Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs

with cilantro & jalapeño

As completely weird and impossible as it may seem, keeping a food blog can be stressful. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. I guess it comes with the territory of feeding people, whether actually putting food on the table or by proxy through recipes and ideas. I get angry comments all the time when someone didn’t like a recipe or they thought that it was written poorly. I don’t want that to happen, but the odds are against me and sometimes people aren’t going to love what I’m doing here. All I can do is try to relay precisely what it is that I do in my kitchen and hope that it translates well in kitchens around the world. Everyone cooks differently, though. Once you’ve been cooking long enough, you have a way of moving throughout your kitchen that is more muscle memory than anything else. And even if you’re following a recipe, you don’t necessarily worry about replacing something here or adding more of something there because you become familiar with how one ingredient works with another. You know that one burner on your stove is stronger than most, or that your oven has one stubborn cold spot that forces you to rotate your pans every 10 minutes for even baking. Not everyone spends ridiculous amounts of time fiddling around in the kitchen, though. I got one comment this weekend that hit me a little harder than things generally do. The person told me I should basically be ashamed of myself and that the food he cooked was immediately all thrown in the garbage. There’s nothing I can do to change someone’s mind, but I made that same dish as stated in the recipe and I personally loved it. That happens sometimes. I wish I could sit down with this person and work through the recipe together to find out why he hated it, and in turn, me, so much. But that’s not realistic and I have to just let him vent his frustrations and move on. I just don’t like the idea of someone thinking I did something to personally slight them, which is exactly how this guy seems to feel. Thinking that someone threw away an entire meal makes me upset, of course. I would hate to know that I was the cause of that, and I hope that it was just a matter of personal taste over anything else. Usually I take angry comments with a grain of salt, but this one in particular is going to stick with me for a while.

Edit: I just want to say thank you to everyone for writing amazingly supportive comments and being all-around bad ass and amazing. I really appreciate all of the kinds words and hearing that you’ve tried multiple recipes with good results. You never know how what you write or suggest is going to translate outside of your own kitchen and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that what you’ve tried has worked for you, and even if it hasn’t, a little constructive criticism never hurt anyone! Thanks again, guys. You’re the best.

Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs

My favorite part of Oktoberfest.
Now, on to less whiney things. Our friend Danny lives in Jersey City and used what I’m sure is some sort of witchcraft to get us to come out to his neighborhood to celebrate Oktoberfest at a beer garden near his apartment the weekend before last. Danny spent two years studying abroad in Germany, so his desire to celebrate is stronger than most. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so it was a great day to sit outside, drink beers, and eat pretzels and sausages. We definitely did quite a bit of the latter. As much as I like to make fun of New Jersey (I was born there, after all, which makes the teasing even more irresistible), we all had a really fun time and I was pleased to see how many New Yorkers sucked up their pride to come out to the Garden State. As it got dark, we decided that a round or two of karaoke was in order, and not being able to find a decent spot in Jersey City, we trekked back into Manhattan for a few hours of yelling into a microphone and a few more beers. I was definitely feeling it the next day, but is there any other way to celebrate Oktoberfest?

Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs

Cooking with beer is almost as fun as drinking it, so I present to you these beer braised short ribs. Usually when I do short ribs, it is some kind of red wine variety, but seeing as how we’re still in the midst of Oktoberfest, I decided to go the beer route. I chose an Abita pecan ale, as I felt it was a nice, autumnal option that had a bit of sweetness for the sauce. I once made the mistake of cooking with an IPA and I urge you to never make the same bad decision that I did – an IPA will make your food taste incredibly bitter, as I found out the hard way. Instead, go for something like a Newcastle or Modelo – just be sure it’s something you’d also be happy to drink. I ended up using the classic carrot and onion combo, but added in cilantro, jalapeno, cumin and chipotle chile powder for an added kick to cut through some of the sweetness of the beer. I think these Southwestern-ish flavors paired wonderfully with the rich, meaty short ribs – Kramer was a big fan of this dish in particular and was mesmerized by how the meat just fell off of the bone. He picked on of his bones up, put it in my face and wanted to make sure that I saw how tender the meat was. Seeing someone that excited about your cooking always makes everything seem alright. As with most things I make, we ate this as leftovers the next day with some fried eggs and roasted potatoes, and again, as with most things, it was even better on day two.

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsNow those are some wieners.

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsKramer telling me to stop being immature.

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsOur friend Danny, who lives in Jersey and dragged us all out there.

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsJessie, ever the trooper.

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsMe, claiming Danny’s food for my own when he wasn’t looking.

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsBeer Braised Beef Short RibsBeer Braised Beef Short RibsBeer Braised Beef Short RibsBeer Braised Beef Short RibsBeer Braised Beef Short RibsBeer Braised Beef Short RibsOf course, we couldn’t end the night without a little karaoke.

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsAren’t these short ribs beautiful?

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsBrown them nicely on all sides.

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsAnd peel many a clove of garlic.

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsGet your vegetables cooked up, then nestle the ribs in the pot and braise in the oven for 2 hours or so, until tender.

Beer Braised Beef Short RibsServe with the beer you cooked it with and some crusty bread.

Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs

Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
Tender beef short ribs braised in an amber beer with chipotle, cumin and vegetables.
  • 2.5 pounds beef short ribs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 12-ounce amber beer (pick something on the sweeter side - an IPA will make this taste bitter)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ a head of garlic, cloves individually peeled
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ of a jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves only (plus more for garnish)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine your salt and pepper and rub it all over the ribs. Heat your oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot and add in half of your ribs, cooking on each side until nicely browned, about 5 minutes total. Remove the ribs to a paper-towel lined pate and finish off the remaining ribs. Set those aside as well.
  2. In the same pot, keep the drippings and add in the carrots and onion. Cook over medium-high heat until they start to brown, about 5 minutes, then add in the beer, tomato paste, cumin, chile powder, and pepper flakes . Bring the mixture to a boil, then add in 2 cups of water. Stir to combine, then add in the the sliced jalapeño, peeled garlic cloves, bay leaf and cilantro leaves. Nestle the short ribs in the pot, cover and cook for 2 - 2½ hours or so, until the ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender. Serve alongside the sauce from the pot with additional vegetables, crusty bread or on its own.


36 Responses

  1. What a rude comment! I not mind the harsh comment too but at least tell me what you thought was wrong with the recipe. I have tried a few of your recipes and they all turned out great, so I am surprised at you were spoken to so harshly.
    This look like a solid recipe, it is hard to go wrong with a braise esp. with beef

  2. Jane M says:

    I don’t like meanies either! Grrrr. This recipe looks yummy.

  3. Sebastián says:

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog since one of your chocolate cookie recipes was published on the nytimes. Haven’t missed a recipe since the, and have tried a lot on my own; ilive in Colombia so there are a lot of ingredients that I can’t find, so I just replace them, but everything turns out great int he end. Thank you, this is my go-to website when I’m in the mood for cooking.

    I just wanted to know what is that cooking pan you use.

    • Sydney says:

      Hi Sebastian – thank you! Glad to hear it. That is a Le Creuset deep skillet. I love it because the enameled cast iron is so easy to clean!

  4. Maria MP says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before but I just wanted to say to not let the haters get you down. I’ve cooked quite a few recipes from your website and I love being able to experience New York from afar. Haters gotta hate. Keep cooking!

  5. Ellen Konstan says:

    this recipe looks delightful as a technique, but I’m not a fan of cilantro, cumin etc. Can you suggest a different flavor profile that would complement the recipe? thanks!

  6. Melanie says:

    Don’t let them get to you. There are a lot of entitled douche nozzles on the internets – you’re bound to run into one here and there, you know? Anyone with eyes can see how much time you put into these posts, what with all the photos and stories that also come with the recipe you are posting. For all you know, they didn’t even follow/understand the recipe properly and it had nothing to do with you, you know? How can you tell from your side of things? You can’t. A mis-measurement here, little too much heat there……it doesn’t take a lot to throw a recipe off sometimes. Even oatmeal can be screwed up royally if you try hard enough. lol

  7. I got a fortune once with my Chinese food that read: “If you have no critics, you’ll likely have no success.” And I think that’s so true – if no one’s complaining to you/about you, then no one’s paying attention to all of your hard work, either. It also doesn’t help that he may not have read the recipe correctly, haha. I’ve definitely done that plenty of times with other people’s recipes, and nine times out of ten it was my fault. Hang in there, and just focus on the positive!

  8. I know it isn’t easy, but try to put the haters far from your mind. There are some people who find ugliness in everything because they don’t like themselves AT ALL and try to poison everyone around them to be unhappy as well. We just cant win with folks like that! Your blog RULES and I have been reading food blogs for years so (does that make me an expert? Just pretend) I love that you clearly know your food, but also that you share glimpses into your own life. This entry is a great example. You guys are a cute couple and even IF you weren’t, these ribs sound way good. Like good enough that it will be one of the food blog posts I pin and actually make! Hurray! Love the flavors you chose, spices and beer and rich and then with bright cilantro to kick it all up fresh at the end. Bravo! Keep that chin up girlfran.

  9. Thank you for continuing to share your passion + clear talent with the rest of us despite the douchecanoes that are so very self-entitled and unaware that there’s a real person behind this website that is chock full of interesting recipes and beautiful photography. Your blog is one of my most favorites and I would be so very sad if those jerks got to you and sent you packing.

  10. Joyce says:

    I just posted this recipe to Facebook. My son that is 500 miles away just “liked” it. I’ll be trying it soon. Perfect for this time of year!

  11. Emily D. says:

    You know what, I’ve messed up a recipe before too and I have never blamed it on the author. And as an added note, I’ve made tons and tons of recipes specifically from this site and have never had any result but delicious food. Some people just need something to complain about.

  12. C. says:

    I never comment here, but in order to help drown out the negs from that guy’s comment I need to let you know that I get so excited when I see one of your posts pop up in my feed. I’ll admit I’ve only attempted a handful of your recipes (I’m… not a very good cook. Gotta keep it simple here!), but the only time I made something of yours that wasn’t great was the time I looked back at the recipe and realized I didn’t follow directions…. which I suspect is the case with the douchenozzle that left the comment, but as a certified douchenozzle he wants to blame you instead of acknowledging that he may be at least partly at fault. Seriously, though, there’s a huge difference between “this recipe didn’t work for me” and “you should be ashamed”. Whatanass.

  13. Doug Fawley says:

    First-time reader, first-time caller.

    What an amazing blog you have here. I’ve been subscribed to Diana Kuan’s blog for some time (love her), and found you through her. In an attempt to counteract the negatives you’ve experienced, I feel compelled to say that this blog’s overall whole – design, narrative, etc., is special. Unique. Vaulted. I’ll stop with the superlatives. Well done.

    I have not tried any of your recipes. I will remedy that shortly. Given that whatever my misgivings about Martha Stewart (completely political), I’ve always found her recipes ROCK SOLID. Given that her team has recommended you, I find it hard to believe that your recipes aren’t rock solid. There are always typos. I am also a fan of Alton Brown and found at least two of his recipes that, in retrospect, were misprints – 4 pounds of salt for a 4-person entree (I’m exaggerating), etc. It happens. I’m sure you’re quick to correct (as Alton is). At some point, it’s on the cook to look at a recipe and decide if:

    1. The recipe seems correct – i.e. putting 4 pounds of salt into a 4-person entree is probably a bad idea no matter what.

    2. Are you going to LIKE this dish based upon your personal preferences. We ALL have things we simply don’t like. I tend to shy away from outrageous combinations of flavors, although I’ve been surprised. It pays to experiment. If you don’t like it, move on.

    What a nice blog. Thanks for all of your hard work. As my dad is fond of saying, “Don’t let the dirty bastards get you down.”

  14. Kindra says:

    I too have made many of your recipes and have been reading your blog for quite some time. You are truly talented and I love living vicariously through you in New York. Keep cooking, you’re AMAZING!!!

  15. Lindsey says:

    I haven’t commented on here yet because I feel that there are no words to express how impressed with you and your recipes I am. You are incredibly talented, and I hope that you continue to express your talents. Be kind to yourself and take negativity with a grain of salt. Compassion is a difficult trait that we all are striving for.

  16. Amulya says:

    Hey Sydney,
    I’ve been reading this blog for years now and I’ve just thought to comment. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve tried recipe after recipe of yours and have had them gone swimmingly, as I’m sure so many others have. No one thinks to comment when things go according to plan. I love your recipes and I love the way you use them as a way to chronicle your life. Keep on keeping on.

  17. J says:

    mystery commenter guy is a dick and you are awesome.

  18. theblondemule says:

    I’ve been reading your blog & making your recipes for years & you’re totally awesome. Your blog is the best food blog out there – it’s personal, it’s well designed & you take great pictures. I’m with Doug’s dad, “Don’t let the dirty bastards get you down.”

  19. Ainhoa says:

    I’ve been reading for quite a few years (since before you were engaged!) and loved every one of the recipes I’ve tried. I also love following around your life in NYC and getting to learn about new places to eat there (especially since I’m visiting next month, for the first time in a few years!)

  20. Caitlin H. says:

    I’m with Doug! You have a very special blog, with an interesting spin on food and life in NYC. Who can say why someone would choose to be toxic rather than helpful/constructive? Healthy/happy people simply don’t have the time to waste dwelling on the negative. Keep doing well what you know you do well! (And as for your recipes… I haven’t made one yet that wasn’t a hit!)

  21. Lola says:

    Lauren Conrad (of all people) on negativity: “There is always gonna be a little bit of…negativity, which just comes with the territory. You realize it doesn’t matter. It’s so simple, but it’s a very hard lesson to learn. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really affect you in any way.”

  22. Anthony says:

    Sorry to read that you had to deal with a creep; there’s something about the Internet (probably the fact that we can’t reach through the monitor to slap them) that brings out the jerk in people. FWIW, I love your recipes and, of the few I’ve fixed, they’ve been great.You have a natural talent for this (and for food photography and writing), so don’t let some jackass get you down. Besides, he probably screwed the recipe up himself. 😉

    BTW, I will be making these ribs this weekend. Cilantro and jalapeno? I am so there… :)

  23. Nina says:

    It is really disappointing to hear that there are people out there making such negative and mean comments. Your blog is wonderful and I look forward to your new postings to see what new and exciting foods you are making. There always will be something that I might not want to make or try. And with the ones I do try, I know that when you make it at home with your own kitchen and techniques, it may not turn out exactly the same.

    It is too bad that this person is so negative. But he obviously has his own issues and decided to take it out on you rather than admit that it might have been something he did.

    Please don’t let that get you down and continue to provide us with your great recipes and stories. There are more of us that enjoy your blog than are the negative ones.

  24. Ignore that weenie and pass that beef over here! Yummers:)

  25. Charles says:

    I have done some serious cooking during the past 55 years, ranging from formal dinner parties with very complex recipes to simple stuff. I enjoy your recipes because they are imaginative and not the run-of-the-mill stuff that’s in most cookbooks and blogs. And they usually turn out great. There is one thing that I’m curious about. With almost every other cooking web site the comments relate to the recipes – good, bad, how it was modified, how it turned out, etc. With yours the comments are all about how people enjoy you and how good the recipes look, etc. I never see comments on the recipes themselves. It’s like people enjoy reading about you and your recipes, but never try or comment on them. How come?

  26. Lynna says:

    Aww, I`m sorry you had to be bothered by such mean comments. There are so many ways to word comments, though. But, really, I have tried your recipes before and love them. Like, your chocolate chunk cookies? My GAWD, those are AMAZING. ♥

    Love these photos! I love eating short ribs and add beer is definitely fitting.

  27. Food blogging is a really interesting thing in both good and bad ways. I’m sorry you received such a nasty comment. Things like that shouldn’t happen but you are totally right that everyone’s kitchen is different and sometimes people read the recipe blindly and don’t think and that’s not typically going to lead to success. What that guy said is a reflection on the kind of person he is and not a reflection on you!

  28. Sally says:

    I’ve been a huge fan of your blog for years, and I’ve found all of the recipes of yours I’ve made to be solid. That said, I left a similar comment on another blog recently – because I did follow the recipe to the letter, and it was still inedible and disgusting. I was upset that I wasted my time, effort, money, and food on it, and had hoped that the blogger and commenters would consider tweaking the recipe so it would be less of a waste. Criticism is an occupational hazard and I don’t think it’s always unwarranted or mean-spirited.

  29. Sasha says:

    All your recipes always look amazing and in my experience, hate comments don’t usually come from a very honest place – more from a spiteful one. As far as I’m concerned, that guy can go f himself…

    Keep up the awesome work! Your blog kicks ass :)

  30. Elaine Joyce says:

    Hi Sydney! I made this dish tonight and it was amazing! Perfect meal for a Sunday and my football loving family. Love dishes I can throw in the oven while watching the game. It turned out exactly like the photos (even the crusty stuff on the side of the pan:) and was a big hit! It was also quite fun tasting which beer to use. Wonderful fall flavors!

  31. ellen says:

    I’ve recently made a few of your recipes and really liked them, but this one didn’t work. I followed the recipe very closely but the sauce had no flavor and was very fatty. Maybe the short ribs were the problem. But the carrots were mushy, the sauce was very runny and bland, and I felt like I was eating liquid fat. I loved your Machaca recipe though and will definitely do that one again.

  32. Marlene says:

    Oh my, this recipe was incredible and I can honestly say it’s the best recipe I have tried — EVER!! Everything was amazing in it, from amount of ground spices, to ingredients like the half jalapeño to fresh cilantro. There was so much depth and dimension to this dish. I cannot thank you enough for sharing it!

  33. Rachel says:

    I’ve made tons of your recipes so far and loved each and every one of them! I made this particular recipe last week and my boyfriend and I loved it!! Later in the week, I went to a four-star restaurant where I tried their beef short ribs and was left disappointed – while the meat was tender, it was very bland and boring. Your recipe blew their’s out of the water! I especially loved the addition of the jalapeño to give it an extra kick! Thanks for everything! This is definitely a new favorite recipe for our family :)

  34. Lisa says:

    Just wondering, what kind of poan are you using here? I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now and haven’t come across one yet . Thanks for your help, this recipe looks amazing!!

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