Ali Bilton • Feb 19, 2020
This is such a perfect cold winter's night dinner, and actually fairly easy to cook. If you made up some fancier sides it could be a fab alternative to sunday lunch or a relaxed dinner with friends. I've served it here with cheesy potato skins and Savoy cabbage for that extra comfort during Storm Dennis!
100g bacon lardons
4 beef short ribs (about 300g each)
2 sticks celery, washed and diced
1 small cooking onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 500ml bottle dark beer such as Wold Top Shepherds Watch
2 tbsp plain flour
2 stalks thyme
I bay leaf
8 small shallots, peeled and kept whole
110g/4 oz button chestnut mushrooms, washed
55g/2 oz butter
2 tbsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp brandy
1. Preheat the oven to 140C.
2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and brown the bacon lardons without any oil, place in a casserole dish, reserving the oil to brown the short ribs, add a little more oil if necessary, when they are a lovely golden brown add to the bacon in the casserole dish.
3. Then brown the celery, carrot and onion with a little more oil, add to the casserole dish. Deglaze the pan with a little beer.
4. Add the flour to the meat and vegetables and stir to coat everything. Add the beer and bring to simmering point on the top. Make a little bundle of the thyme and bay leaf and tie with string. Add to the casserole. Cover with the lid and transfer to the preheated oven.
5. Whilst the casserole is cooking, melt half of the butter and half of the sugar and add the onions, cook over a moderate to high heat until caramelised, transfer to a dish. Repeat with the remaining sugar butter and mushrooms. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the brandy and bubble furiously to deglaze the pan. Add to the onions.
6. After 2 ½ hours of cooking time check the beef to see if it is tender, if it is coming away from the bone add the onions and mushrooms and cook for another ½ hour, if not cook a little longer before adding the mushrooms and shallots.