Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs – to die for!

red wine braised short ribs -

I made these delicious red wine braised short ribs on Christmas Eve for my good friends, John and Dale. We enjoyed some great conversation, music, wine, and of course the food! After they went home I fell into a deep sleep with a belly full of good food. That night I woke up many times smelling the delicious aroma of this meal, and fell happily back to sleep each time thinking about our evening and all the amazing foods I’ve eaten, that night and others before . . . 

It’s definitely a special meal (the photo doesn’t do it justice – sometimes we just want to eat and not wait for a good photo for the blog), and a bonus is that my whole apartment and the hallways were filled with the amazing scents of it while it was cooking – I’m a bit surprised that no neighbours invited themselves over. When John and Dale arrived they said they could smell it all the way down the hallway, and they had their fingers crossed it was my cooking that they were smelling.

I’ve eaten this meal at a friend’s place before, and have seen many recipes for similar meals. This is my version – you can’t go wrong with a long cooking time in lots of red wine and beef stock (even better if you have a homemade beef stock) and the flavouring of the mirepoix.

To make the beef short ribs they are first browned in butter, then the mirepoix is added, then a whole bottle of red wine and some beef stock. It needs to spend a few hours in the oven before it becomes fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth tender and tasty. I served it on buttermilk mashed potatoes with glazed carrots (brought by John and Dale). So delicious! 

While the ribs are cooking you can be free to attend to other dinner preparations. The ribs can be made a day ahead of time and then reheated in the oven, if you need to save time on the day of the meal.

This recipe should serve at least four people, but it’s also really nice to have leftovers.

For the potatoes I just boiled them and added some heated buttermilk and butter. After draining, I mashed the potatoes by hand with a masher (not an electric mixer) in the pot they were cooked in, with some salt and pepper and the heated buttermilk and butter. I made sure I didn’t over-mash them -they become gluey with too much mashing.

You need a deep covered baking dish for this. If you don’t have one you can cover any oven-proof deep dish in foil. I try to avoid using foil since it it not recyclable, but if you need to, that’s what it’s there for.

If you enjoy this recipe or others on Trust in Kim, please let me know. I write this blog as a hobby, and work full time as a teacher. I’d appreciate feedback as I’m not sure if I will continue writing these recipes; it takes a lot of time and some cost to do this and also keep it ad-free.

What you need:

  • 3 lbs bone-in short ribs
  • butter for browning
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small leek
  • 1/2 small onion or a few shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bottle red wine (something you would like to drink)
  • 4 cups beef stock (homemade or a better quality one with no MSG – I used —–)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour for the gravy

What you do:

  1. Salt the beef generously, on all sides, a few hours or a day before cooking.
  2. Prepare your mirepoix by chopping the carrot, celery, leek and onion. Also mince the garlic.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  4. Place a French oven or other heavy lidded baker on medium high heat and add some butter. Make sure you wait until the pot is hot enough, then add the beef and brown it on all sides.  The beef will “tell you when it is done” by releasing from the pan – you should not have to pull it off. Turn the beef until each side has browned – you may need to do this in two batches. Place the beef on a dish to be added again later.
  5. After removing the beef, lower the heat and add the mirepoix to the pan and cook for about two minutes; it should not brown, just cook slowly. Add the garlic and cook briefly, then add the red wine and beef stock. Bring the liquids to a boil and cook until in has reduced by about 1/3.
  6. Add the beef back to the pot, making sure it is submerged. Place the lidded baking dish in the oven and cook for about 2 & 1/2 to 3 hours. Now… enjoy a glass of wine and get the rest of your dinner ready. You may even have time to sit down…
  7. After spending that long time in the oven, the beef has become very tender, and you have magically prepared everything else you need including the mashed potatoes. So now you just have to get the gravy ready.
  8. Remove the beef from the pan and place in another lidded dish to keep warm. Strain all the vegetables from the pan and save the liquid to make the sauce. Place the pan back on medium heat and whisk the 2 tablespoons of flour into 1/4 cup of water. Add to the warm pan, whisking until it is smooth. Add the reserved pan juices and bring to a boil to thicken them a bit.
  9. Enjoy the beef with the mashed potatoes and sauce, and hopefully some nice veggies on the side. Oh, and a glass of red wine! Enjoy!

My Mennonite Mom’s Authentic English Trifle

trifle- trust in kim

Everyone who tries my mom’s trifle says it’s the best, so naturally when I was looking for a trifle recipe for Christmas Eve dinner, I asked her to share her recipe with me.  She gave me a photocopy of a recipe that looks like it came from a magazine.  It says it is from The Best of Mme Jehane Benoit, who is apparently Canada’s Julia Child.

Rather than using fruit, which my mom says makes the cake layer too soggy, this recipe uses jam.  Of course there’s the sherry, custard, and whipping cream – so good and so bad all at the same time! It’s not very difficult to make, but you do need to make it ahead of the time so the sherry, jam and pudding can soak into the cake. It’s nice to serve this in a glass bowl so you can see the layers.  You could also make it in individual dishes, but I like the way it is beautifully layered andthen becomes a beautiful mess of creamy, jammy goodness when it is served.

Hmmm, I think there’s some leftovers in the fridge…

What you need for the cake: (or just buy a sponge cake)

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 cups sifted flour

1 & 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold water

1 teaspoon almond extract

What you need for the other layers:

4 eggs yolks

2 cups half and half cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup raspberry jam

1/2 cup sherry

toasted almonds to garnish (optional)

What you do:

1. To make the cake, beat the eggs with the sugar for about 5 minutes, until it is very light in colour.

2. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt, and lightly beat it into the egg mixture.

3. Briefly mix in the water and almond extract.  Pour into a greased 9 by 11 inch pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Allow the cake to cool completely.

4. To make the custard, beat the egg yolks until they are  pale yellow. Heat the half and half cream with the 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla.  Add the egg yolks to the hot cream, beating very hard.  Cook without boiling, stirring continuously, until the custard has thickened a little. It won’t be a thick custard, but this is good because it will soak into the cake easily.  Allow the custard to cool.

5. Whip the cream with the icing sugar.

6. I like to remove the seeds from the jam because I don’t like to bite them or get them stuck in my teeth, but you don’t need to do this step if you don’t mind the seeds.  I just press the jam through a sieve with a spatula.

7. Spread the jam over the cake, then cut it into finger-sized pieces.  Dip each piece in the sherry (or just place it in the sherry bowl and sprinkle sherry over the top.)

8. Make a layer of the jammy sherried cake fingers in the bottom of the bowl, with the jam side facing up. Spread half of the custard over the cake layer, then spread half of the whipping cream over the custard.  Repeat with another layer of cake, custard and cream.

9. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.  Top with toasted almonds, if you wish, and then indulge in creamy goodness!