There is the saying that ‘fat adds flavor’ and the problem with flavorful braised beef ribs has been the fat. The problem with braised beef ribs is the fat that comes from using the bone-in ribs. This recipe uses boneless beef ribs. Now, since we are not using the bone, we loose a lot of the thickness in the broth that comes from all the gelatin in the bone’s connective tissue. To add this thickness back to the broth, I add a bit of unflavored gelatin. So, we’ll cut the fat, but not the flavor.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs, trimmed of excess fat (see note and step-by-step)
- 1 cup Guinness
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, peeled and sliced thin from pole to pole (about 4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Heat the oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until smoking and brown the ribs. Work in batches to prevent over-crowding. When its browned transfer the meat to a bowl and hold on to it.
Reduce heat to medium, add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes Add in the tomato paste and cook. Then add garlic and cook. Increase heat to medium-high and add Guinness, broth, carrots, thyme, and bay leaf. Add beef and any accumulated juices to pot; cover and bring to simmer. Transfer pot to oven and cook, using tongs to turn meat twice during cooking, until fork slips easily in and out of meat, 2 to 2½ hours.
Place water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top; let stand at least 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer meat and carrots to serving platter and tent with foil. Strain cooking liquid through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator or bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Allow liquid to settle about 5 minutes and strain off fat. Return cooking liquid to Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin mixture; season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over meat and serve. I like this over egg noodles.