Brandied Cranberry Short-Rib Stew

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Paired with: Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter

This silky, complex Oregon porter has notes of cranberry, chocolate, and warm spices, plus a hint of citrus. Browning the ribs and adding cocoa powder, cranberries, ginger, and orange zest make the stew sing in the same key.

Yield: Serves 8
Recipe from Sunset

More From Sunset

Recipe Time

Total: 4 Hours

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 982
  • Calories from fat: 70%
  • Protein: 41g
  • Fat: 77g
  • Saturated fat: 31g
  • Carbohydrate: 31g
  • Fiber: 4.2g
  • Sodium: 748mg
  • Cholesterol: 160mg


  • 6 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, cut into 2-in. pieces*
  • About 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • About 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 pounds kabocha squash (1 small), seeded, cut into 2-in. wedges, and peeled*
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed bittersweet cocoa powder or 1 square (1 oz.) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons minced candied ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 500°. Dry short ribs on paper towels and sprinkle with 1 tsp. each salt and pepper. In a large, heavy ovenproof pot, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. In 4 batches, brown ribs all over. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. 2. Cut squash wedges crosswise, put on a baking sheet, and toss with remaining oil. Roast until caramelized, 10 minutes. Remove from oven and lower heat to 300°.
  3. 3. Add onions and remaining 1 tsp. salt to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cocoa; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth and brandy. Add dried cranberries, ginger, and orange zest and bring mixture to a boil. Return short ribs to pot, cover, and bake 2 1/2 hours.
  4. 4. Remove pot from oven and spoon off fat. (Or chill overnight before skimming; return to a simmer before continuing.) Stir in fresh cranberries and kabocha. Cover and bake until kabocha is tender and meat pulls away from the bone, about 30 minutes.
  5. *Ask your butcher to cut the short ribs. To make squash easier to cut and peel, poke it all over with a fork, then microwave 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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