Short Ribs with Licorice, Chocolate and Chocolate Beer
The secret to these short ribs is time spent up front. The good news is that a little planning ahead will result in an easy, succulent, hearty dish to serve guests or enjoy yourself on a busy weeknight.
I love dark, mineral-y and not overly hoppy beers. The beer in this recipe has chocolate and coffee in it, which works well with the meat and added chocolate. I highly prefer short ribs on the bone which add to the succulent flavor. Once you marinate these ribs for 2 days and then slow cook them for 3 ½ hours, you have a number of options:
Warm the finished short ribs in the oven and serve them alongside potato puree with a little chocolate braising liquid over the top and a side of mustard seed roasted brussels sprouts.
Use leftover short rib meat inside Chinese steam buns. Freeze them for an easy weekday meal or party appetizer. For sauce to serve with the buns, mix 1 cup of hoisin sauce with 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder, a dash of sriracha chili sauce and a generous handful of cilantro.
Short Ribs, Licorice, Chocolate and Beer
3 lbs bone in short ribs
2 bottles of 560 ml imperial Mokah stout brewed with coffee and chocolate
4 tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice and zest of an orange.
1/2 medium onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 small carrots, diced
1/2 celery, diced parsley stems, a handful
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp fresh tarragon
2 Chinese star anise
Short Rib Browning:
½ cup flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
3 tbsp canola
2 oz 55% cacao dark chocolate
2 tbsp butter
salt and white pepper to taste
Pour beer slowly onto the cocoa powder and mix to dissolve then add orange juice, mirepoix and spices into a non reactive wide pan or pot (glass or ceramic is best).
Add the short ribs bone-side up and marinate in the refrigerator, completely covered by the liquid at least 24 hours. I prefer to go up to 2 days. When meat is well-marinated remove and pat dry. Pour the marinade into a 2 qt saucepan and slowly bring the marinade to a boil. Skim off white bubbly impurities with a slotted spoon. Reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 275F. In a medium size bowl mix flour, salt and white pepper. Dredge the short ribs on all sides and place on a plate. Heat an enamel coated, cast iron, Dutch oven (le crueset is my favorite) on medium high heat. When hot, add 3 tbsp canola oil and sear the short ribs on all 4 sides until brown, 2-3 minutes each side.
After caramelizing the meat, pour off the excess oil, top off with stock to cover meat. The meat should be completely covered with liquid, if you fall short add some additional stock. Cover with parchment paper followed by the lid. Place in oven at 275 F for 3-4 hours. When meat is tender and falls apart at the piercing of a fork, they are finished (keep cooking if they are not fork tender, they should fall apart with ease). Remove from the oven and let the ribs cool for 20 minutes in the braising liquid. Carefully, remove, the short ribs with a slotted spatula and place on a resting plate covered with foil. If you are going to reserve the ribs to eat later, wait until they have cooled for 15 minutes, wrap and put in the refrigerator (They can be stored there for up to 2 days.)
Strain out vegetables and discard and save the liquid. Skim off the fat on the top (or place in fridge, let the fat solidify on top and then easily lift off the solid fat layer). Take the remaining liquid, bring to a boil and reduce by a 1/3 then take off heat, wait 10 minutes and whisk in chocolate, butter and salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over short ribs if reserved warm and sprinkle meat with Maldon salt crystals. It is always critical to sprinkle a finishing salt atop meats just before serving.
If you have refrigerated your short ribs, reheat by placing them in a pan pouring sauce over the top, covering with parchment and lid or aluminum foil and heat in the oven at 275 for 20 minutes until hot.