Feb 5

PNE’s Braised Beef Short Rib Sandwich with Sweet Pickled Cucumbers and Sriracha Aioli

Today we’re excited to share with you one of our favourite PNE recipes, designed in-house by the PNE’s catering chef, Aaron Jeffs.

An outing to the Pacific Coliseum for a Vancouver Giants game or concert and you’ll not only enjoy an entertaining evening, but also a succulent and filling BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB sandwich. This classic cool weather recipe not only satisfies that hearty soul food craving, but the aroma of the slow cooked, fall-off-the-bone braised meat will leave your whole house begging for dinner!

This succulent, melt-in-your-mouth sandwich uses a slow cooking method known as braising. Braising is a combination-cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats: typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some amount of liquid.

Most braises follow the same basic steps. The food to be braised (meats, vegetables, mushrooms, etc.) is first pan-seared to brown its surface and enhance its flavour. If the food will not produce enough liquid of its own, a small amount of cooking liquid is added to the pot, often water or stock. A classic braise is done with a relatively whole cut of meat, and the braising liquid will cover 2/3 of the product while in the pan. Then the dish is covered and cooked at a very low simmer until the meat becomes so tender that it can be ‘cut’ with just the gentlest of pressure from a fork. Often the cooking liquid is finished to create a sauce or gravy.

Cuts of meats that are good for braising are short ribs, chuck or blade roasts, brisket, shoulder, shank or tail from beef, pork or lamb. Also chicken, game or seafood makes for good braising.

Now, onto the good stuff! Below is the recipe Jeffs’ developed, our sandwich is served on Ciabatta with Sweet Pickled Cucumbers and Sriracha Aioli.

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  • 3 pounds beef short ribs or 2 1/2 pounds chuck flat
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 to 12 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 12 ounces good ale (like Parallel 49’s, Gypsy Tears)
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 6 ciabatta buns
  • Sriracha Aioli (recipe follows)
  • Sweet pickled cucumber (recipe follows)


Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy pot with a lid on high heat. Brown the ribs on all sides, in batches if necessary. Remove the ribs and pour off all but a couple tablespoons of the rendered fat.

Return the pot to the stove, lower the heat to medium and sauté the garlic and ginger for about 3 minutes. Add the ribs back to the pot. Add the beer and the vinegar. Stir and then cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Pour the hoisin sauce over the ribs, move the pot to the oven, and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Remove ribs from sauce and place on a plate. Let cool about 10-15 minutes so you can handle. Pass the sauce through a mesh strainer and skim off the fat.  Discard the fat and set aside sauce.

Slice, shred with two forks or use your hands to gently break up the beef and remove and discard any bones or excess fat. Mix in some of the reserved sauce.

Divide the hoisin braised beef amongst the 6 warmed ciabatta buns, top with a drizzle or spread of spicy Sriracha aioli and some sweet pickled cucumbers and serve.



  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced


Stir the rice vinegar, sugar and salt together in a saucepan until the sugar and salt have dissolved; bring the mixture almost to a simmer over low heat, but do not boil.

Remove from heat and cool completely.

Pour mixture over sliced cucumbers and marinate at least one hour or up to several days in the refrigerator.



For the aioli (you can also substitute 2/3 cup prepared mayonnaise)

  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 rounded teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • About 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce


Whisk the yolk, lemon juice and Dijon in a large bowl and continue to whisk while slowly pouring in the oil. Season the aioli with salt, to taste.

To the aioli or mayo base, whisk in the Sriracha sauce.

Store in an air tight container and refrigerate. Should last up to one month.


Want a test run of the sandwich before you make it yourself?  Pick one up at the next Vancouver Giants home game from the PNE’s Fresh-Made Sandwiches concession.

Jan 15

Food Containers

At the PNE we have a dedicated Food and Beverage team that not only manage year-round banquets and private events, the copious concession stands throughout the Pacific Coliseum, PNE Forum and Playland and deliver on the famous artist riders for all of our on-site concerts, but they also dream up new PNE managed, designed and produced food trucks, or technically food containers, as ours are made out of recycled shipping containers. Most of our food ‘containers’ are brought out for you to enjoy during The Fair, and get stored during the winter, being seen at the occasional Vancouver Giants‘ game, at Playland (opening May 16) and Fright Nights.

Our current creations include FunDunkers Mini Donuts, Shrimp Boat, Crazy Dogs,Colossal Cones, Yumza Pizzeria, Cheese Please, Fresh Cut Fries and Unroutine Poutine. This year we’re looking to add to the mix and we have a few trending food craves in mind.  So lucky us, we’ll be spending our winter performing some mouth watering ‘market research’ to help us create delicious and unique offerings for all of you enjoy at The Fair this August! Any requests?!?

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Jan 8

Ever wonder how we spend our ‘down time’?

It’s already busy behind the scenes here at Playland as we’re setting up for an epic 2015 season. We’ve been tirelessly working over the past few months on a lot changes for the park, with a lot of work still ahead, as opening day on May 16 quickly approaches. Here’s a glimpse into a few of  the larger projects currently underway.

After over 30 years in the same location, Music Express will be moving to a different spot within Playland and will have an unexpected old friend as a neighbour!

After over 30 years in the same location, Music Express will be moving to a different spot within Playland and will have an unexpected old friend as a neighbour!

We weren’t ready to part with the party, so we’ve played a game of musical rides, and found a new home within Playland for Crazy Beach Party.

We weren’t ready to part with the party, so we’ve played a game of musical rides, and found a new home within Playland for Crazy Beach Party.

Special delivery all the way from Germany. We'll be busy getting this installed on Crazy Beach Party once it's settled in its new home in Playland.

Special delivery all the way from Germany. We’ll be busy getting this installed on Crazy Beach Party once it’s settled in its new home in Playland.

The hole was dug, the concrete poured and now we're waiting for The Beast to arrive.

The hole was dug, the concrete poured and now we’re waiting for The Beast to arrive.

Want to see more behind the scenes photos? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to see more photos throughout the coming months.