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Father’s Day was just the other day here in Australia, and as we move into Spring, the weather is defo warming up nicely. During the day it’s shorts & tees but still a little “fresh” in the evening. The BBQ has been cranked up a little more, but the dutch oven still has a little life left in her 😉 This week we made some delicious mushroom braised short ribs and paired it with one of my fave wines from Seabrook Winery – their Founder Cabernet Sauvignon. Which was only fitting as we also just had International Cabernet Sauvignon Day!
This dish may take a little time to make, but luckily a good percentage of that is braising time. So, you can either clean the house, cut the grass or put your feet up and read a book! Don’t forget to let your partner know how many hours it took to make it though. Just leave out the fact you read half of your book!
WHAT ARE MORELS
Morels are the Rolls Royce of mushrooms – prized by many a top chef. Nutty & meaty in flavour they stand up really well to the other big & bold flavours in this dish. In the mushroom braised short ribs recipe we use them dried. Firstly, they are cheaper and easier to find (most grocery stores should have them). But also as we can rehydrate them and use the liquid as a stock to add a little more mushroom umami to the dish.
CAN I USE OTHER DRIED MUSHROOMS
Of course, you can. Personally, I like the flavour and intensity of morel mushrooms in this dish, but if your local store doesn’t have them then shiitake, porcini and/or a medley will work just fine.
Would I use fresh mushrooms? Probably not. It won’t ruin the dish, but I like the bolder flavour you get from dried mushrooms and also the fact you can make a stock from them too.
CAN I USE ANOTHER CUT OF MEAT
So in this recipe, we use short ribs. Typically short ribs are done low n slow on the BBQ or braised like in this mushroom braised short rib recipe. Firstly, I would stick with beef for the dish, but if you can’t get hold of bone-in short ribs, you can use boneless ones too. Alternative cuts would be beef cheeks, one of my favourite cuts of beef. In fact, check out my beef cheek ragu recipe HERE. Beef shank is also another option, and even some chuck steak would work too.
If you did want to use another meat other than beef, then I would recommend lamb shanks, but beef would be my first choice!
What’s this? Colour = flavour! A good old Mr Ramsey saying. Before braising the ribs we need to sear them off in the pan. Season the ribs with a drizzle of oil and plenty of salt. Get the pan smoking hot and in batches brown the ribs. I usually do 3 ribs at a time so as not to crowd the pan which would drop the temperature of the pan and only give you an average sear. Once the ribs are seared, remove from the pan and do batch number two. The searing process also helps seal in the natural juices too which helps keep the meat moist during the cooking process.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MUSHROOM BRAISED SHORT RIBS
Obviously, but as much as I love meat, I do want something else on my plate. In this recipe, I made a cauliflower puree by boiling some cauliflower and adding butter, cream & garlic and then as I’m in love with brown butter, I added some too. Brown butter is made by cooking butter in a pot/pan until it turns brown and foamy. It brings about a lovely nutty flavour to the butter. This step is optional – just add a little extra butter to the cauliflower when pureeing it.
Alternatively, you could make some good old mash potato, some creamy polenta, parsnip puree or even some celeriac puree too would work. I like the cauliflower as it’s a good way to trick my kid into eating it thinking it’s mash. But also cause the flavour profile is great too!
Some time ago, you may remember reading about Seabrook Winery in my Lamb & Romesco Recipe. Well, we are back at it again with another one of their wines. I can’t recommend their range enough. This time we are cracking open, their Founder Cabernet Sauvignon and boy were we pleased. Truthfully, a little time in bottle will make the wine even better but with a decant and an hour of patience (we drank their Riesling – my wife’s favourite one!) you will not be disappointed. Big, bold and beautiful – is it the food, wine or myself 🙂 Sadly, not myself – defo the food and wine.
With a big dish like this, we want something that is going to feel right at home on the table and not lost. For example – we didn’t drink their riesling with it! The wine comes in at just under 14% and is produced on their ‘home block’. Packed with dark fruits, soft oak and a crazy good finish this wine has lovely acidity and notes of tobacco, which is a classic in Cabernet. All I can say is a minimum of 3 is required here. One won’t be enough for dinner, and you definitely want to see how this one evolves in the bottle!
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!
- 1 whole cauliflower chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 70 g butter
- 75 ml cream
- salt & pepper
- 1-2 bunch dutch carrots
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Mix morel mushrooms with 250ml warm water
- Chop carrot, onion, celery & garlic finely
- Season ribs generously in salt/pepper
- Using a dutch oven on high heat add olive oil & sear short ribs until browned all over. Remove and set aside
- In the same pan on medium heat add butter & vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened
- Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly
- Remove morels from warm water and chop finely
- To the dutch oven, add thyme, bay leaves, chili flakes, stock, wine, balsamic, chopped morels & morel water. Bring to a rolling boil and add the ribs back in
- Cover and place in the oven @ 150c for 2.5 – 3 hours
- Once meat falls off the bone remove the meat, skim off the fat and strain the sauce (place carrots in the oven and start to cook the cauliflower)
- Reduce sauce by ½ and place the ribs back inside and simmer on a low heat until ready to serve
- Dice cauliflower and place in a pot of salted water. Cook for approx. 10 minutes until soft
- Place cauliflower in a food processor along with cream and 20g of butter, blend until smooth *see tips*
- In a saucepan add 50g butter and crushed garlic. Cook on medium heat until butter starts to foam and turn brown. Stir through cauliflower puree and serve
- Place dutch carrots on a tray and season with oil and salt
- Place in the oven @ 180c and cook for 20-25 minutes
- Place a generous spoon of cauliflower puree in center of plate, making a hole in the center. Top with short rib and a couple tbsp of sauce (this will stay within the hole). Place carrots on the side.
- chef knives
- chopping board
- measuring utensils
- food processor/stick blender
- baking tray
- dutch oven/ large heavy bottom casserole dish
- you could substitute beef cheeks if you can’t get hold of short ribs – cooking times may vary slightly
- if you aren’t a fan of cauliflower then mashed potatoes also work great with the dish
- porcini mushrooms are an alternative if you can’t source morels
- when blending cauliflower puree if it’s a little too thick still then add some water to thin it out. I like to run the puree through a sieve afterwards to make sure it’s silky smooth but it’s not essential
- browning the meat is HUGELY important, the more colour the more flavour. Don’t worry about the little burnt bits on the bottom of the pan, once you add the veggies they will come up and they add TONS more flavour too
- if only cooking for 2 or 3 ppl reduce the carrots by 1 and reduce the liquids by 20% - you still want/need enough liquid to cover the ribs in the pot. BUT I like to cook that bit extra and freeze the ribs/sauce for a great midweek dinner!