On the Eighth Day of Christmas…..

At the first event of the Savannah Food and Wine Festival, we all gathered out at Bethesda Academy.  A beautiful evening in a beautiful tent.  It overlooked the marsh, the champagne was wonderful, the company even better.  We got to meet the one and only Elizabeth Terry (original owner at Elizabeth on 37th) and a fine time was had by all.

Then we got to eat!

All of the food was wonderful, as you might expect.  Then came a dish that was an absolute show stopper.  Kirk Blaine is the Executive Chef at Driftaway Cafe in Sandfly.  He sent out a Root Beer Braised Short Rib sitting a top a three cheese grit cake, sauteed baby spinach, cauliflower with fresh-shaved parmesan cheese and flash fried collard greens.  We all knew it was not only good, but amazing.  No one knew with a full week of meals to go that we’d still be talking about this dish days and weeks later.

Chef tells me he has served over 18,000 servings of this dish both in house and catered events.  Yes, it’s very popular because it’s very good.  Now chef has trimmed it down a bit to make it “home friendly”  Enjoy!

Root Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs



  • 3lbs Thick cut Beef Short Ribs { beef brisket may be substituted)
  • 1 white onion, large diced
  • 3 stalks celery, large diced
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 quart Barq’s Root Beer
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 cubes of beef bouillon, or 1 pack of onion soup mix
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Salt and pepper


Heat a large roasting pan on the stovetop on medium high. Season beef short ribs with salt and pepper and sear on all sides until nice and brown. Add the celery, onion, garlic, and tomato paste to the beef and allow the tomato paste to brown. The natural sugars may caramelize and look a bit dark, this is ok. Deglaze the pan with the Barq’s Root Beer and add the BBQ sauce and beef bouillon (or soup mix). Cover the pan very securely with a lid, then wrap layers of aluminum foil around the seam of the pot and the lid to prevent any steam from escaping. ( I do 12 layers of plastic wrap, then 8 layers of heavy duty foil, but make 150 at a time…) Put the whole pan into a 350degree oven and let cook for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, take out of the oven, and gently remove the beef from the pan and place onto a sheet pan. Generously dust the beef with sugar until fully coated with a good sweet layer. Placed sugar coated beef back in the oven for 10 minutes to glaze the sugar onto the beef. Go ahead and strain the vegetables out of the braising liquid, which should be nice and thick by now! This braising liquid is liquid gold, comparable to the most complex demi glace ive ever made. Once the beef has finished glazing, reunite the beef and the braising liquid to be ready to serve with your favorite side!

Awesome with potatoes of any kind…mashed, scalloped. Grits, creamed corn, even on top of macaroni and cheese!

Patience will be rewarded, and braising requires a couple of key steps for success! This warm winter dish will put smile on any face, and warm every belly.



Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.