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Brown Ale Braised Short Ribs

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I might try to make it this weekend. I've seen some recipes online that call for heavy tomato and some that call for only a tablespoon or two of tomat paste. My thoughts are that the point of braisnig in brown ale is heavy brown ale flavor--I wouldn't want to compromise with excessive tomato. Any thoughts? Any helpful hints is appreciated.
Thanks.

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  1. Either way will work. Braising is incredibly flexible when it comes to using different portions of various ingredients. If you add a lot of tomato product, the tomato flavor will come through too much if you are aiming for the brown ale flavor. But definitely use the tomato paste (1-2 tbs) and stir it into your mire poix for a couple of minutes before you add the liquid. The small amount of tomato paste will add depth to your flavors without dominating the ale.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Shane Greenwood

      I agree with Shane. To be perfectly honest, it's hard to screw up braised short ribs. Flavor the sauce however you want - for example, a sprig of rosemary might help to add complexity to the ale, along with some garlic. You can really alter things to suit your tastes. The main goals are to have enough liquid to braise and to watch out for the salt content in your ingredients, so it's not too salty. It sounds like with an ale base, you won't have to worry about that.

      1. re: katecm

        Excellent--what veggies besides garlic, onions and carrots would you recommend? I plan to use some beef stock too. Some recipes call for reducing the beer before cooking process. If I plan on using a crock pot for 8-10 hours on low, do I need to do this, or can I assume that the beer will reduce some over the long cooking time. I will reduce before serving too.
        Thanks

        1. re: abu applesauce

          I guess it depends on the flavor you want. First, if you're using your crockpot, don't forget to brown the meat first! I like to brown my veggies, too.

          I'd say that if you reduce the ale first, you'll be imbuing your meat with a denser, likely sweeter flavor. It will also cut back on reducing time later.

          Your veggies sound great. They will really fall apart during the braising process, so don't expect to have chunks of them in the sauce. It'll just be a flavorful, enriched sauce.

          1. re: abu applesauce

            I like to add leeks to my aromatics. I usually omit the celery because I don't care for that flavor in braising. Shallots are nice too. If you use garlic make sure you don't brown it or else it will turn bitter and that flavor will be pronounced after hours in the pot. I add garlic to a spice and herb sachet in the liquid. As for reducing, it is something to experiment with. That will concentrate the flavor, so it depends on your tastes. The liquid should not reduce during braising because the lid should be tightly sealed the whole time. You can always reduce the liquid after cooking to make your sauce.

            1. re: Shane Greenwood

              Thanks--I think I'm pretty much set. if you can't tell, I've never done this, so I'm very excited.

              1. re: abu applesauce

                Good luck! And if you can, make them ahead of time, at least enough to be able to skim some fat off the top. But it always tastes better the next day!

            2. re: abu applesauce

              In my experience liquids don't reduce much in the crock pot; not hot enough, or too tightly covered, or something. So yes, better to reduce the beer before and/or after cooking.

              A little diced celery wouldn't be out of place in addition to your garlic, onions, carrots.