Oktoberfest came and went, and I wasn’t even aware of it. That’s what happens when a festival isn’t native to one’s country, I suppose. But, I was watching an episode of The Kitchen and someone cooked beef stewed in beer. Lovely, I thought. I wanted to make my version but I had used up all the beef short ribs we had when I cooked my Mediterranean beef stew. Luckily, Speedy came home with two huge packs of premium pork ribs and my beer-braised pork ribs dish was born.
Ribs aren’t a must in this recipe. Pork isn’t even essential. You can make this dish with beef or chicken. What is essential is that you include some bones in the stew to make a rich sauce. What is even more essential is the beer in which to cook the meat.
Start by browning the meat. I used a combination of palm oil and butter. I scooped the meat out of the pan and, in the remaining oil, equal amounts of celery, carrot and onion were sauteed. The beer was poured in, the meat went back into the pan and the simmering began.
After an hour, this was how the beer-braised pork ribs looked like. They’re ready to eat at this point but I went a step farther.
I scooped out the pork ribs and added a little cornstarch dispersed in water to thicken the sauce.
After two minutes, the sauce was thick enough to coat the ribs. Beautiful!
- 4 generous portions of premium pork ribs (thick slices of pork chops will work too)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 1/3 cup chopped celery
- 1/3 cup chopped carrot
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bottle Pale Pilsen (I used San Miguel)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Pat the pork ribs dry with paper towels. Rub generously with salt and pepper. Toss with the flour until every inch is coated. Shake off any excess.
Heat the oil and half of the butter in a pan. Brown the pork ribs on all sides. Scoop out and set aside.
In the remaining oil, saute the celery, carrot, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme until the vegetables are softened.
Pour in the beer and scrape to loosen any browned bits sticking to the bottom and sides of the pan. Let boil for a minute. Stir in a little salt and pepper.
Arrange the browned pork ribs in the pan in a single layer.
Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer the pork ribs for an hour or until fork tender.
Scoop out the pork ribs and transfer to a plate.
Stir the cornstarch in two tablespoons of water. Pour half into the sauce and stir until the sauce is thickened and no longer cloudy. If the sauce is still too thin, pour in the rest of the cornstarch solution.
Add the remaning butter to the sauce. Stir until melted and incorporated. Taste the sauce one last time and add more salt and pepper, as needed.
To serve, arrange the pork ribs on a plate and spoon some of the sauce and vegetables over them. Optionally, sprinkle with snipped parsley.