As a kid, our house always smelled like delicious food. Once breakfast was done, my grandmother would start sautéing garlic or julienning carrots for the next meal. It was an ongoing cycle, and one that we all enjoyed. Looking back, I consider myself lucky to have had the luxury of home-cooked meals all day, every day.
Now that that I’m the cook of the house, life isn’t exactly like that. With school activities, work, appointments and everything in between, time is always of the essence. If it wasn’t for the slow cooker, cereal would be on the menu for dinner every night!
The beauty of the slow cooker is putting everything in the morning, letting it cook all day and returning home to dinner already made! Nothing is quite as satisfying as walking in the door after a busy day and smelling dinner in the slow cooker.
On these frigid winter days, I love making stews and hearty meals that warm us up and fill the house with delicious smells. At my local store, the meat department is top notch. I love that there’s a craft butcher department, in addition to the great meat department.
For this recipe, I felt like splurging and making something we don’t always eat, so I picked up some short ribs. This hearty cut is known for its marbling and rich flavor, which makes it a great choice for a slow-cooked meal. Short ribs tend to cost more, so if you’re looking for an alternative, Jill, a butcher from the ShopRite of Greater Morristown, says to try a boneless chuck roast.
And since we’ve been on a craft beer kick, and this specific ShopRite has beer and wine right in the middle of the store, I wanted to grab a hearty beer as the main flavoring ingredient. At first, I had Guiness in my cart, and then my eyes locked on Founders Brewing Co’s Breakfast Stout. This chocolatey oatmeal stout has a pronounced dark flavoring that would give my short ribs a unique taste.
In addition to the delicious stout and hearty meat, I grabbed some organic veggies in my store’s expansive selection. The organic section at the Morristown store seems to get better each time I visit.
On one of my many busy days, I threw the meat and veggies into the slow cooker and I loved the way the smell lingered. The flavor from the stout was rich and tasty, with slight undertones of oatmeal, unlike anything I’ve ever made. If you like hearty meals, this one was stick-to-your-bones good.
Founders Breakfast Stout Braised Short Ribs
Yields: 4 servings
Cook Time: 4-6 hours
3 lbs short ribs or chuck roast
1-2 bottles of Founders Breakfast Stout
1/2 cup of beef broth
2 celery stalks
2 garlic cloves
1 onion sliced
1 bay leaf
pepper to taste
Add minced garlic, sliced onions to hot pot with oil. Add short ribs and sear until lightly browned. Add beef broth to loosen bits in pot; transfer to slow cooker. Pour Breakfast Stout over meat, until it covers everything half way. Depending on the size of short ribs, you may use more or less stout. Add cut carrots, celery and potatoes into slow cooker about halfway through. Cook for 4 hours on high and 6 hours on low.
Once meat is done cooking, ladle 2-3 cups of sauce into a hot pot and cook down on med-high heat until slightly thickened; about 4 minutes. Serve reduction over meat and vegetables.
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