Sesame Root Beer Braised Short Ribs and Sweet PotatoesA warm, wintry meal using the unorthodox braising liquid, root beer, plus sesame seeds.




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January 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Meat & Poultry

Recipe: Sesame Root Beer Braised Short Ribs & Sweet Potatoes


Chefs are serving up comfort food with a modern flair. Root beer adds sweet and spicy flavors to the braising liquid for short ribs and toasted sesame seed finishes the dish with delicate crunch and nuttiness. When using root beer as a cooking ingredient, try to use the real stuff—a natural root beer, not the high fructose corn syrup-laden megabrands. We like Boylan’s, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

See our Beef Glossary to learn about the different cuts of beef.

Yields 8 servings.


  • 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs,
    cut into serving-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1-1/2-inch
    pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1-1/2-inch
    chunks (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium parsnips, cut into 1-1/2-inch
    pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) root beer
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Toasted Sesame and Root BeerIn this combination, an iconic soda is pressed into service as a cooking ingredient, its sweetness paired with the nuttiness of toasted sesame seed.

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Coat short ribs with flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in 5-quart Dutch oven or ovenproof saucepot on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the short ribs; cook 5 to 10 minutes or until browned on all sides. Remove from Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining short ribs.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven on medium heat. Add garlic, celery, onions and parsnips; cook and stir 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add root beer, water, bouillon cubes, tomato paste, vinegar, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of the sesame seeds, sea salt and black pepper; bring to boil, stirring to loosen browned bits in bottom of Dutch oven. Return short ribs to Dutch oven, stirring to partially cover short ribs in liquid. Cover.
  4. Braise in oven 2 hours. Add sweet potatoes; cover and braise 1 hour longer or until short ribs and sweet potatoes are tender. Skim fat from liquid. Divide short ribs and vegetables among serving bowls. Top each with sauce. Sprinkle short ribs evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.


Recipe © 2008 McCormick. All rights reserved. Other material Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved.

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