Guinness Braised Ribs

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It is no secret that I love cooking with cast iron.  You just can’t beat a gorgeous, heavy pot bubbling away on the back of the stove with something deeeeelicious simmering away.  My favorite cast iron brands are without a doubt, Le Creuset and Staub.  Recently I had a problem with color fading on one of my Staub dutch ovens, and when I contacted Staub customer service, they honestly could not have been more kind or caring.  They sent me a new one (this GORGEOUS 5.5 one in Grenadine, here) right away, no questions asked.  And Mrs. Rebolledo– the sweet lady who helped me with my exchange and made the entire process feel like I was dealing with family instead of a large company, this recipe is for you. 🙂

Treat your Dad to Guinness Braised Ribs that are sticky, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth tender, made right in your own oven with 10 minutes of prep.  And if your cookware is so gorgeous that it even makes doing the dishes fun, then I’d say that maybe a Staub dutch oven that Dad can use to make ribs on the grill, in the oven, on the stovetop, or even over the open flames, is the perfect gift for the Dads in your life! 🙂

What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!

Guinness Braised Ribs

(Adapted from Gary House)

Ingredients:

1 full rack Baby Back ribs (1 package)

Salt and Pepper

1-2 cups barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)

3 tricolored peppers, de-seeded and sliced into rounds

1 large onion, peeled and sliced into rounds

1 bottle Guinness beer (may substitute 2 cups water or beef broth, if desired)

Directions:

In a large Dutch Oven (I used this beautiful 5.5 quart Staub here), layer your tricolor pepper rounds (seeds and core removed) and round slices of onion.  Dry ribs with a paper towel and salt and pepper each side.  Cut the ribs into 3-4 pieces (however they will fit into your Dutch oven.  I divided into 3 parts) and layer with barbecue sauce in the pan.  Pour beer into the pan (do not “wash off” the sauce– pour it around the meat and over the vegetables) and cover pot.  Bake covered at 350 degrees for 2.5 hours.  Then remove pot from oven and leave covered, outside the oven, for 45 minutes-1 hour more. This step makes sure that the ribs are extra tender and moist.  Serve ribs with a side of vegetables which have braised underneath the meat.  And they are deeeeeelicious.  😉

Now, in pictures! 🙂

I don’t know why, but there is just something so gorgeous about a gleaming, cast iron pot.  I have long had a love affair with cast iron, and today I am using the drool-worthy 5.5 qt. Staub in gleaming Grenadine.  Seriously. The pot is so beautiful that my mouth fell open when I saw it.  It gleams like a jewel with an inner beauty like a rich glass of wine.  I seriously don’t know how anyone couldn’t love cooking when you have gorgeous cookware like that.

Anyway.  *wipes drool from chin.  😉  Let’s get started.

The great thing about enameled cast iron is that it has the cooking ability of cast iron with the ease of cleanup of a nonstick pan.  It truly is the best of both worlds.  You don’t even need to use cooking spray.  To start with, I got 3 peppers– one red, one yellow, and one orange.  Cut off each end and pull the core and seeds out.  Then slice the peppers into rounds.  Peel an onion (any kind of onion is fine– I’m using red) and slice it into rounds, as well.  Stack the peppers and onions loosely in the bottom of your pot.

Think deep thoughts.  Pretend you are a great chef. After this meal, everyone will believe it.

Now, it’s time for a SAUCY comment.  Just kidding.  😉  Take your ribs and divide them into 3-4 pieces– I used 3, but if your pot is smaller you may have to cut them smaller to fit.  Just slice between the bones and the rack will separate easily. 🙂

Dry each piece of meat with paper towels (this helps your seasoning to stick to the meat better) and salt and pepper each side.  Place the ribs on top of the vegetables, topping with BBQ sauce in between each layer.  You can use any kind of  sauce that you want, but I used Sweet Baby Ray’s because it has that lingering “Baby it’s really amaaazing what I do without you” going on. Channel your inner Barry White and drizzle sauce seductively over the meat.  Oooooh yeah!

Next, let’s talk alcohol.  The favorite subject of Dads everywhere. And this IS for Father’s day, after all. 😉  If you are uncomfortable cooking with alcohol, you can substitute 2 cups of water or beef broth for the Guinness.  But to ease your mind, any alcohol cooks out of the beer during the cooking process, and all you have is deep, rich flavor left behind.  Alcohol adds an almost indescribable taste to cooking.  And the dark beer really adds that warmth and flavor to the ribs.  Trust me on this.  But don’t worry about kids eating the ribs, or about guests getting tipsy afterward. There is no alcohol left after the cooking process.  Yes, Aunt Marge.  I see you nipping at the cooking sherry . . .

Once you have the ribs layered in the pot with the BBQ sauce, pour the bottle of beer (or water/beef broth) into the pan. Don’t pour it right over the ribs, because we don’t want to “wash off” the BBQ sauce. Just pour the beer around the edges of the pan so that the vegetables are sitting in the liquid.  Don’t wash the dishes.  Don’t you wish you heard that sweet little phrase more often?  😉

Put the lid on the pan. Staub Dutch ovens are amazing because they have little braising dots on the lids of each pot (even on their tiny cocottes).  The dots literally collect the vapor in the pan and drip it onto the meat to keep things extra moist.  Insane, and it works.  I have never had ribs more moist than when I made them with this Dutch Oven.  They were so moist and just fell apart when we ate them.  If you need a fabulous gift for the cook in your life, I highly recommend getting them one of these babies.  It does all the cooking for you. I mean, who doesn’t love that?  And it’s so  gorgeous that it even makes doing the dishes fun.  I don’t think you can top THAT gift.  😉

Guinness Braised Ribs

Bake your ribs at 350 degrees, with the lid on (no need to peek– they are fine) for 2 1/2 hours.  During this time your entire house will smell AHHHHmazing.  You’re welcome.  Seriously.  You spend 10 minutes cutting up vegetables and pouring beer. And the Dutch Oven does the rest.  Where have meals like this been all my life?

Guinness Braised Ribs

When the 2.5 hours are completed, go ahead and shut off the oven.  Take the Dutch Oven out of the heat and sit it on top of the stove.  Let it sit there, covered, for another hour.  You might think that the food will cool down in an hour.  Nope.  That’s the beauty of cast iron– it holds the heat forever.  After 45 minutes to an hour, your ribs will be the absolute perfect temperature for digging in, and the meat will be OHHHH so moist and tender, that you will hardly believe that something so gawwwwgeous came out of your own oven.  Your family members and friends will throw themselves at your feet, begging for autographs . . .

Guinness Braised Ribs

Why not make these beautiful Guinness Ribs for Father’s day?  Treat your Dad to a gleaming Dutch oven. Did I mention they can be used in the oven, on the stovetop, and even on the grill?  (Your cast iron– not your dad. haha).  Seriously. What man wouldn’t love to pull ribs like this off of the grill or smoker?  Spoil Dad rotten, and have a “Guy Feast” fit for a king. If Mom also gets a break from cooking with only 5 minutes of prep, then that’s A OK with me, too.  I won’t tell your secret– that the Staub did the heavy lifting 😉  There are some secrets of the universe that just *cough, cough* aren’t meant to be known.  😉

You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.


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