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Beef short ribs
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by Ryan and Liam Simpson-Trotman
Beautifully soft, yielding meat always creates a sense of occasion. You can make this a day in advance, then cover, chill and reheat until piping hot throughout before serving; the flavours will only improve. We often double the quantities to enjoy again another day.
2 large beef short ribs
2 large pinches sea salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
40ml sunflower oil
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and bashed
6 sprigs thyme
½ star anise (or 1 small star anise)
1 tsp black peppercorns, lightly crushed
300ml chicken stock
1 Season the ribs with the salt and paprika, then leave at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Put 2 tbsp oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. When hot, fry the ribs on all sides until you achieve a deep, roasted look (6-7 minutes). Take off the heat and set aside on a plate.
2 Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper, then add the remaining oil to the pan. Sweat the onions over a low-medium heat, until softened but without colour (about 7 minutes). Then add the garlic, thyme, star anise, peppercorns and ale; increase the heat to reduce the mixture by ½ (1-2 minutes), then add the stock and reduce by ⅓ (2-3 minutes).
3 Put the ribs in a small-to-medium ovenproof saucepan, then cover with the liquid and aromatics so they are as submerged as possible. Cover and braise in the oven for 4 hours. Remove the lid, turn the ribs over if not fully submerged and cook for a further 1 hour. Remove from the oven and use tongs to transfer the ribs to a plate to rest. Put the pan over a high heat and simmer the sauce until it reaches your desired consistency. Remove the thyme sprigs and star anise before serving the ribs coated in the sauce.
Typical values per serving: