This exclusive Autumnal recipe is taken from Claire Thomson's brand new cook book 'Home Cookery Year'.
Beef Short Ribs Braised in Nebbiolo, a classic Italian wine. Simple, hearty comfort food, perfect for colder evenings.
1.5kg Pipers Farm beef short ribs
2 tbsp olive oil
200g Saddleback bacon lardons
50g unsalted butter
2 onions, finely diced
2 celery sticks, chopped into small dice
2 carrots, finely diced 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
30g Stoneground white flour
½ bottle Nebbiolo wine (or use another full-bodied Italian red wine)
500ml Pure beef stock, hot
2 bay leaves, scrunched a little
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked, or about 6 sage leaves, finely chopped
200g baby onions or small shallots, peeled then left whole
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/300°F/Gas Mark 2. Season the beef all over with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole over a high heat and, working in batches without overcrowding the pan, brown the beef until nicely caramelized all over. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef from the heat and set to one side on a plate. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook for about 1–2 minutes, until crisp and golden.
Reduce the heat to moderate and add the butter and the diced onions, celery and carrots and cook for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the tomato purée and cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the flour and stir well to combine. Add the wine, whisking as you do so to prevent lumps, then add the beef or chicken stock, continuing to whisk a little.
Add the beef back to the pan along with the herbs and increase the heat to high again. Bring to a boil, skim away any froth that rises to the surface and remove from the heat. Place the casserole in the oven and braise for 2–3 hours, adding the baby onions or small shallots about 1 hour into the cooking time. Check on the pot midway through cooking, adding a slosh more stock or water if the liquid level has reduced too much below the line of the beef ribs – they should be just about fully submerged in the cooking liquid throughout. When the meat is ready, it should be extremely tender and you’ll be able to easily pull free the bone.
Remove from the oven, check the seasoning, adding salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper to taste before serving.
Photography: Sam Folan