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Taking inspiration from the French daube, Rick Stein's slow-cooked beef short rib stew features butter-soft meat and and a glossy sauce.

From the book


It’s important to get the right short ribs for this. They are the elongated section of the ribs on a forequarter of beef, often called the Jacob’s Ladder and comprising nine or ten rib bones. The best ones come from the middle section. This is really similar to a French daube, except that the meat is served falling off the bone. It looks great and when reheated it tastes almost better than the first time round.

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4 tbsp olive oil
9–10 beef short ribs on the bone
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 celery stick, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, bashed with the heel of a knife
1 bottle of red wine
400g tinned tomatoes
2 strips of thinly pared orange peel
2 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
1.5 ltrs beef stock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Rick’s Peppermix (see instructions at bottom of recipe)
For the vegetable and pancetta garnish:
200g baby carrots
5 shallots, cut in half through the root
unsalted butter
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
250g button mushrooms
150g unsmoked pancetta, cut into 1cm dice
Handful flatleaf parsley, chopped

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Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the ribs and brown them all over, then set them aside. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook over a low-medium heat until softened. Put the ribs back in the casserole dish and add the red wine, tomatoes, orange peel, herbs and beef stock. Season with the salt, sugar and peppermix. Bring to a simmer, cover with a well-fitting lid and cook for 2–2½ hours or until the beef is tender and comes away easily from the bone.

Transfer the ribs to a plate and cover them with foil while you finish the sauce. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a bowl, pushing the vegetables down with the back of a ladle to extract as much flavour as possible. Discard the vegetables and herbs. Pour the liquid back into the casserole dish and boil hard until reduced by two-thirds to make a thickened and well-flavoured sauce.

For the vegetable and pancetta garnish, put the baby carrots and shallots in a shallow pan. Add 300ml of water and a tablespoon of butter, then season with the sugar and salt. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then simmer until the carrots and shallots are tender. Remove the lid and reduce the liquid to a sticky glaze.

In a separate small pan, fry the mushrooms and the pancetta together in a little butter for a couple of minutes. Add them to the carrots and shallots.

Put the ribs back in the sauce and warm them through for a minute or so, then add the carrots, shallots, mushrooms and pancetta. Serve topped with some chopped parsley.

Dauphinoise potatoes or aligot both make good accompaniments.

To make Rick’s Peppermix, blitz 1 chipotle chilli (seeds removed), 1 pasilla chilli (seeds removed), 2 tbsp black peppercorns, 2 tbsp white peppercorns, 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns and 1 tbsp salt in a spice grinder and store in a jam jar until required. You only need 1 tsp of peppermix for this recipe.

Tip: It may not look enough but one short rib per person is perfect.


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From the book: Rick Stein at Home: Recipes, Memories and Stories from a Food Lover’s Kitchen

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