Aug. Recipe: Beer-Braised and Mesquite-Smoked Short Ribs

Recipe from "Weber's Smoke™" by Jamie Purviance

Ingredients

BRAISING LIQUID
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, about 10 ounces, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño chile pepper, about 1 ounce, roughly chopped (with seeds)
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 bottles (each 12 fluid ounces) lager
1 bay leaf
5 pounds meaty beef short ribs

SAUCE
1 c. ketchup
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Hot pepper sauce (optional)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño and cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the oregano, cumin seed, salt, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Pour in the lager and add the bay leaf. Place the ribs in the braising liquid, meaty side down, and add just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the ribs are barely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1½ hours. Transfer the ribs to a sheet pan to cool. Remove and discard any bones that may have fallen off the ribs in the liquid; reserve the liquid. Cover and refrigerate the cooled ribs until chilled, about 2 hours.

Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.

Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Skim the fat from the surface of the liquid. Rinse the stockpot, pour the liquid back into the stockpot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer the liquid until reduced to ¾ cup, 1 to 1½ hours. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Stir in the ketchup, molasses, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and season with hot pepper sauce, if desired. Set aside at room temperature.

Prepare a two-zone fire for medium heat (350° to 450°F).

Brush the ribs with the oil and season evenly with the salt and pepper. Brush the cooking grate clean. Drain and add one handful of the wood chips to the charcoal and put the lid on the grill. When the wood begins to smoke, cook the ribs over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the meat begins to crisp around the edges and the ribs are heated through, about 25 minutes.

Brush the ribs generously with the sauce. Drain and add the remaining wood chips to the charcoal. Move the ribs over direct medium heat, close the lid, and continue to cook until the meat is glazed, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from the grill and serve warm with the remaining sauce.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 45 minutes, plus about 1½ hours to braise the ribs and 1 to 1½ hours for the sauce | Chilling time: about 2 hours | Grilling time: Approx. 30 minutes | Special equipment: large stockpot, 2 large handfuls mesquite wood chips