Braised Beef Ribs with January King Cabbage and Carrot Crush
Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as a main course
This dish will kiss you on the lips and give you a warm, homely hug. There is something really satisfying about cooking good old classic recipes such as this one, which is a twist on a timeless classic – beef stroganoff.
People who know me will say there is nothing traditional and safe about my cooking. I thrive on twisting and turning recipes to suit my taste and cooking abilities and I feel comfortable with that as a cook. I believe that cooking is subjective and that there are no rights or wrongs in cookery (well, OK, there are certain set rules and formulas that time and time again will deliver the same results). I also believe that one cannot reinvent the wheel and cookery is pretty much like that too, but what we can do is modernise recipes to prevent old favourites from becoming… well, shall I say ‘extinct’.
The carrot and mustard crush is a perfect accompaniment to the beef ribs in this recipe – the slight acidity of the wholegrain mustard in the carrot crush sets off the taste of the stroganoff sauce beautifully. This recipe is definitely a treasure and one to consider preparing on a relaxing Saturday afternoon.
Ingredients & Method
For the braised January King cabbage
- 1 medium January King cabbage, outer leaves removed
- 50g unsalted butter
- 150ml chicken or vegetable stock s
- ea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the carrot and wholegrain mustard crush
- 25g unsalted butter
- 400g carrots, sliced
- 150ml cold water
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
For the braised beef ribs
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1.2kg beef short ribs (choose 4 pieces – they will each have one bone)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 3 black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 3 bay leaves a large sprig of fresh thyme
- 50ml brandy
- 1.2 litres beef stock
For the stroganoff sauce
- 10g unsalted butter
- 8 shallots, cut in half lengthways
- 125g chestnut mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 60ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 8 cornichons or baby gherkins, to serve
First, make the braised cabbage. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Cut the cabbage in half and then cut each half into quarters. Wash and drain the cabbage, then season with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large casserole over a medium heat and once the butter starts to foam, add the cabbage quarters and cook for 8–10 minutes or until light golden brown on all sides. Add the stock and bring to a gentle simmer, then place a piece of non-stick baking paper directly on top of the cabbage and cover with the lid.
Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for 15–20 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly, then drain the cabbage quarters on kitchen paper. Leave to cool completely, then chill until you are ready to serve. Before serving, reheat the cabbage in a covered, ovenproof dish in a preheated oven at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 10–12 minutes or until piping hot.
Next, make the carrot and wholegrain mustard crush. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and once the butter starts to foam, add the carrots and salt and pepper. Sauté the carrots for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. By cooking the carrots this way you bring out the natural sweetness of them and this adds a depth of flavour to the dish.
Add the water to the carrots and bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for a further 15 minutes, by which time the liquid should have evaporated – if not, remove the lid, turn the heat up and cook until the liquid has evaporated, without letting the carrots catch or brown too much. Remove from the heat, add the mustard and crush the carrots with a potato ricer or potato masher. Leave to cool, then chill until you are ready to serve. Before serving, gently reheat the carrot crush in a small pan over a medium heat for 5–8 minutes or until piping hot.
Make the braised beef ribs. Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3. Cut the onions, carrots and celery into 2cm pieces and set aside. Heat half of the sunflower oil in a large casserole, season the ribs with salt and pepper and brown them all over in the hot oil. Remove the ribs to a plate, then add the remaining oil to the casserole, together with the prepared vegetables, the garlic, peppercorns and coriander seeds and sauté over a high heat for 8–10 minutes or until golden brown. Add the bay leaves and thyme and sauté for a further minute.
Return the beef to the casserole, pour in the brandy and let it bubble, stirring and scraping the base of the casserole with a wooden spoon to deglaze it. Simmer until the vegetables absorb the brandy, then add the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Place a piece of non-stick baking paper directly on to the surface of the stock and cover with the lid. Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for 11/2 hours or until the beef is cooked and tender.
Remove from the oven and carefully remove the beef ribs from the stock. Set the beef aside and keep hot while you make the sauce. Pass the stock through a fine sieve and reserve 300ml of the stock.
Make the stroganoff sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the shallots and mushrooms and sauté over a medium heat for 7–8 minutes or until golden brown and caramelised. Add the reserved stock and bring to a gentle simmer, then simmer for 4 minutes. Stir in the cream and paprika and bring back to the boil, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. The sauce is now ready to serve.
Meanwhile, reheat the braised cabbage and carrot crush as directed.
To serve, gently cut the meat away from the bones and cut it into slices. Spoon a quenelle (or spoonful) of the carrot crush on to each serving plate, followed by the braised cabbage. Spoon some sauce on to each plate, arrange the beef slices on top, then spoon over more sauce. Sprinkle the parsley over and garnish each plate with 2 cornichons. Serve immediately.