A special-occasion stew, short ribs are one of the ultimate braising cuts. For a great side, make a mash of half potatoes and half carrots dressed with olive oil and stir in some of the softened garlic cloves. Black rice is also excellent.
1.5kg-1.7kg beef short ribs
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 red onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 heaped tsp medium-hot red chilli
400g can chopped tomatoes
300ml white wine
200ml beef stock
1 garlic bulb, top cut off, papery skin removed
1 bay leaf
4 red peppers, core and seeds discarded, cut into thin strips
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
70g preserved artichoke hearts, thinly sliced
70g pitted green olives, sliced
3 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3 1⁄2. Heat a large cast-iron casserole over medium heat for several minutes and season the ribs all over. Trickle a tablespoon of oil over the base of the pan and colour the ribs well on all sides, in batches if needed, then transfer them to a plate.
- Turn the heat down to low, pour the fat from the pan into a bowl and add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, then fry the onions for 5-7 minutes or until nicely golden, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chilli, add the tomatoes, wine, stock and a little salt. Add the garlic bulb and bay leaf then nestle the ribs into the sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours, turning them every hour, until the meat is meltingly tender.
- At the same time as putting the beef in to cook, spread the pepper strips over the base of a roasting or baking dish, drizzle over a tablespoon of oil and stir, then roast for 1 hour.
- Towards the end of cooking the stew, combine the ingredients for the salsa in a medium bowl.
- Remove the ribs to a plate and pull the meat off the bones in chunks, discarding any fat. Skim or pour the fat on the juices into a bowl, then stir the meat, roasted red peppers and chickpeas into the sauce. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skin into the stew and discard the bay leaf. Gently reheat and serve with the salsa.
GET AHEAD This is a really good stew to cook in advance, either on the day, or the day before, in which case it can be chilled then the fat will harden and be so much easier to remove. (Any fat poured off during cooking can also be chilled to harden before discarding.)