Category - Recipe For Success

Recipe for Success - A Brewery In The Heart Of Cattle Country

A few years ago my wife and I spent a lovely weekend at Noah’s Inn in Neustadt, Ontario. Neustadt is one of those great little towns in the heart of beef country (also known as Grey County) that was settled by Germans.  Thirsty Germans settled this particular village, and they built a brewery here around 150 years ago. The brewery lasted for almost fifty years; it was then turned into a creamery/town hall before laying dormant for the later part of the 20th century. In 1997 Andrew and Val Stimpson reopened the brewery and have been making delicious microbrews ever since.

One of my favorite beers they make (it was served at my wedding), is their dark beer, the Neustadt 10w30. It is an English style brown ale that isn’t too bitter. It goes great with beef, which is why I use it to cook these short ribs. The braising liquid is then reduced to make a nice glaze for the ribs after they’re reheated on the grill.

Short Ribs Braised and Glazed with Dark Beer
Serves Four

Ingredients

4 short ribs, English cut (lengthwise with the bone), about a pound each
enough flour for dredging
salt and pepper for seasoning

1 cup                             carrots, chopped
1 cup                             onions, chopped            
1/2 cup                         celery, chopped
½ cup                            leeks, chopped
4 cloves                         garlic, minced
½ bunch                        thyme
½ bunch                        rosemary
4                                     bay leaves
2 tbsp                             tomato paste
4 tbsp                             molasses
4 tbsp                             malt vinegar
2 cans (948 ml)             10w30 beer (or similar dark ale)
2L                                    Sanagan’s beef stock
2 tbsp                             vegetable/canola oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Heat the oil over a medium heat on the stovetop in a heavy bottom sauce pot, one big enough to fit the ribs.

Liberally season the ribs with the salt and the pepper.

Dredge the ribs in the flour (basically just roll the ribs in the flour and shake off any excess).

Brown each rib one at a time in the hot oil. Cool on a plate until they’re all browned.

You should have dark brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the vegetables and garlic and stir, scraping the “fond” from the bottom of the pot. Sweat the aromatics over a medium low heat until softened, about fifteen minutes. Season with more salt and pepper.

Tie your herbs together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.

Add the tomato paste and stir for a few minutes.

Add the molasses, the vinegar, the beer and the stock. Bring to a simmer.

Add the beef ribs back to the pot. The liquid should cover the ribs. If not, add more beef stock or a little water. Cover and put the pot in the oven. Braise for about 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the beef is soft and just coming away from the bone. Cool the ribs at room temperature in the liquid for a few hours.

Preheat your bbq to a medium heat.

Remove the ribs from the liquid. Remove the herb bundle. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve or a colander into a clean pot, using the back of a ladle to press the solids through the strainer. Bring the braising liquid to a boil and reduce. Taste for seasoning. It should be done when it can coat the back of a spoon.

Reheat the ribs on the bbq, rolling them over the grills until they are starting to form a crust. Brush the glaze all over them and continue grilling until the glaze caramelizes on the meat. Remove and serve with the extra glaze on the side.

I would serve these ribs with a soft polenta or creamy mashed potatoes, a nice green salad and of course copious amounts of beer. Delicious!

Recipe For Success - Recipes For Your Weekend

This is a new weekly space where I will write recipes that you can think about making when you have time over the weekend. Or you can make it next week sometime after work; I’m not holding you to anything...

In Praise Of Light

Toronto is in a craze for fat these days. Whenever I log into Instagram or Facebook I see photos of fried something-or-other sandwiches with captions like “Drool!!! I can’t wait to shove this 1800 calorie mistake into my facehole. LOL! ;);) #gonnadieyoungandidon’tcare”. All of a sudden people are trying to out-"Dangerous Dan" each other, throwing fried eggs and guacamole on top of a banquet burger, and washing it down with a 2L bottle of Faygo (orange, obviously). Fried chicken is now a thing, with everyone just trying to be better than Popeyes (nearly impossible). Now don’t get me wrong - I love gut-busting food. If there’s a special of two shawarmas for the price of one, I’m feasting Lebanese-style.  But I still would love to see someone post a photo of something that isn’t going to make you feel terrible the next day. Seriously, we shouldn’t really be feeling hung-over from food CONSANTLY. Having a butcher shop doesn’t mean that I’m unaware of how I should eat more often. Maybe because I’m nearing forty I’m choosing to eat more healthily, but I want people to put the fried sandwich down and try something else. Maybe something like a nice bit of pork chop with a cherry salsa. Instagram that and see how many likes you get. I’m telling you, if your gut had an account it would be all over that.

Grilled Pork Chop with a Cherry Salsa

serves four or so people

Ingredients

4 pork rib chops
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 thyme branches
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Salsa

1 cup sweet black cherries, pitted and chopped roughly
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ red onion, minced
1 small stalk celery, finely diced
2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Method

Toss the pork chops with the garlic, thyme and olive oil and set aside. Refrigerate if making in advance.

Heat your bbq, leaving one side cooler than the other.

As the grill is getting hot, make your salsa. Toss all of the ingredients together and let sit at room temperature. Alternatively store the salsa in the fridge if you want to make this in advance. It will keep for about 4 days or so.

When the bbq is hot, liberally season your chops with the salt and pepper. Cook over the hot side of your grill, getting a sear on the meat on both sides before moving the chops to the cooler side to finish the cooking process. The chops will be done when an internal thermometer inserted near the bone reads 145°F. Remove the chops and rest them for 10 minutes before serving. Slice and arrange on a platter and serve the salsa either on the side in a bowl or drizzled all over the chops.

I recommend serving these with some boiled green beans tossed in a little salted butter, lemon, chives and toasted almonds. Perhaps a nice leafy kale salad as well?

I am going to rate recipes with pictures of Hudson the Safety Dog. One picture means the recipe is great, but you wouldn’t want to eat it every day. Five pictures mean the recipe is really healthy for you. This recipe is so good for you; I’m giving it a four Hudson review. Fried burgers get zero Hudsons. Oh, you might ask how I’m determining health – it is a purely non-scientific method where I judge how I feel in my gut after eating it. Anecdotal evidence is the best!