Being half Asian I naturally adore food packed with flavour and usually in my kitchen that means spicy and exotic, but sometimes I crave the simple home-cooked comforts of my mother’s land. It may be the inner-Brit in me, but there are days when you can just keep your kimchi and beef rendang – all I want is toad-in-the-hole or a proper Sunday roast!
Without a chilli nor spice in sight, this dish is the epitome of what I would call real British comfort-food. Made with just a few seemingly unassuming ingredients, this humble stew seems to come out with more flavour than was put in! Uncomplicated and yet rich with depth, this dish is the perfect example of good food, made simply.
Adapted from Leiths Meat Bible, this amazing braise goes well with just about anything. Feeling sophisticated? Serve it with classic mash potato and some sautéed kale with grapes. Feeling rustic? Just grab some fresh crusty bread and mop-up the delicious sauce!
Kimchi and beef rendang? Lord knows I still love them, but when old-school British comfort-food tastes this good, you could be forgiven for never wanting anything else!
Cider Braised Beef Short-ribs: Serves 4
- 800g beef short-ribs, 8cm lengths
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thickly on the diagonal
- 1 cup dry cider
- 1.25 cup beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 2 tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 tbsp. plain flour
- Preheat the oven to 170 deg. Celsius
- Season the beef with salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole and brown the meat on all sides. Once thoroughly browned, set to one side
- To the casserole add the diced onion and sliced carrot, sauté until the onions begin to soften and turn slightly brown
- Add the cider to the casserole and bring to the boil. Pour in the stock, followed by the bay leaves and thyme
- Return the beef to the casserole and season with salt and pepper. The liquid should just cover the meat, if not add a little water. Bring the liquid back up to a simmer
- Cover the casserole and cook in the preheated oven for 2.5 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone
- Pick out the thyme stalks and bay leaves. Allow the stew to cool or refrigerate for a couple of hours or, even better still, overnight
- Remove any fat that has solidified on the surface of the stew and then gently reheat. Once the meat has been heated through, remove and cover with tinfoil
- Combine the softened butter and flour to make a beurre manié
- Bring the stew back up to a boil and reduce till you have about 800ml left. Whisk in the beurre manié and boil to thicken
- Return the beef to the casserole and stir to combine. Check for seasoning