I think these short rib sandwiches from Tom Colicchio’s wichcraft cookbook are probably my favorite sandwich in existence. The short ribs braise for several hours with onions and carrots and garlic in Guinness beer until it reduces down to a super flavorful glaze. They are served on my favorite sandwich roll recipe I shared earlier, with picked vegetables, melted aged cheddar cheese, and horseradish. They really are perfection.
It is a good idea to make the pickled fennel, radish and carrots a few days ahead of time so they have enough time to fully pickle before you make the sandwiches, but in a pinch you can do it the same day. The short ribs take a few hours to cook, but it is passive oven time, so you can be doing other things while they cook. This is actually a pretty low labor recipe if you use rolls from the freezer or store bought.
This is another dinner where my boys will eat more than one sandwich apiece, so I usually make enough for about 6-8 sandwiches. You could cut this in half to make 3-4 sandwiches. I usually buy good quality aged cheddar for my short rib sandwiches, because I think it adds a lot of flavor, but you could use any cheese you like on these and they would still be delicious.
Beer Braised Short Rib Sandwiches
- 2 tsp oil
- 2 lbs boneless beef short ribs
- 1 carrot roughly chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves sliced
- 3-4 cups brown ale I use Guinness
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp prepared horseradish
- 6 sandwich rolls
- aged cheddar sliced
- 2 cups pickled vegetables (see recipe)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 5 star anise
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 bulb fennel thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot cut in half and thinly sliced
- 1 cup radishes thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
For the vegetables:
- Heat 2 cups of water with vinegar, wine, spices and salt and bring to a boil. Put the vegetables and garlic into a canning jar or heat safe container and pour the boiling brine over. Let sit at least 24 hours in the fridge before using.
For the short ribs:
- Heat the oven to 325. In a dutch oven or oven safe pot with a lid, heat the oil until very hot. Add the short ribs and sear them until browned on all sides. Remove them to a plate.
- Add the carrot, onion, garlic and seasonings, and cooking, stirring occasionally until browning. Add the meat back to the pan and pour in the beer to deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and place into the oven. Cook 2.5-3 hours until short ribs are very tender, checking the liquid level as they cook. There should only be a little liquid left by the time they finish cooking, but don't let the pan dry out. Add water as needed to keep some liquid in the bottom.
- Remove the ribs to a plate and remove any big fatty bits. Strain the liquid and use a fat separator to remove the extra fat if there is a lot. Add the horseradish to the liquid. Return the ribs and the liquid to the pot and heat over low until the liquid fully glazes the meat and the pot is almost dry.
- Cut your rolls open and toast them slightly in the oven. Spread a little horseradish on the bread. Put the cheese onto the bread and toast a bit more until it melts. Add the glazed short ribs. Strain some of the pickled vegetables and dry them off a bit so they don't make the sandwich soggy. Add the vegetables and close up the sandwich and serve!
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