Pumpkin Braised Short Ribs
If autumn had a celebrity dish, this would be it. The long, slow cooking time yields rich, succulent results. If the ribs don’t come tied, you can use kitchen twine or silicone bands. It’s just for prettier presentation so that they don’t fall off the bone.
Yields 5-6 servings
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 lbs (10-12 large ribs, each 4 x 2 inches) thick short ribs, each tied
2 Tbs canola oil
1 onion, peeled, cut into ½-inch dice
24 oz (2 12-ounce bottles) pumpkin ale or other beer
1 1/2 cups or 1 (15-ounce) can canned pure pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs whole grain mustard
2 Tbs seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbs dark molasses
3 cups chopped curly kale
Combine the flour, sage, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish or tin. Coat the ribs on all sides with the seasoned flour. Shake off excess.
Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat for 3 minutes. Add the canola oil; wait a minute or two, until the pan is very hot and almost smoking. Place the short ribs into the pan; sear until they are nicely browned on all three meaty sides. You will have to sear the meat in batches. Do not crowd the pot. Be patient; allow 4-5 minutes per side. When the ribs are nicely browned, transfer them to a plate to rest.
Reduce heat to medium; add the onion. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up all the browned bits in the pan. Cook 3-4 minutes, until the onion just starts to soften. Add 12 ounces of beer. Stir. Add the pumpkin. Stir in the tomato paste, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, vinegar, and molasses. Mix well. Bring sauce to a boil.
Return ribs to the pot. Stand them up if needed to fit all. Add the remaining 12 ounces of beer to almost cover the ribs. Add as much of the chopped kale as fits. Cover the pot. Simmer on low for 3 hours.
Transfer the ribs to a large platter. Spoon lots of braising juices over the ribs.