Monday, 27 October 2014

Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs with Chorizo and Borlotti Beans

I came up with this recipe last week, when I was craving something warming, but wanted to avoid the stodginess that winter food can often have. I used some flavourings that I associate more with late summer, such as orange, chilli and fennel, which lifted the dish from potential blandness.

The butcher near me had beef short ribs on offer, but any cut suitable for slow cooking would work. I enjoyed cooking with them though, using a bone-in cut meant the dish had a real body to it.

 For the beans, I had been given some home-grown borlotti beans, so I used them, but they don't have to be borlotti beans, and they certainly don't have to be fresh- dried or tinned would work fine too. If you are using dried, soak and cook them separately first. For tinned beans, I would add them to the dish about 1 hour before it is ready, so they don't disintegrate into the cooking liquid.

We just ate this with lots of bread and butter.

750g-1kg beef short ribs
200g chorizo- I used a pack of Brindisa mini chorizos
200ml red wine
1-2 tbsp plain flour
Beef stock, to cover- approx 500ml
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 stick celery, diced
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
1 bay leaf
approx 6 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
small bunch thyme leaves
sprig rosemary
Juice of 1 small orange, plus a strip of zest (ideally use an unwaxed orange)
1-2 dried chillis
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 handful fresh/ dried, soaked and cooked borlotti beans (or one tin)

Roughly chop the chorizo into chunks, or, if you happen to be using the same type as I did, just cut them into individual sausages. Brown the chorizo in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Remove with a slotted spoon to a casserole dish, leaving behind the paprika-y oil. Put the flour on a plate, and season, then lightly coat the beef ribs with the seasoned flour. Brown in the same pan used to cook the chorizo, over a high heat, so the surface gets nicely caramelized. Whilst this is cooking, add all the other ingredients to the casserole dish except for the beef stock, and stir to combine. Add the beef once full browned, and add enough beef stock to cover. Bring to a simmer on the hob, then turn the heat down, cover, and cook for approximately 3 hours, or until the beef is very tender. I chose to remove the rib bones from the beef, cut it into chunks, and stir it back into the stew before serving.

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