Extra Strong (or extra special) Bitters are yet another most appreciated brewing tradition from our friends in the United Kingdom.
And despite being a bitter, ESBs don’t tend to be all that bitter in flavor. They tend towards dark golds to copper in color, with caramel notes and a slightly toasted flavor. Hints of fruit flavor may show up.
An English tradition for 350 years
Today’s beer pairing features an English classic: Fuller’s ESB. This highly respected (and exported) brew is the product of a Chiswick brewery that has been in operation, in one form or another, for about 350 years.
Fuller’s ESB has been brewed since 1971.
A full-flavored meal
There’s absolutely nothing subtle about today’s pairing. The slow-cooker espresso-marinated ribs are full of sweet, salty, spicy, and bitter flavors combining in a full-bodied meat.
The caramel notes of the ESB cut through the salt pork, sriracha, and espresso, but leave a lingering maple hint from the rib meat.
Espresso-Marinated Short Ribs
- 5 cups water
- 12 ounces freshly-brewed espresso
- ½ cup coarse kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 4 pounds short ribs, cut between ribs to separate
Short Ribs Ingredients
- about a dozen pork short ribs
- ½ cup salt pork, rind removed, diced small
- 2 cups onions, chopped
- ½ cup shallots, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded, chopped
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup Sriracha Chili Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- Stir 5 cups water, espresso, ½ cup coarse salt, and sugar in a large bowl until salt and sugar dissolve.
- Add syrup, Worcestershire sauce, chopped rosemary, and ice cubes.
- Stir the marinade until the ice melts. Add ribs, weighting them down with a plate to keep submerged if necessary.
- Cover and chill 4 to 6 hours.
- Drain ribs and discard marinade. Drained ribs can be held for up to two days, chilled in an airtight container.
Short Rib Instructions
- Allow your ribs time to come up to room temperature. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper and rub it in lightly.
- Using the slow cooker’s braiser insert, sauté salt pork over medium heat until beginning to brown. If your slow cooker doesn’t have a sear feature, you can do this step in a frying pan.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer salt pork to plate, and reserve. (These are now called “cracklins.”)
- Increase heat to medium-high. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, sear ribs until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer to large plate.
- Add onions, shallots, garlic, and jalapeño to pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- Add coffee and broth; stir, scraping up browned bits.
- Add sriracha and all remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Add ribs, cover, and transfer your EasySear™ to the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 9 hours.
Serve each rib on a small app plate with a ladle of the sauce. Top with two or three cracklins.