The short ribs are a fantastic cut of beef and are now more widely available. They’re simple to cook too, but the long cooking time is definitely non-negotiable. The 1.34 Balsamic Vinegar’s viscous texture makes its perfect for creating a sticky coating to the slow cooked and soft meat, whilst its intensity produces a rich layer of caramelised flavours. Short rib is perfect with something like mashed potato, but you could also serve it with something like a crunchy apple, cabbage and herb salad.
4 pieces beef short rib, around 250g each
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
2 carrots, cut in half
1 head garlic, cut in half
1 sprig each of rosemary and thyme
2 fresh bay leaves, or 4 dried
1 litre beef or chicken stock
3 tbsp 1.34 Balsamic Vinegar
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
Heat an oven to 250C. Place the short rib, onions, carrots and garlic in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and toss to combine well. Lay out on a sturdy baking tray and when the oven is hot, roast for 15 – 20 minutes, so that both the meat and vegetables are well browned. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 125C.
Heat the stock up in a pan, along with the herbs, till it simmers. Whilst waiting, place the short rib and the vegetables into a dish that they will fit snuggly into and deep enough that it can be covered by the stock. Pour over the hot stock, adding a little water if necessary, cover with parchment paper and then wrap tightly with two layers of foil. Place in the oven and cook for at least 4 hours.
Carefully remove the dish from the oven, remove the covering and check to see if the short rib is cooked enough – it should be starting to fall off the bone with ease. If not, cover and return to the oven for another 30 minutes and then check again.
When cooked, carefully drain off the stock into a pan and allow to sit for 5 minutes to allow the fat to rise to the top. If there is a thick layer, take some off with a spoon and then bring the stock up to a simmer, to reduce and concentrate the flavours. Don’t reduce too much as it can become too salty, so keep tasting and when it tastes good, turn the heat off.
Place the short ribs so that they are upright and put back in the oven for 5 minutes. Mix the Balsamic Vinegar and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Take the short ribs out of the oven and using a pastry brush, paint the Balsamic Vinegar over the meat. You only need a small amount as any excess will run off. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes and then remove and glaze again with the Balsamic Vinegar. Repeat this step 2 more time until the short ribs are shiny, sticky and almost black in colour. When serving, grate the zest of half of the lemon on top and spoon some of the reduced stock to the side.