Preparation time: 1 hour (starting the day before)
Cooking time: 6 hours
A classic French-style red wine slow braise takes this economical cut of beef and transforms it into the ultimate comfort food. For best results, this recipe is done in two stages. Firstly, the beef is gently braised alongside its aromatic braising companions before cooling down for an overnight marinade. The following day, the shortribs are removed from their flavoursome bath, which is then reduced down to a sticky, umami-rich glaze to anoint the ribs with their own concentrated essence. A final blast in the oven caramelises the ribs for added depth of flavour
6 native breed beef shortribs. About 350g per portion.
2 bottles (1.5litres) cabernet sauvignon
2 pints good quality beef stock
2 large onions, sliced
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
2 large sticks of celery, roughly chopped
2 medium leeks, sliced
6 cloves garlic, bruised
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
Zest from 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp (approx) freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp (approx) sea salt
2 tbsp flour, for dusting
1. Begin by placing a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the wine and heat until the volume has reduced by two thirds (i.e. you’ll be left with about 500ml). Turn off the heat and reserve until required.
2. Meanwhile, season the shortribs liberally with salt and pepper, coat lightly with flour and dust off the excess. In a large pan over a high heat, sear the shortribs in batches in 1 tbsp of beef dripping (veg oil or mild olive oil will work well too). Sear on all sides until evenly coloured to a deep golden brown. Transfer to a large casserole dish to rest.
4. Warm the beef stock in the pan for a few minutes, then pour the stock over the ingredients in the casserole dish along with the reduced wine and brown sugar. Cover and place on the middle shelf of an oven preheated to 120C for 4 hours. (Note: this can also be done in a deep roasting dish covered with foil, or in a slow cooker if you have one large enough). After the 4 hours, remove form the oven and allow to cool before placing in the fridge overnight.
6. Strain the contents of the casserole dish and discard the solids. Transfer the braising liquid into a saucepan, place over a medium-high heat and reduce to a syrupy consistency.
7. Brush some of the glaze over each of the shortribs and place back into the oven to caramelise. After 15mins, remove from the oven and brush on more of the glaze. Return to the oven for another 15mins. Repeat the process once more (i.e. three times in total).
8. Serve alongside sweet potato mash, kale and a drizzle of some of the remaining glaze. Garnish with sliced spring onion and enjoy!
Dexter Beef farmed by Michael Alford, Somerset. Meat cut and dry aged by The Butchery Ltd.