There is no getting around the fact that beef short rib needs time to cook, but using the Tomate Frito cuts out a chunk of the prep, as it already contains onion, garlic and seasoning to create a sauce that is great on its own or as a canvas for other flavours. The rich flavours in this recipe would be ideal with polenta, jacket potatoes or steamed rice, or you could shred the meat and use it for an incredible hot sandwich.
2kg beef short rib, cut into small pieces if necessary so that it will fit in the pot
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
¼tsp fennel seeds
3 bay leaves
1 large sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
250ml red wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
A cast iron casserole pot is ideal for this recipe, as it can be used for cooking both on the stove and in the oven, but if not, a frying pan and an oven proof dish with a lid (or tight fitting foil) will also do the job.
Heat an oven to 150C/130C/Gas Mark 2. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Place the pot on a medium to high heat and when hot, add the beef and brown on each side until dark and caramelised. Remove the beef from the pan to a plate and carefully pour off most of the fat that has collected into a dish, but keep as it can be used for other recipes or additions to this one.
Turn the heat from low to medium and add the garlic, spices and rosemary and fry for a minute then add the 2 jars of Tomate Frito and red wine. Stir to mix then increase the heat to bring it to a simmer. Return the beef to the pot along with any juices that have collected, cover with baking paper or foil and the lid, then place in the oven.
Cook for 1 1/2 hours then remove and baste the beef, adding some water if you think it looks a little dry. Cook for another 1 1/2 hours then check again. The meat should be coming away from the bone and be tender enough to break apart with a spoon. If not, return the the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes then check again.