Dark Chocolate and Stout Braised Short Ribs gives you everything you want: chocolate, beer and meat. These shorts ribs are easy to make and a crowd-pleaser.
- 3–4 ribs per person, beef short ribs or pork side ribs (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half (don’t worry about peeling it)
- 1 650ml bottle of chocolate or espresso beer
- 1 tablespoon of chipotles in adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (or a shot of espresso)
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 ounces of finely chopped dark chocolate (about 2 generous tablespoons)
- Water or stock to cover
- Optional: 1/4 cup prawn stock (you won’t taste it except that the dish will taste richer)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lightly salt each rib. Heat oil in a large, oven-proof pot over high heat. Working in batches, add ribs to hot oil and sear on all sides until browned. Set browned ribs aside.
- Once all ribs have been seared, add onion, garlic, carrot, and celery to the pot and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. There will be lots of delicious brown bits on the bottom of your pot by this point. Add a splash of beer and, using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen all the brown bits. Add the chipotle, espresso, peppercorns and brown sugar and stir to combine.
- Add ribs back into the pot. Try to keep them in a single layer, stacking them upright if necessary. Pour over the rest of the beer and enough water to just barely cover the ribs.
- At this point, you have two choices. You can either finish cooking them over very low heat on your stovetop or you can finish them in your oven at 320 degrees. Either way, you will want to continue cooking them for 4-5 hours. During this time you can basically just walk away from them. If they are on the stovetop just make sure they are barely at a simmer.
- Once they have finished cooking, remove the pot from the oven or the element. Carefully remove the ribs (they will be very tender!) and set aside.
- Strain the cooking liquid into a large bowl. A colander works great for this. Be careful, it will be VERY hot.
- Give the cooking pot a quick rinse and strain the cooking liquid back into the pot through a fine mesh strainer.
- In a medium-size pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Add a 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid to the butter flour mixture and whisk to combine. Continue adding more of the cooking liquid until it resembles a thick sauce. At this point, you can pour everything into the pan back into the pot.
- Add the chocolate to the pot and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add the ribs back into the pot and toss very gently to coat.
If you want you can skip the step of searing the ribs. I have made this recipe both with searing the ribs and not and haven’t noticed a difference in the flavor. I do think that the ribs have a nicer finished appearance and tend to hold together better if they are seared. I haven’t specified a quantity of ribs on purpose. I have made this same recipe for a huge pot of ribs and a small pot and the rest of the ingredient amounts remain the same. If you buy your ribs as a rack, make sure you cut it into individual ribs before you start the recipe.