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Dec 10, 2010 02:58 PM

Root beer braised short ribs - need suggestions on the risotto side. :)

Ok... My husband's bday is this Sunday and he looooves short ribs whenever we go out. I have to confess I've only made pretty simple braised versions in wine, but there is this one spot we go where the glaze is sticky sweet and fabuloso. So I'm experimenting a bit ;)

I was thinking that, instead of braising in red wine as usual - maybe root beer? Obviously with all the veggies that normally go in the braise as well. Then reduce the braising liquid later for a sweet sauce? We'll see how that goes...

Beyond the short ribs, my DH is SET on risotto. Personally, I would have preferred a creamy polenta, grits or mashed potatoes but he just loves the rice. I've only ever done risotto as a main course - usually with substantial ingredients like seafood, or mushrooms, etc. Obviously I want the beef to be the star, so any suggestions on risotto that might be subtle enough to pair with?

Okay, my last question is about wine.... My first instinct was a peppery syrah, or maybe even a zin (though I've had some awfully fruit-fwd zins in the past that im unsure about this), but I'd love some out of the box suggestions on that. The DH is not a big wine drinker (that makes ONE of us!), but he likes big bold reds with a lot of SMOKE. Maybe he interprets pepper or tobacco as "smoke?"

Such a long and detailed post - but y'all are the best on this forum!!

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  1. I'm not sure I would braise anything in root beer...way too sweet. I DO like the idea of braised shortribs, but with something less cloying. Of course, I'm a fan of vinegar/pepper BBQ sauce, so maybe I'm too far "off" your style.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mayor of Melonville

      Hey, I'm totally open to suggestions on that too.. Like I said, I've only ever braised short ribs in wine - this is my first time trying something a little sweet.

      1. re: kcadams1980

        Black truffle butter into the risotto at the very end, or if you can't find it, truffle oil (just a drizzle) changes everything100percent.

    2. kcadams,

      You're great for doing this for your husband!

      Ok braise the short ribs with beer instead - a nice dark lager like Negra Modelo beer. Root beer will be too sweet when it reduces. I did a nice brisket the same way! Don't forget the rosemary!

      Risotto is good as well. With short ribs you need something equally as good to stick to your ribs, literally. You can do a simple risotto with butter, chicken stock, and parmesan cheese (salt and pepper of course).

      Wine - try Layer Cake Syrah if you want something bold - its nice and well balance. You can't go wrong. Other suggestions - Crios Malbec (one of my favorites) and Errazuriz Carmenere (or any Carmenere) - its got good flavor and will hold up well with the short ribs!! Enjoy!


      2 Replies
      1. re: LatinLovinEG

        Look for Molly Steven's porter braised, maple syrup glazed short rib recipe

        1. re: LatinLovinEG

          This hoisin beer braised short tibs is my go to recipe for short ribs-it is sweet and you could definitely cook down the sauce,...and totally easy. I use less hoisin sauce (like 3/4 cups) and have subbed out the hoisin for teriyaki.

        2. I've braised short ribs in root beer. Go for it if you want and you can control the sweetness with root beer extract but Coca-Cola-Glazed Baby Back Ribs have been done and are quite popular.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. thanks for all the great suggestions! Luckily we have a great meat market in my neighborhood, so I can talk to an actual butcher...I think I'm going to opt for (I'm torn) a porter-braised or coffee-ancho chili braise. Found this amazing sounding recipe from Cafe Annie (a famous spot here in Houston) using canned chipotles (which we LOVE), coffee and a little maple syrup. Sounds like a good mix of smoke/spice and sweet to me!

              I will look for a simple risotto - good call on the truffle oil! If I chicken out, I can always do some creamy grits, er - polenta.

              Oh, and thanks for the great wine rec's! I've seen Layer Cake Syrah before but never tried... I thought that a Malbec might be nice as well... I'll let you all know how it turns out!