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Braised Beef Shortribs

On the final day of Winter I decided it would be best to make a hearty meal. Slow cooked, fall off the bone shortribs were just the ticket. Served with olive boule from the French bakery in town, to sop up all the lovely juices, and a green spinach salad to round it all out.

This recipe is very satisfying and is so good that it is to be copied out onto a card and added to our family recipe tin that holds all our favourite recipes. My mom said that she likes this even better than boeuf bourguignon and that it was also simpler to make. I wouldn’t know about the more simple part since I was in bed, sick, all afternoon and didn’t contribute much to the cooking process. As for being better than boeuf bourguignon, I am not convinced. Though I am biased, since my first attempt at boeuf bourguignon holds a special place in my heart.

Braised Beef Shortribs

4 8-12 ounce beef shortrib portions

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 medium carrots, peeled and diced (1/2″)

1 medium onion, peeled and diced (1/2″)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1×28 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup dry red wine

2 cups chicken stock

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon juniper berries

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

6 dried figs, finely chopped

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Pat beef dry and dredge in cornstarch shaking off excess. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed pot and brown beef on all sides and remove. Reduce heat to medium and sauté carrot and onion until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, wine, stock, thyme, bay leaves and juniper berries and return to a simmer.

Return beef to pot, cover and place in oven. Cook shortribs for 4 hours, adding vinegar after 2 hours, until flesh pulls easily away from the bone. Skim off excess fat from surface. Before serving, stir in figs and season to taste.

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