Sesame root beer braised short ribs and sweet potatoes

The secret ingredient to this gourmet dinner? Beer.

Veal 311 (photo credit: Gourmetkoshercooking)
Veal 311
(photo credit: Gourmetkoshercooking)
3 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into serving-size pieces
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoons oil, divided
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 ribs celery, cut into 1½-inch pieces
2 onions, cut into 1½-inch chunks
2 parsnips, cut into 1½-inch pieces
1 bottle (12 ounces) root beer or dark beer
½ cup water
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch chunks

1. Coat short ribs with flour. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 5-quart. Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add ½ the short ribs, cook 5 to 10 minutes or until browned. Remove from Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining short ribs.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven on medium heat. Add garlic, celery, onions, and parsnip, cook and stir 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add root beer, water, bouillon cubes, tomato paste, vinegar, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons sesame seed, sea salt, and black pepper, bring to boil, stirring to partially cover short ribs in liquid. Cover.
3. Braise in preheated 300°F 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.
4. Divide short ribs and vegetables among serving bowls. Top each with sauce. Sprinkle short ribs with remaining 1 teaspoon sesame seed.