I wish I had some plain white plates for presentation, but no matter what the plates look like, the food still taste great.

So, my not so "on the cheap" dinner turned out spectacularly. I am going to make those green beans again next week. They are fabulous.

Because I am so nice, I am including the recipes for the short ribs and the green beans. Enjoy!!!!

Beer-Braised Beef Short Ribs

5 lbs. beef short ribs (they cut them fresh for me at the butcher- I think that's the best way to go.)
1-14-ounce can beef broth
1-12-ounce bottle of dark beer (I used Deschutes Brewery's Obsidian Stout)
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1/4 c. molasses
2 TB. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1 tsp. bottled hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Place ribs in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Add broth, beer, onion, molasses, vinegar, thyme, pepper sauce and salt.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 11-12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 1/2-6 hours. (I cooked mine on high for three hours and then turned it to low for four more hours.
3. Transfer ribs to platter with slotted spoon, cover to keep warm. Skim fat off the liquid and serve it as a dipping au jus.

Oriental Green Beans

1 TB. soy sauce
1 TB honey
1 TB unsalted butter
2 TB extra-virgin olive oil
12 oz. fresh green beans
Kosher salt
1 TB minced garlic (I used the kind in the jar)

Combine soy sauce, honey and 1 TB water in a small dish. Heat butter and oil on medium-high heat and add green beans. Toss with 1/2 tsp. of salt. Cook until they begin to brown and shrivel slightly. (If you cook them too long they get soft- I like them to stay a little crunchy). Reduce heat to low and add garlic, cook until brown and then add soy sauce mixture. Turn the heat up slightly and cook until the liquid reduces. ( This will give you a thick dark sauce that coats the beans well)

For the mashed potatoes I quartered and cut up about 8 red potatoes until soft and then mashed them with butter, salt and a little milk. In hindsight, I should have used a little chicken stock too, for flavor, but they were nice and creamy.

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