This under-utilised cut of beef is perfect for braising. With lots of collagen and a little fat, long, slow cooking melts this away leaving succulent, tender meat and a well flavoured sauce.
2 x 1-1 1⁄2 kilogram slabs, meaty beef short ribs (order these from your butcher)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
20 grams dried porcini mushrooms
4 large onions, sliced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup red wine
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Cut the ribs between the bones into single pieces and season.
Soak the porcini in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Heat a little olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish and brown the beef on both sides until well coloured. Remove and set aside. Spoon off the excess fat, leaving 2 tablespoons in the pan.
Add the onions, carrot, garlic, rosemary and bay leaves, season and cook for 10 minutes. It looks like a lot of onions but they reduce considerably during cooking. Stir in the Dijon mustard and tomato paste, then the red wine, balsamic vinegar and porcini mushrooms with their soaking water. Bring to the boil and season. Nestle the beef ribs into the onions. Place a piece of baking paper over the top, cover tightly and braise for 1 1⁄2 hours.
Turn the ribs over, cover and cook for another 40 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes. The meat should be falling off the bone. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a platter and keep warm. Put the casserole over a medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and syrupy. Season if needed.
To serve: Depending on the size of the ribs, serve 1-2 per portion, spooning over the onions and sauce. Serve with mash, a vegetable gratin or a saffron risotto.