zoom Beef short ribs with cinnamon & prunes

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    Beef short ribs with cinnamon prunes

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    Beef short ribs with cinnamon prunes

    Rich and meltingly soft, this casserole is infused with the heady notes of cumin and cinnamon

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 3 hours 15 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 25 minutes

    Serves: 4-6


    2 x 77g packs smoked pancetta
    1.5kg beef short ribs
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tbsp tomato purée
    1 tbsp plain flour
    1 bulb garlic, unpeeled
    6 echalion shallots, peeled and halved
    2 fresh bay leaves
    1 sprig rosemary
    2 sticks cinnamon
    2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    500ml fresh beef stock
    400ml fruity red wine (such as Malbec)
    180g soft prunes
    ½ x 25g pack curly leaf parsley, roughly chopped, to serve


    1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Set a large, lidded casserole dish over a medium heat and add the pancetta. Cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes, until golden and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate. Season the short ribs and add to the dish in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches); brown on all sides, turning with tongs
    (6-8 minutes). Transfer to the plate.

    2. Allow the casserole dish to cool slightly, then add the cumin and cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Return the ribs and pancetta to the dish (along with any juices from the plate) with the tomato purée and stir briefly. Scatter with the flour and turn the beef to distribute evenly. Halve the garlic bulb widthways, then add with the shallots, herbs, cinnamon, vinegar, stock and red wine. Season and bring to the boil. Cover with the lid and transfer to the oven for 2 hours.

    3. Stir in the prunes and cook for a further hour, until the beef is very tender. Carefully remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig and cinnamon sticks, then scatter with the parsley and serve with mashed potato and sautéed greens, if liked.

    Your recipe note

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    Follow the recipe to the middle of step 2, then, after you’ve turned
    the browned meat in the flour, deglaze the pan with half of the wine. Transfer all the ingredients, apart from the prunes and parsley, to a slow cooker (at least 3.5 litres). Cover and set the cooker to low for 7-8 hours, or medium for 5-6 hours, until the meat is really tender, adding the prunes halfway though. If you like a thicker gravy, strain the liquid into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 8-10 minutes until glossy and reduced. 


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