Braised beef short rib

Derick van Biljon, the Foodie SA
4 servings Prep: 30 mins, Cooking: 4 hrs 30 mins
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This recipe takes tender, meaty short ribs and transforms them into a melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece through slow cooking in wine, stout and a medley of fresh herbs.

By Independent Contributor June 14 2023
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Ingredients (25)

8 - 12 beef short ribs
salt and black pepper — to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 pieces smoked cured pork — pancetta or black forest belly, but bacon cubes can also be used
200 g portobello mushrooms — or brown mushrooms, cut in half
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion — diced
3 carrots — diced
1/2 cup celery — diced
3 garlic cloves — finely minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown grape vinegar
1 tbsp smooth apricot jam
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock — or vegetable stock
2 cup stout beer
1 large bouquet garni — parsley, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf
Clementine gremolata
1 Clementine — or orange, zested and juiced
1 lemon — zested and juiced
20 g fresh parsley — finely chopped
20 g fresh basil leaves — finely chopped
1 garlic clove
100 ml olive oil
salt and black pepper — to taste
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For the beef short rib:

Season the short ribs to taste, allow to rest for 15 minutes, then dredge in flour. Set aside. 

Over medium heat, cook the pork in a large thick-based pan or cast iron skillet until completely crispy and all the fat is rendered. (Tip: use an ovenproof pan and make sure it has space for all the goodies.) Remove and set aside. Do not discard grease. 

Fry the mushrooms, cut-side down, in the rendered fat for about 2.5 minutes, until well browned. Remove and set aside. 

Add the canola oil to the pan and increase heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides for about 90 seconds per side. Remove  and set aside. Turn heat to medium. 

Add onion, carrots and celery to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 60 seconds. Create a well in the centre of the pan, pushing the vegetables to the side. Roast the paprika for about a minute in the well, then add the tomato paste to the paprika and cook, stirring, for another minute. (This improves the sweetness and flavour of the tomato paste and draws out the oils from the smoked paprika.) 

Mix all the ingredients in the pan together, then add the brown vinegar and apricot jam. Pour in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release all the caramelised flavour. Bring to a gentle boil and cook 2 minutes.

Add the stock, 1–2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste. Add the ribs to the liquid, bone-side down.  Add the rendered pork bits and grilled mushrooms. Top up the pan with the stout beer (the ribs should be almost completely submerged). Add the rendered pork bits and grilled mushrooms, and submerge the bouquet garni in  the middle of the pan. 

Cover with the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 150°C for 90 min, then increase the heat to 170°C and cook for an another 1.5–2 hours, checking that the pan is not cooking dry halfway through. The ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone – if not, increase the cooking time and add more stock or wine instead of water if needed. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving. At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid. 

For the Clementine gremolata:

Mix all the ingredients together and allow to develop for at least an hour. Drizzle over the meat and enjoy!

Serving suggestion:

Dish 2–3 ribs per person on a bed of steaming pearl barley with some gravy on top and serve with the Clementine gremolata at the table.

Additional tips:

Replace the stout beer with 1 cup full-bodied red wine, if you prefer.

Recipe reprinted with permission from the Foodie SA. Follow along on Instagram for more.

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