So my oh my…if I must say so myself, these Guinness Braised Beef Short Rib Sandwiches on Waterford Blaa are just phenomenal! Actually the husband was pretty quick to declare this himself when they made their first appearance on our dinner table. I was pretty sure they would be right up his alley though. I mean we are talking a sandwich piled high with shredded Guinness braised short ribs, sweet caramelized onions and melted ooey, gooey Dubliner Cheese.
As far as I’m concerned you really can’t go wrong with short ribs. They are so flavourful, so melt-in-your-mouth tender all on their own, but when braised in Guinness they take on some of that deep, malty, nutty flavour. Comfort food extraordinaire! Oh and I don’t want to forget the bread part of the sandwich. It is not just some store-bought hamburger bun. No, this special shredded beef needed and equally special roll. So I decided to bake up a batch of Waterford Blaa. I originally told you about this unique bread from Waterford, Ireland (no surprizes there huh?) when I used it for Chip Buttys (also supreme comfort food).
Pronounced blah (you know as in blah, blah, blah….), it is a white soft yeast bread which is sprinkled with flour before being baked. It kind of “snows” flour when you pick it up (hah! Like we need anymore snow around here…) Unique to Waterford, I couldn’t think of a better roll for this Irish Short Rib Sandwich. Serve these at your St. Patrick’s Day festivities and you’ll be the talk of the town!
Guinness Braised Beef Short Rib Sandwiches on Waterford Blaa
recipe slightly adapted from: Life Tastes Good
- 2 pounds beef short ribs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
- fresh thyme, 3 -4 sprigs, leaves only
- 1 (14.9 ounce, approximately) can of Guinness
- 1 Cup beef stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- pinch of salt
- 3 good sized yellow onions, sliced thinly
- slices of Dubliner Cheese
- 4 Waterford Blaa Sandwich Baps (recipe to follow, or click here to see my blog about this unique Irish Bread) – butter each half and lightly toast under broiler
Season the short ribs with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper. Dredge the seasoned ribs in the flour until lightly coated, shaking off excess.
Heat a dutch oven over mid-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Allow the fat to heat up just a bit, but don’t burn it. Then add the ribs in a single layer and brown on all sides. You might not be able to fit all of them into the pan at once. That’s okay. Brown what you can on all sides and then remove the browned ribs and set aside until all ribs are nicely browned on all sides. This will take 4-5 minutes on each side to brown, but it is worth it. The browning definitely adds flavor.
When all the ribs are browned, remove them from the pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the sliced onion and 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring, for about minute, add the thyme and cook for 30 seconds more and then pour in the can of Guinness. Stir, being sure to scrape all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 1 cup of beef stock into the pan and stir, bringing to a gentle boil.
Return the beef short ribs to the pan, cover and reduce heat. Allow the ribs to simmer until very tender – about 2 hours.
If you’ll be eating your short ribs sandwiches the same day, go ahead and start your caramelized onions. Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt and stir, cooking, until they are tender. Reduce the heat to mid-low and continue to cook until the onions are a nice caramel color, stirring occasionally. This will take about 30-45 minutes. Once they are a deep golden color, give them a taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Set aside.
When the short ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, go ahead and remove the bones and discard. Shred the beef with two forks and set aside.
Pour the sauce in which the beef cooked into a gravy separator so that you can easily be rid of any excess grease. Or if you have mad skills you can attempt to skim grease from the top. Add shredded beef back into sauce if you are not ready to serve. Leaving it to sit in the sauce overnight will intensify the flavours. However, if it is showtime, just divide the beef among the four toasted buns and top with a spoonful of the sauce in which the ribs cooked. Then top with caramelized onions and a slices of Dubliner Cheese. Pop the sandwich back under the broiler to melt the cheese.
yield: 8 rolls
- 10 gram active dry yeast (about 1 tablespoons & 3/4 teaspoon)
- 10 grams caster (superfine) sugar ( about 2 1/8 teaspoon)
- 500 grams Bread Flour, plus more for dusting (A little shy of 4 cups)
- 10 grams sea salt ( about 1 3/4 teaspoons)
- 10 grams Unsalted butter ( about 3/4 tablespoon)
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 275ml lukewarm (98° F) water. Leave for 10 minutes. It should get nice and frothy, indicating that the yeast is alive and well.
Pulse flour and salt a couple of times in food processor to combine. Add the butter, cut into small bits and pulse 2-3 times.
Transfer flour/butter combination to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Change to dough hook and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. It will go from rough to shiny.
Place in a bowl, cover with cling film, and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes. Remove from the bowl and knock back , pushing the air out the dough. Rest for 15 minutes, to give the gluten time to relax; this will make shaping easier.
Divide the dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Rest for five minutes more, covered.
Dust a baking dish with flour and place the dough balls, side by side. Dust with flour. Leave in a warm place for 50 minutes.
Preheat oven to 410° F (210° C, gas mark 6.5). Liberally dust the blaas with flour from a sifter for a final time and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Guinness Beef Short Rib Sandwiches on Waterford Blaa brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)