Braised Hoisin Beer Short Ribs with Sesame Snow Peas

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

With the end of the college football season, and a hubby that is still in the playoffs with his NFL Fantasy team, our household has been watching a great deal of football over the last several months. When we are unable to attend the actual game of our favorite team, what better to do than make it an all-day-football-watching-marathon? Thinking...thinking...thinking...

If you are like most women I know, you might view this as an opportunity to get some of the chores around the house done, or maybe go to the gym, or hit the mall for a quick dose of retail therapy. I, however, enjoy the occasional football Saturday at home, and took the opportunity to try out a new slow cooking recipe. When T heard that there was a possibility I might make ribs for him to devour, he perked right up and let me know what an excellent idea that was.

My experience with ribs has been relatively slim. I'm not a huge meat eater to begin with, and it seems that most ribs have so much visible fat on them that they aren't even appetizing to look at let alone eat. Therefore, my main reason for choosing to cook them at home had nothing to do with the fact that I like rib meat, but more to do with the fact that I had a large jug of hoisin sauce leftover from a stir-fry meal that I needed to use up. Hoisin, is basically the Chinese equivalent of American barbecue sauce. It's flavor is salty, sweet and spicy - similar to a teriyaki sauce. If you've ever thought of cooking with it before, go for it. The flavor it adds is delicious, and it is very easy to use. Short ribs, typically less fatty than standard ribs, are also relatively inexpensive and will pack the flavor with this recipe.

Gather the ingredients. Notice that I was using fresh ginger from our CSA. 
Fresh ginger at the grocery store has a tougher dry skin appearance. Ginger is usually 
available near the garlic and shallots in the produce section at most grocery stores. If you're 
unable to find fresh ginger, you can substitute 1 Tbsp minced ginger from a jar.

Brown the ribs on all sides, add remaining ingredients, and simmer on stovetop with the lid on 
for 2 1/2 hours. Transfer to the oven for the last hour of cooking. With 30 min left in the oven, 
start boiling potatoes and prepping snow peas. Wait to cook snow peas until 5 min before eating.

Recipe adapted from Food Network 

BRAISED HOISIN BEER SHORT RIBS | Yield: 4-6 Servings | Total Time: 3 hr 45 min


3 lbs beef short ribs, about 10 ribs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
10-12 garlic cloves, smashed
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
12 ounces good ale
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 C hoisin sauce


Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot with a lid (I used a dutch oven) over high heat. Brown the ribs on all sides, in batches if necessary. Remove the ribs and pour off all but a couple tablespoons of the rendered fat.

Return the pot to the stove, lower the heat to medium and saute the garlic and ginger for about 3 minutes. Add the ribs back to the pot. Add the beer and vinegar. Stir and then cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and move pot or dutch oven to oven and continue cooking for 1 hour. (If you have a lot of fat, you can strain it off before moving to the oven.)

Serve with Mashed Yukons and Sesame Snow Peas.

NOTE: Depending where you live, short ribs may not always be pre-cut in the meat section of your grocery store. Ask the meat department, and they should be able to cut some for you. Bonus - short ribs are a relatively inexpensive cut of meat.

3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
1/2-3/4 C Greek Yogurt (Healthy alternative to sour cream, and same great taste)
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley (optional)

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain potatoes, return them to the pot, and mash with a hand masher. Add Greek yogurt until you reach your desired creaminess, and salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add fresh chopped parsley to my mashed potatoes for an extra kick of flavor if you have it on hand.

1 lb snow peas
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
salt and pepper

Rinse the snow peas. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oils and heat. Add snow peas and saute until bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss.

Overall response - Not only did this dish make our home smell absolutely delicious, when we plated up the short ribs, they were so tender that the the bones were literally falling off. The flavor of the sesame oil used in cooking the snow peas helped tie the entire meal together, and with two sides of veggies, and a pre-determined portion size of meat based on the way short ribs are cut, this meal ended up being pretty healthy. Now that's what I would call a success!

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Thanks for visiting! Let me know if you have any suggestions of recipes I should try, fun ideas to do with the kiddo, or a suggested adventure to add to our bucket list!

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