Taste Of The Derby: Bourbon & Leffe Brown Braised Short Ribs

Photo Compliments of Stella Artois

Stella Artois is the official beer sponsor of the 138th Kentucky Derby. For those of us who can’t attend this glamorous event in person, they’re helping us recreate that feeling of sophistication and celebration by sharing this signature Kentucky Derby recipe . This bourbon and Leffe Brown braised short ribs recipe was created by Chef Bar Vandaele (owner of Belga Cafe’ in Washington DC)  oozes sophistication and is perfect to serve at your Derby party. Grab your short ribs and follow the jump for the recipe.

Short Ribs (Serves 6-8) Recipe Compliments of Chef Bart Vandaele, Belga Café)
5 lbs Boneless Short Ribs
1 large Onion
3 Bay Leaves
1 bunch Thyme
1 Tablespoon Juniper Berries
½ cup Bourbon
2 bottles Leffe Brown
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 Liters Beef Stock
2 Liters Water


Slice and sauté the Onion, add the whole Short Ribs and sear all sides until browned. Add the Thyme, Juniper Berries, Bourbon, Leffe Brown, and Sugar. Braise the meat until most of the liquid has cooked off. In a large stock pot, heat the Water and Beef Stock to a simmer. Add the Bay Leaves and the short ribs (along with the remaining braising liquid, herbs, and onions). Simmer the meat for 4 5 hours. Remove the meat from the stock and allow to rest. Slice the meat on the diagonal into ¾” slices.

Polenta Cake

2 lbs Polenta Mix (corn flour)
3 quarts Milk
1 quart Water
1 ½ Tablespoons Ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
½ pound Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & pepper

Boil together Milk, Water, Nutmeg, Pepper, Curry. Stir in Polenta. Boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and add Parmesan Cheese. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Spray non-stick pan spray on sheet pans. Spread polenta evenly on the pans to a depth of ¾”. Chill in the fridge for one hour. Remove and cut 2″ rounds to serve.


1 lb Medium-sized Zucchini
1 lb Small Turnips
1 (count) Large Red Onion
2 (count) small Oranges
1 pint White Wine Vinegar
2 bottles Pilsner beer (Stella Artois)
4 Tablespoons Sugar
1 sprig Fresh Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
Salt & Pepper

Pickling Liquid: Heat White Wine Vinegar and Beer together and add the Sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved completely. Add Bay Leaves, Thyme, Salt and Pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Turnips: Peel and cut Turnips into quarters, then into 1″ pieces. Blanch turnips in water. Drain and place in a large container. Immerse in Pickling Liquid, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Red Onions: Slice Red Onion into ¼” slices and separate layers. Bring 1/3 of the pickling liquid to a boil in a large pot. Add the onion slices and remove from the heat. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Oranges: Peel Oranges and separate segments. Set Aside.

Zucchini: Quarter Zucchini lengthwise, then cut into 1″ pieces. Blanch zucchini in water and season with Salt and Pepper. Chill in an ice bath, pat dry and set aside.

Cheese Tuile

1 pound Kerrygold Aged Cheddar
1 Tablespoon Flour
1 teaspoon Curry Powder

Shred Aged Cheddar Cheese, add Flour & Curry Powder and mix thoroughly. Spread in a thin layer (lattice) in small circles separated by 1″ on Silpat baking mats. Cook in the oven at 350ÌŠ F for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool until the cheese begins to set. Using a thin metal spatula, remove the cheese tuiles from the Silpats and let them finish cooling until they harden. You can drape them over a rolling pin or wire rack at this point to let them take these shapes.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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