Irish Whiskey Short Rib Stew with Brussels Sprouts

Irish Whiskey Short Rib Stew with Brussels Sprouts ~ a traditional Irish stew straight from the corner pub! Make it for Saint Patrick’s Day or an everyday family meal, it’s stick-to-your-ribs delicious.

The first time I made Short Ribs it was a real cooking moment for me. They were so rich and flavorful they became an instant favorite. So instead of a classic beef or lamb Irish stew I thought I’d bring back the short ribs, Irish style.

Short ribs work really well with a strong alcohol content. They braise leisurely in a slow oven and so the wine, or in this case whiskey, has a chance to mellow and give the gravy a deep husky note.

One of the keys to this dish is browning the ribs really well before they go in the oven. Brown them on medium high heat on all sides. I throw the baby red potatoes and carrots go into the pot only for the last hour of cooking, that way they don’t cook down so much that they disappear into the stew.

Short ribs are often served over a bed of something creamy or starchy, like mashed potatoes or polenta. But they’re rich, especially if your ribs are on the fatty side to begin with. To lighten it up and add some green I ladled the stew next to lightly braised Brussels sprouts. Cooking them separately allows me to make sure the sprouts stay firm and bright green.

I was really happy with the flavor of this Irish whiskey short rib stew, and my only issue with it had to do with my short ribs being very fatty. So I do recommend that you look for good meaty ribs if you make this dish. I think I may try it with regular stewing beef next time.


3.63 from 8 votes

Irish Whiskey Short Rib Stew with Brussels Sprouts

Author Sue Moran


for the stew

  • 2 lbs short ribs about 4
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • flour for dredging leave out for gluten free
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp shortening
  • 1 white onion halved and sliced
  • 1 large shallot sliced
  • 1 large leek thoroughly rinsed and sliced
  • 1 cup Irish whiskey
  • 2 to matoes chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste I keep a tube in the fridge
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 lb baby red potatoes halved
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • fresh rosemary for garnish

Brussels sprouts

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper


  • Set oven to 325F
  • Trim any excessive areas of fat from your ribs. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and then dust all over with flour.
  • In a large dutch oven heat the oil and shortening until hot. Brown the ribs well on all sides, then take them out of the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, saute the onion, shallot and leek for a few minutes, until softened.
  • Take the pan off the heat, pour in the whiskey, and then put the pan back on the heat to let the whiskey come to a boil. Let it reduce for a minute, scraping up the brown bits from the pan, and then add in the tomatoes, the tomato paste, the stock, the bay leaves and fresh rosemary. Bring it up to a simmer, and then cover the pan and put it in the oven for 3 hours.
  • An hour before the ribs are done, add the potatoes and carrots.
  • When the stew has cooked for 3 hours, remove the vegetables and meat. Remove the stems of rosemary and the bay leaves and allow the sauce to cool. Remove the layer of fat that rises to the top. If necessary, if there is an excess of sauce, you can reduce it by boiling it on the stove for a few minutes.
  • Shred the meat off the bones. Add the meat and vegetables back into the sauce. Bring back up to a simmer.
  • Check the seasoning, and serve along with the braised Brussels sprouts. Garnish with more fresh rosemary.
  • To make the Brussels sprouts: halve the sprouts. If they are very small you can leave them whole. If they are very large, quarter them.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a saute pan and add the sprouts to the pan, along with 1/4 cup water.
  • Cover and let the sprouts simmer/steam for a few minutes, just until they start to soften. Then uncover the pan and let the liquid evaporate. Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. They should be firm and bright green.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.




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  • Reply
    shannon weber
    March 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    my goodness: short ribs! Seriously it’s one of the only ways i eat beef anymore (not that i dislike it, just have found myself steering towards lots of veggies and less meat in general). But i LOVE them, and i’m so massively envious of this comforting meal! We talked about doing a big St. Patrick’s day meal this year, but being in florida over the holiday really sort of put a damper on it; i’m used to it begin colder, and it goes with the heartiness of the food! Now i’m second-guessing this, and hoping for a cold spell when i return so i have an excuse to make this. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    March 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Definitely better the next day—and the whiskey is such a nice change from wine!

  • Reply
    Paula Montenegro
    March 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    A good cup of whiskey, that´s my kind of stew! Perfect for the chilly weather and just on time to celebrate tomorrow. After all, they are better the day after!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Oh wow, I love everything about this from the whiskey to the Brussels sprouts. What a delicious meal. The best thing about Irish food is its warm comfort and this meal has it for sure.

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    March 16, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Sue, this looks sensational, wow, you’re definitely forgiven for what you think is being late for celebrating St Patty’s, you’ve definitely made up for it with this amazing dish. I love how you’ve paired the rich stew with the fresh, beautiful green brussels sprouts!

  • Reply
    Bourbon & Pearls
    March 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    My husband is third generation Irish and hates Irish food and calls it all disgusting but you know what? I bet he’d love this.

  • Reply
    Nantucket Daffodil
    March 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Oh my. Heaven.

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    March 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    This looks soooo good, Sue. My stomach actually growled when I saw it. I’ve been on a huge Brussels sprouts kick too. I’ve been making them all week.

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