Having had short ribs in various shapes and cooking methods at restaurants and from street food vans, it was time to try my hand at cooking them myself when I spotted a nice rack at my local butcher’s, the Art of Meat. I decided to braise them so cooked some roughly chopped celery, leeks and garlic in rapeseed oil until softened a bit, seasoned with pepper, bittersweet and hot pimenton, thyme and rosemary, filled up the pan with a bottle of porter (Wychwood Brewery’s Black Wych), brought it to the boil and added the seared rack of ribs. The covered pan went into a 180 degree oven for half an hour after which I turned the heat down to 120 and left it alone for about three hours. Prodding the meat, I decided it could do with a little more time and put it back for another 45 minutes which turned out to be plenty as I had difficulty getting it out of the pan in one piece. I had to push it back together for the photo.
Having strained the liquid, I reduced it by about half until it had a good sauce consistency (by how much you need to reduce it will depend on how much liquid evaporated during the cooking process) and then added a good pinch of salt. I then shredded the rib meat, removing bits of fat, gristle and connective tissue that hadn’t broken down and mixed it with the sauce. A potato mash (maybe with added celeriac or parsnip) would go well with this but I just had fresh bread and a large bowl of dressed leaves with it.
The texture of the moist meat was pretty much perfect, the flavour very savoury with a distinct bitter note from the porter. I think next time I’m going to add some warm spices (cinnamon, cloves).