Chestnut Beer Braised Short Ribs

Delicate and tender short ribs, braised with a stouty chestnut beer is worth all the effort.

Chestnut Braised Beef

Chestnut Beer Braised Short Ribs

“Manzo breve costole brasato alla Castagna birra” as the Italians call it is a very time-consuming and labor intensive dish, but one you will never forget. Chestnut Beer Braised Short Ribs is one of those recipes that you can make on the most special occasions, for holidays or when you deserve an excellent meal because it’s Tuesday.

Chestnut Braised Beef Ingredients

Braising is a process that can take three hours or more. Layering flavors is the key. The braising liquid is by far the most important part of this dish. Aggressively seasoning the short ribs is another important part of making this dish a success.

The beer is critical. Finding chestnut beer might be difficult. However, an amber beer will work as a natural substitute.  Be sure to reserve vegetables for plating before adding braising liquid to the blender.

Chestnut Braised Beef

May I also suggest 2013 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It works so well with this dish. Hints of red currants, cocoa nibs, and blackberries compliment the dish well.

Beef Short Ribs Braised in Chestnut Beer

Plating is important too. I like using large shallow bowls because the braising liquid will be ladled over the short ribs you and you want to avoid the sauce to running across the plate.

Beef Short Ribs Braised in Chestnut Beer

The gremolata, made of finely-chopped parsley, grated horseradish and zest of lemon adds a bright, acidic punch that cuts through the creamy sauce.

Katherine’s Note: So yes, there’s some work involved in this dish. I watched Eddie in the kitchen all afternoon. Of course, I helped with copious glasses of wine. (He may have a different opinion). But I can’t tell you enough how phenomenal the short ribs are. Some meals are tasty, some are just meant to fill you up, but then some dishes are simply an experience. This one’s it. You can eat the short ribs with a spoon, it’s so delicate, but the sauce is thick and rich. This will for sure be the star of any dinner table.

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braised beer short ribs

Suggestions and Alternatives

  • My alternative (if you must) for short ribs would be chuck roast or pot roast cut into 4 inch cubes
  • Fresh Horseradish can be difficult to find so using horseradish from a jar works well, just be sure to squeeze off excess water.
  • Chestnut beer and Chestnut flour are two more ingredients that are hard to find but can both be substituted with any dark amber beer and plain all purpose flour.
  • Gently remove vegetables used in the braising process for plating, I like using a slotted spoon.
  • To avoid the tedious task of removing all those herbs and black peppercorns, make a “Bouquet Garni” by wrapping it all in cheese cloth and tying it securely.

Manzo breve costole brasato a Chestnut Birra (Beef Short Ribs Braised in Chestnut Beer)

The braised beef is delicate and tender, immersed in a rich tomato-based sauce.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, tuscany
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 940 kcal


Braising Liquid

  • 4 Whole Carrots
  • 2 Whole Yellow Onions
  • 1 Large Celery Root
  • 1 Whole Celery
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Bunch Rosemary
  • 1 Bunch Thyme
  • 1 Bunch Parsley
  • 2 Cups Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 tbs. Kosher Salt
  • 2 Cups Tomato Paste
  • 1 Bulb Garlic
  • 1 Gallon Cold Water
  • 2 cups Beef Stock
  • 1 Bottle Opus One (Red Wine)
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Black Pepper Corns (Toasted)
  • 5 Bottles Chestnut Beer or any Amber Beer


  • 1 Bunch Parsley (Fine Chopped)
  • 3 Lemons (Zested)
  • 4 oz. Fresh Horseradish (Grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Beef Short Ribs

  • 2 cups Chestnut Flour (or AP Flour)
  • 1/2 tbs. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tbs. Fresh Craked Black Pepper
  • 5 lbs. Boneless Beef Short Ribs


Braising Liquid

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until light smoke

  2. Add the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned and softened, 6 to 7 minutes.

  3. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, and stir in the chestnut beer, tomato sauce, beef stock, tomato paste and herb bundle. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.

  4. Scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to dislodge the brown bits, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Short Ribs

  1. Preheat the oven to 275ºF

  2. Season the short ribs aggressively with kosher salt and black pepper, and dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess.

  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until light smoke

  4. Place short ribs five at a time, in the hot oil and sear until deep brown on all sides, about 15 minutes per batch. Transfer the short ribs to a plate and set aside.

  5. Place short ribs gently in braising liquid making sure short ribs are completely submerged. Cover and place in center of oven. Cook for 2 hours.

  6. Uncover the skillet and continue to cook for 30 minutes, or until the meat is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and use a ladle or a large kitchen spoon to skim the fat from the braising liquid.

  7. Gently remove carrots, celery root (for plating), remove bay leaves and all herbs

  8. In Vita-Mix blender add remaining braising liquid with remaining vegetables and puree on high for 3 minutes

  9. Strain through Chinois and ladle over short ribs


  1. To make the gremolata, combine the parsley, lemon zest, and horseradish in a small bowl, and toss loosely by hand. Place a tablespoon on top of short ribs.











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