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Beer-Braised Short Ribs with Wheat Berries
(recipe, Matthew Amster-Burton)
- 3 to 4 lb. beef short ribs (flanken or English-style)
- Salt and pepper
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 leek, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cup wheat berries (see Note)
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) porter beer, such as Anchor Porter
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken or beef stock
- 3 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs of your choice (set aside 1 Tbsp. for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Season the ribs liberally with salt and pepper and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet (bone side down if you’re using English-style ribs). Roast 45 minutes or until they’re nicely browned. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees.
- While the ribs are roasting, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, and leek. Cook until vegetables are limp but not browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the wheat berries, beer, tomatoes, chicken stock, and herbs, and stir to mix. Add the browned ribs, raise the heat to medium-high, and cover. When the pot is boiling, transfer it to the oven (you did remember to turn it down to 275, right?). Braise for 2½ to 3 hours, or until meat is very tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately, garnished with reserved herbs, or cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Wheat berries are available in the bulk section at any health-food store, although mine has managed to run out, so I've substituted pearl barley to good effect. There are hard and soft wheat berries; either will work. For another variation, substitute 1/2 cup French green lentils for half of the wheat berries.
Read more in Matthew Amster-Burton's column on bulk foods.