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.
Irish Whiskey Short Rib Stew with Brussels Sprouts
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
- 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. Nestle the ribs back into the pan. 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.