I would love to take a bath in beer right about now. My back is sore from hunching over the desk from too much studying. (We just had our CREOG exam, the national OBGYN in-service test). Instead though, I put juicy shortribs on the bone in a languid stovetop bath of beer, maple syrup and balsamic. They emerged tender and relaxed, I wish my muscles felt the same.
The last few months have had their ups and downs. I finally have a moment to rest in the past couple of days. With the best intention of sitting down and writing, I wake up on the couch three hours later, the sun set, grocery store unvisited, and the husband hungry.
Work has been just a touch less demanding this year, so I’ve filled my time with other activities including creative writing classes, a Christmas cookie baking marathon and studying. This makes me just as tired as before, but maybe a little more emotionally whole.
This recipe is very easy, but it does take a few hours. It is a great dish for a Saturday night at home and goes great with a nice cabernet, or obviously with beer. I served it with boiled kale, which is better than it sounds, and polenta. The shortribs I bought with the bone on, which makes a much more succulent gravy.
3 lbs ribs, bone on
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 large shallot or medium sized onion
2 carrots, cut in discs
One parsnip, cut in discs
1 whole sprig rosemary
1 bottle stout
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic
2 tbsp apple cider
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups water
For the gravy
4 cups strained braising liquid
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp freshly grated horseradish
1 tbsp cream
Over high heat in a large dutch oven, being careful not to splatter and burn your arm as I might have done, brown the ribs on all sides. Remove the meat and reducing the heat to medium high add the chopped garlic, shallot, parsnip and carrot until shallot is transluscent. Place the ribs on top of the vegetables. Add the beer, vinegar, water, rosemary, salt and pepper, making sure the meat is almost covered (you can add more water if necessary). Reduce the heat to low and let cook until the meat is fork tender (about 3-4 hours). Remove the ribs and allow to rest.
Strain 4 cups of braising liquid into a small saucepan over medium heat and add fresh horseradish. Whisk in flour and salt. Allow to thicken and whisk in cream. Enjoy.