Beer Braised Short Ribs

I made this with Pike XXXXX Stout for a recent dinner. It is best done the day before, which deepens the flavors and also allows you to remove a lot of the fat that the ribs produce. Even when I am cooking with beef I like to primarily use chicken stock since store bought beef stock lacks flavor. Of course if you happen to have some homemade beef stock in your larder feel free to substitute.
This recipe is great for showcasing stout ale.

4-6 servings

4 pounds short ribs
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 star anise
5 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
36 oz stout beer
12 oz chicken broth
4 oz beef broth
16 pitted prunes
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 thick slice rustic bread
Chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

Over medium heat melt butter with canola oil in large heavy pot. Sprinkle ribs with salt and ground black pepper. Brown ribs in batches so as to not crowd pan. Transfer to bowl.
Add onion to pot and saute over medium high heat until golden brown. Combine cinnamon stick, bay leaves, star anise, and peppercorns in spice bag and add to pot. Add Worcestershire sauce and stir one minute. Return short ribs to pot. Sprinkle with flour and stir one minute. Add beer, broths, prunes, and brown sugar. Bring to boil. Slather bread with mustard and place atop pot, pressing to submerge into liquid. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 2 hours. Taste for salt and pepper. Remove ribs and strain liquid through cheesecloth. Refrigerate liquid and ribs separately overnight.
Next day remove fat from top of liquid. Combine meat with braising liquid. Heat to boil then simmer, reducing liquid until syrupy.
To serve slice ribs and top with plenty of liquid and sprinkle of parsley.
Serve alongside polenta, creamy white beans, or mashed potatoes (I like horseradish).

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