The first time I made beef short ribs I failed miserably. I had failed to recognise that they are a tough cut of meat and require extra love to get the best of them. Since then, I have perfected the recipe and I can confidently say that this meal wows my people every single time. EVERY.TIME.
Beef shorts ribs need to be cooked for some time in order to achieve fall of the bone and tender meat.There are several ways to achieve this result. You can use a slow cooker, now these are gadgets I have mostly seem on cooking shows. Basically you prep the short ribs then let them cook in the slow cooker for like 8 hours. Ideally you put the food to cook in the morning and once you are back home dinner is ready
Another method is to use a dutch oven (this baby is on my kitchen wish list). A dutch oven is a thick walled cooking pot with a tight fitting lid and can be made out of seasoned cast iron , ceramic etc. They can be used in the oven.
You can also use your plain sufuria for this recipe, look for a heavy duty one that can retain heat and has a well fitting lid.Finally you can use a pressure cooker like I did. The beauty of the pressure cooker is that you can have this meal ready within 3 hours. Yeah seems like a lot of time but totally worth it.Anyway, enough with the equipment let’s get to the recipe.You will need some beef short ribs, you can get from the butchers at City Market or even the butcher sections of leading supermarkets.Carrefour supermarkets sometimes have weekend deals on beef short ribs, prices can go as low as 375 for a kg.The method of cooking I used is called braising. In that both dry and wet heat is used.Dry heat is used to sear the meat at high temperature then wet heat is used when the seared meat is left to stew in liquid at a low temperature.I used my large stainless steel skillet to sear the meat since it has a large surface area. Start by seasoning the short ribs generously with salt and black pepper.Over medium high heat, add oil to the skillet and let it heat up.Then place the short ribs seasoned side down. You want the meat to brown and achieve a beautiful sear. As the bottom is searing season the top. Ensure you sear all the sides of the short ribs.After searing, set aside the beef short ribs.In the same skillet add the onions and let them cook down. If your skillet have some brown bits stuck to the bottom don’t worry when the liquid is added the bits will loosen.Once the onions are cooked go in with the garlic and ginger stir for about a minute until the garlic is fragrant.This recipe calls for the use of tomato paste, however if you don’t have you can use fresh tomatoes. I have tried with fresh tomatoes and it worked just fine.Stir the tomato paste and let it cook for about a minute then add the spices, I used garam masala and paprika. I also added some bay leaves and rosemary sprigs.Now the fun part, deglazing the pan. Deglazing just means loosening the brown bits from the surface of the pan. You can use stock (chicken, beef or vegetable) , beer or red wine. If using beer or red wine you will need to let the sauce reduce in half so that the alcohol cooks off.Now that the pan is deglazed, pour the contents into the pressure cooker, add the seared beef short ribs and the rest of the stock. I also added the carrots.NOTE: I have experimented with both adding the carrots at the beginning and also when the food is almost cooked. Adding the carrots with the meat means that the carrots will disintegrate once in your mouth, so if that’s something you don’t mind, go ahead. The down side of adding later is, if you are using the pressure cooker, you will need to release the pressure before opening the cooker then add the carrots then let them cook a bit.Let it come to a boil then reduce the heat. Cover your pressure cooker as per your user’s manual and let it do the job. For the short ribs I have found that letting the pressure release six times does the trick. So let the pressure cooker hiss six times. If your pieces of meat are pretty thick let the cooker hiss for 8-10 times.In case you are using a sufuria for this recipe, put the sufuria on the backburner and over very low heat, cover tightly with a lid and let the food simmer for 6-8 hours.Once the meat is cooked, it’s time to thicken the sauce further. You do this my adding a paste made of water and corn flour / all purpose flour.Add the paste then stir to let it cook. Not only will it thicken the sauce but it will make glossy.Finally the braised beef short ribs are ready.Perfect when served over some creamy garlic mashed potatoes and stir fried french beans.I have also had them with chapati, oh my goodness. Pure foodgasm!This Madaraka Day weekend treat yourself to this hearty meal I guarantee you will totally love it.Video