Root Beer Short Ribs are all the rage these days. They are hearty, easy to make, economical, and quirky enough even to impress everyone at your next dinner party. I like to serve them over smashed red potato's with something green on the side such as steamed green beans, asparagus, or brussel sprouts.
Make sure you use a good quality cane sugar based root beer. No matter where you are in the country there is a fantastic boutique root beer. A couple of examples readily available in the Chicago area would be IBC, Stewarts, Goose Island, or Sprecher.
What makes this recipe different is kicking it up a notch with smoked chipolte powder and adding some richness by adding demi-glace while finishing the sauce.
4-1/2 pounds beef short ribs
Sea salt and pepper
2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1" wedges
1 bunch celery, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
12 baby carrots, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
8 sliced garlic cloves
10 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 whole star anise
1 teaspoon smoked chipolte powder
One 1.5 package of demi-glace gold
3-1/2 cups beef broth
2 cups root beer
Preheat oven to 275o F. Season ribs generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat oil to high. In batches, brown ribs on all sides, about 20 minutes total. Transfer ribs to a plate and pour off all but 2 Tablespoons fat from pot.
Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, cumin, smoked chipolte pepper, and star anise. Cook until the onions are soft which usually takes about five minutes.
Return the ribs to the pot and add broth and root beer. Bring to a rapid simmer, cover, and place pot in oven. Cook until meat can be easily pierced with the tip of a pairing knife, about 3 hours. With a slotted spoon, transfer ribs to a large straight-sided skillet; discard solids by pouring/straining liquid through a sieve or strianer. Skim off fat from cooking liquid. If you have time, place liquid in the refrigerator for a little while, making it easier to discard the fat that will accumulate on top.
Add demi-glace gold to strained liquid. Boil liquid and ribs over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced by half which takes about 20-30 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on it and move the sauce around to add a glaze to the ribs.
Smashed Garlic-Bacon-Onion Red Potato's
8 medium red potatoes
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 strips chopped bacon
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Cover the taters with cold water in a 3- to 4-qt pot and add 1 tbsp salt. Boil until almost tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain potatoes. Transfer to a baking sheet and lightly crush to about 3/4 inch thick with a potato masher, keeping potatoes intact as much as possible.
Finely chop four strips of bacon. Fry bacon in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it light brown and remove. Reserve the oil and add garlic and onions to the skillet and cook till translucent and remove. Add potato's to skillet and top with the onions, garlic, and bacon then lower heat to medium-low and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 20 minutes total. Serve sprinkled with cheese. Season generously with pepper.