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Guinness Braised Short Ribs

The Favorite Beer of Ireland is a Key Ingredient in this Savory Dish

It’s said that when cooking with wine, you should always use a vintage that you would also want to drink. This goes for beer, too, making this week’s featured specialty a likely favorite of Guinness lovers. The signature beer of the Emerald Isle lends deeply roasted, earthy flavor, while its natural tannins and alpha acids help tenderize meats, like the braised short ribs on the menu with Chef Jon Ashton this week. Paired with leeks, potatoes and roasted cabbage, this dish is a hearty helping of Irish comfort food, accented with bacon and, of course, Guinness. 

Chef Jon’s Guinness braised short ribs with leeks and potatoes are as ideal for special occasions as they are for regular Sunday evening fare, impressive in presentation and always a hit on the palate. The aromas that will waft through your kitchen and home will have you counting down to dinner time, but patience pays off for this slow-cooking, falling-off-the-bone, mouth-watering entrée. Check the detailed recipe below and gather your ingredients for Sunday Cooking with Chef Jon Ashton, this Sunday, March 7. Join us at 3 p.m. ET on the Crystal Cruises Facebook page. We’ll see you in the kitchen!

Guinness Braised Short Ribs 
By Chef Jon Ashton

8 short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
3 /4 cup (180 ml) olive oil, divided   
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper  
2 leeks, washed and sliced 
6 celery ribs, chopped 
2 onions, chopped 
6 carrots, peeled and chopped 
10 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 (750-milliliter) bottle of dry red wine  
2 cups (480 ml) beef stock, 
1 cup (240 ml) marinara sauce like Rao’s
2 (11.2-ounce) (330 ml) bottles Guinness  
2 bay leaves 
3 thyme sprigs

Adjust oven rack to top third position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. 

Pat meat dry with paper towel and arrange short ribs, bone-side down, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Brush the ribs with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Roast for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Heat 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, onions, and carrots and cook over medium to medium-high heat and sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the liquid is reduced. Add the stock, marinara sauce, Guinness, bay leaves and sprigs of fresh thyme.

Bring to boil and add short ribs, completely submerging meat in liquid; return to boil, cover, place in oven, and simmer until ribs are tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Transfer pot to a wire rack and cool, partially covered, until warm, about 2 hours.

Transfer the ribs from the pot to a large plate, removing excess vegetables that may cling to the meat; discard loose bones that have fallen away from meat. Strain braising liquid into medium bowl, pressing out liquid from solids; discard solids. Cover ribs and liquid separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)

Reheat gently, basting frequently, on top of the stove or in a 350°F oven.

Serves 8. 

Bacon & Potatoes
By Chef Jon Ashton

2 1/2 pounds (1.1 kg) small potatoes, peeled (about 30)
4 cups (960 ml) chicken stock 
4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra picked leaves for garnishing. 
1/2 pound (227 grams) smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces 
2 yellow onions, peeled and largely diced 

Add the potatoes, chicken stock and sprigs of thyme to a large pot (stock should be covering the potatoes). Bring the stock to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes soften, about 15 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the bacon pieces until crispy.  Remove and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Raise the heat and add the onions to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, about 20-25 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, lift the potatoes out of the stock and add to the skillet with the onions.  Add the bacon to the skillet. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add one cup of stock. Baste the potatoes with stock and bacon/onion mixture. If the pan is drying, add another 1/2 cup of stock. You are looking for the sauce to be the thickness of honey. Add thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Serves 6

Roasted Cabbage Wedges
By Chef Jon Ashton

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1 head green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges  
Salt and ground black pepper to taste  

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Brush both sides of each cabbage wedge with olive oil and season with salt and pepper over each wedge. Arrange wedges on a rimmed baking sheet.  

Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes; flip cabbage and continue roasting until browned and charred in some areas, about 15 minutes more. 

Makes 8 wedges 

Crystal’s Crystal@Home: A Virtual Cruise Experience program brings several elements of the renowned Crystal Experience directly to guests, wherever in the world they are. “Sunday Cooking with Chef Jon Ashton” represents the culinary excellence found aboard Crystal ships, as some of the greatest travel memories are created over the greatest meals.

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