Yet another recipe on here you won’t associate with the Caribbean, however it’s one I do quite often and felt the need to share with you. Slowly braised in the oven until the meat falls of the bones, it’s packed with deep rich and comforting flavors. Winters can be quite brutal in Canada, so a dish like this hits the spot on those cold nights and the leftovers can be frozen and reheated easily.
4-5 lbs beef short ribs
1 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
1 tablespoon sea salt (divided)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (smashed)
6-8 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoon tomato paste concentrate
2 scallions (chopped)
2 cups beef stock (adjust if necessary)
1 large carrot (cut into wheels)
2 bay leaves
2 pimento peppers (sliced)
1/2 lb mushrooms
3/4 cup Port (or your fav wine)
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
zest of a lemon
2 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
Note! Remember to taste at the end for salt and adjust to your own liking. Also note that if you find you have little liquid left and the ribs are not tender, feel free to add a bit more beef stock (warm it in the microwave first as you don’t want to add cold stock to the pot). I left the mushrooms whole as they were small, plus I wanted them to maintain their shape and not fall apart during the lengthy cooking process.
The ribs were washed and pat dry. Then I hit them with 1/2 the salt and black pepper. If you wanted you can dust them in all-purpose flour as that will help you develop a thicker gravy at the end. I didn’t.
Heat a heavy oven-proof pot (with a lid) on a medium high flame, then add the oil and (in batches) brown the pieces of beef ribs. Takes about 3-4 minutes on each side. Do in batches so you don’t crowd the pan and enable it to spring liquid. Then it will boil.
Remove and set aside. Then in the same pot (remove some of the fat – leave back about 1 1/2 tablespoon) and reduce the heat to low. Now add the onion, garlic, pimento peppers (optional as they can be difficult to source), scallions and the remaining black pepper. Cook on low.
After 3 minutes, add the mushrooms and stir to coat with all that flavor we have in the pot. Turn the heat to medium/low.
After 2-3 minutes, it’s time to add the tomato paste and spread so it gets in contact with the bottom of the hot pot. This will bring out the natural sweetness of the tomato paste.
3 minutes later it’s time to add the Port (or your fav red wine) and scrape the bottom of the pan to release everything (Fond – brown bits on the bottom of the pot) at the bottom of the pot. It will take a couple minutes for that alcohol in the Port to burn off and leave us with the deep rich flavor we need.
Add the stock and stir. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Bring this to a boil (turn up the heat).
As it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and tuck in the pieces of browned ribs into this liquid.
Add the remaining salt (be mindful that the stock you use will have sodium), bay leaves, thyme, sugar (helps to balance the acidity from the Port and Tomato Paste) and carrots. Bring back to a boil.
Place the lid on and onto the middle rack of the oven. Stir every 30-45 minutes.
Two hours and forty-five minutes later and they should be TENDER and falling off the bones, with a robust gravy. Tip the pot and remove some of the oil on the surface (my ribs were a bit fatty) and discard. Finish with the parsley and lemon zest to brighten things up.
This here is PURE COMFORT! Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @ CaribbeanPot.com/CookBook/