- cutting board
- large slotted kitchen spoon or skimmer
- medium sauce pot
- ladle or large spoon
- serving dishes
- 2 8oz beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat (if needed)
- ⅓ cup flour, all-purpose or plain (Use only the flour you need, there may be some left-over.)
- ½ tsp sea salt (Irish preferred)
- ½ tsp pepper, black, coarse grind
- 3-4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 lb boiler onions, peeled and cored (Boiler onions or pearl onions can also be found peeled and frozen in most grocery stores.)
- 3 whole carrots, peeled and medium cut
- 3 stalks celery, finely diced
- ½ whole leek, cleaned and diced
- 2 cans Guinness Draught beer (Extra Stout tends to be too bitter, but if you like that, then proceed)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1½ tbs beef stock base (like Minor's, Oxo, Knorr, Better than Boullion)
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 sprigs thyme leaves, finely chopped (or sub 1½ tsp dried thyme)
- 2 whole bay leaf
- ⅓ cup parsley, finely chopped (optional, added at the end of sauce making)
Prepping the Vegetables
- Prep by peeling the carrots and cutting off each end. Then cut each carrot into large chunks. Reserve.
- Cut the celery and leeks into small dice. Reserve.
- Peel and core the boiler onions. Reserve.
Prepping the Meat
- Look over the beef short ribs if any excess fat trim this off.
- Add the flour, salt, pepper, and mix in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Add each short rib to the flour seasoning and coat thoroughly.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottom pot. Cast iron or porcelain-lined cast iron works great for this. Shake off any excess flour from the short ribs and add them to the hot oil. Do this one short rib at a time. Avoid overcrowding the pot. You want to have a nice golden brown crust over the surface of the short rib. Once the short ribs have a nice crust, remove them from the pot to a plate. Reserve.
- To the pan that you seared the beef short ribs, add reserved celery, garlic, and leeks in the same pot used to sear the beef short ribs. Stir to mix.
- Once the leeks, garlic, and celery become soft, add a large pinch (1 tsp) of the seasoning flour along with the thyme and bay leaves. The addition of flour will help set up the sauce later. Stir to mix in and cook for two minutes.
- Deglaze with the Guinness Draught beer. Cook and bring to a boil.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, beef stock, tomato sauce, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, and soy sauce. Stir to incorporate.
- Add the seared beef short ribs back on top of the vegetable/beer mixture, along with any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the reserved carrot and boiler onions around the meat. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it into a pre-heated oven at (350°F or 175°C) for 2 hrs 20 minutes. (Alternatively, cover with foil if no top is available.)
- Test the beef short ribs for doneness with the tip of a knife. The blade should easily pierce and come out of the beef. The beef should be super soft but not yet falling apart.
- After the meat is cooked, carefully remove the short ribs by lifting them out with a combination of a long sturdy metal spatula and a set of tongs. Place the meat on a clean plate and reserve.
Making the Guinness Draught Sauce
- Remove the large chunks of carrot and boiler onions using a slotted spoon or skimmer. Reserve and keep warm.
- Using a large kitchen spoon, skim the excess fat from the surface of the sauce. Continue skimming until all the fat is removed. Throw the fat away in the trash (not the sink).
- Fish out and remove the bay leaf and discard.
- Add the sauce, complete with the smaller vegetables (celery, leeks, garlic), to a blender container. (MAKE sure no bones from the beef short ribs are in the sauce. Remove them before processing!)
- Process the sauce in the blender, starting slowly and gradually increase the speed. Process the sauce until smooth.
- Pass the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve over a medium saucepot, remove all the unprocessed bits and discard. Reserve and keep warm.
- Add a healthy portion of Irish Colcannon or mashed potatoes to a warmed dish. (Pasta bowls or larger individual serving bowls work best.)
- Using a knife, remove the bones from the reserved cooked beef short ribs.
- Cut in half and arrange the short ribs over Irish Colcannon or mashed potatoes.
- Arrange the reserved large carrots and boiler onions around the beef. Ladle or spoon the reserved Guinness Draught Sauce over the meat.