Slow-Cooked Beef Short Ribs

These Slow-Cooked Beef Short Ribs were nothing short of de-f**king-lish! What is if about beefy beef that can be eaten with a spoon that sends people (me) into a feral, carnivorous stupor? Whether it’s the finest fillet served rare to medium/rare or a much cheaper cut like these ribs slow cooked until tender, I think that in the future, the best restaurants will retire their steak knifes and serve cow with a spoon.

***SUDDEN EPIPHANY*** What if cows are actually trying to tell us this themselves but haven’t evolved enough to sufficiently enunciate so “spoon” actually sounds like “mooo”?

My research team will keep an eye on that but it is worth saying (yet again) that cheaper cuts of meat are NOT inferior cuts. They are cheaper because they take a bit more work but have buckets of flavour! If you take a beautiful, lean, expensive fillet of beef, it will only need a little searing and maybe a brief time in the oven – easy! But a working cut or a fattier cut, like these ribs needs time to slowly render down that precious connective tissue to baste the meat from within while cooking. The connective tissue is a membrane that separates muscles and when cooked quickly is super tough and gross but when slow cooked, it acts like a stock cube! Not to mention slow cooking on the bone! Bones give so much flavour, especially ones with exposed marrow like these ribs.

Lots of fat renders out of these ribs so you will need to have a gravy separator or a serving spoon and loads of patience because you don’t want all that fat going onto the plate. I used boeuf bourguignon flavours here because beef really matches the bacony, mushroomy, red winey flavours but the important thing to remember when cooking beef short ribs in the low-and-slow approach, with or without the bourguignon.

Slow-Cooked Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Kg beef short ribs, bone-in, 5 inches
  • 2 bulbs of garlic, peeled
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1 L of beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 200 g pancetta lardons
  • 300 g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • Fresh parsley, chopped.

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or casserole. Season the beef and brown on all sides. You will have to do this in batches.
  2. Once they're all browned, return them all to the pot.
  3. Add the garlic, red wine, beef stock and tomato puree. Bring it to the boil and allow to boil for 15 minutes.
  4. Then clamp the lid on and transfer to a preheated oven at 170 degrees celsius and roast for 4 hours.
  5. When the beef is almost done, heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the pancetta. Stir-fry them for 3 minutes over a high heat before adding the mushrooms and stir-fry for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the pancetta is crispy. Then transfer to a serving bowl and keep them some place warm.
  6. When the beef is done, take it out and transfer the ribs gently to a serving bowl. they should be very tender and should literally fall off the bone.
  7. The sauce will have reduced and intensified a lot but will have a lot of fat in it too so separate it with a gravy boat separator.
  8. If you think your sauce needs further reducing, return it to the pot and place it over a high heat until it has thickened to your liking.
  9. Spoon the sauce, with the roasted garlic cloves over the ribs.
  10. Serve each person a rib or two, spoon over the pancetta and mushrooms and scatter over some freshly chopped parsley.
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