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Photo: Quentin Bacon
That heavy stout belongs in your ribs. Your beef short ribs, that is.

While Andrew Carmellini is renowned for his Italian cuisine, his second cookbook, American Flavor, focuses on the diversity of cuisine across the country. From the barbecue in his native Cleveland to the comfort food at his family’s dinner table, American Flavor is a good reminder to always expand your repertoire.

The inspiration for this dish came from the best meal I had in my trip through Ireland: bangers and mash and Guinness in a pub in Westport, a picture-perfect little place (it actually won an award for being a “tidy town”) in the northwest of the Republic. So it’s not exactly locally inspired — but come on, who doesn’t love an Irish pub? In New York, there’s a place serving bangers and mash on every other block — and when it comes to celebrating, everybody’s Irish.

To make this right, try to find thick-cut, well-marbled beef: the better the meat, the better the ribs. I like to use bone-in short ribs: they make for a great presentation, and the flavor of the bones bumps up the flavor of the sauce. I marinate the meat overnight for maximum beef beeriness, but I toss the beer marinade down the sink the next day; if you actually cook with the beer, everything turns really bitter. Instead, I add some fresh beer at the end, to give the sauce that straight-from-the-bottle flavor.

The caramelized onion purée balances the beer out with a little bit of sweetness. The idea here is slow caramelization to bring out the sugar in the onions. I bang out the onion purée while the ribs are in the oven, but you can also make the purée the day before, when you marinate the ribs, and stick it in the fridge overnight.

The ribs are great with sour cream mashed potatoes. And beer, of course.

Reprinted with permission from American Flavor