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Beer-Braised Short Ribs with Sweet and Sour Onions

This comforting meal makes enough to feed a crowd, and its sweet-sour combination of caramelized onion, beer, and vinegar gives it distinctive character. Note that the short ribs will need to sit, seasoned, for eight hours in the refrigerator, but almost all of the preparation time is hands-off. Excellent served over buttered noodles or mashed potatoes.



For 6 Serving(s)


  • 6 lb square-cut beef short ribs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/3 c rendered bacon fat
  • 4 lb onions
  • 3 c beef stock
  • 6 oz bottles Pilsner
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 c light brown sugar
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 4 T red wine vinegar

Beer-Braised Short Ribs with Sweet and Sour Onions Directions

  1. Sprinkle the short ribs generously with salt and pepper, and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Before cooking, remove ribs from the fridge for an hour to bring them up to room temperature.
  3. Heat a large, wide pot or Dutch oven over high heat, and heat the bacon fat, butter, or oil. Brown the ribs on all sides, for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a dish. Wipe the pan dry.
  5. Layer 1/3 of the onions on the bottom of the pot, then add half of the short ribs, another 1/3 of the onions, the remaining short ribs, and the rest of the onions. Pour the beef or chicken stock into the pot, then add enough beer to cover the meat (you may not need all 6 bottles). Add the thyme and bay leaves, and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover, and let cook slowly, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until the meat falls off the bone. Use tongs to carefully transfer the short ribs to a clean dish. Strain the cooking liquid over a mesh strainer into a clean pot. Reserve the onions, adding them to the dish of short ribs, but discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Let the liquid sit for 30 minutes, then skim and discard the fat that rises to the top.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and vinegar to form a slurry. Reheat the pot of liquid, and whisk in the slurry to thicken. Simmer over medium-high heat, and return the short ribs and onions to the broth and cook until heated through. Serve hot, enjoy.

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