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34′s Slow-braised Short Ribs Winter Roots & Horseradish

Made at 34 Mayfair | Serves 4

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This dish benefits from marinating for a couple days. Ask your butcher to cut 4 x 250g short ribs taken horizontally through a rack of short ribs (also known to butchers as Jacobs’s Ladder).

4 x 250g pieces of short ribs
250ml good red wine
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
3 sprigs of thyme, chopped
1 bay leaf
Sunflower oil for frying
30g unsalted butter
1 small onion, cut into quarters
1 small carrot, cut into quarters
1 stick of celery, cut into large chunks
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp tomato purée
500ml beef stock (a good cube will do)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish
12 baby onions, peeled
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced (about 1cm)
1 stick of celery, cut (about 1cm)
2 parsnips, peeled and diced (about 1cm)
100g sprout tops or winter greens
½ small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
40g fresh horseradish (grated)
20g unsalted butter

Method
Put the pieces of beef into a stainless steel bowl with the red wine, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cover with Clingfilm and marinade in the fridge for at least a day (two would be better). When you’re ready, drain the meat in a colander, reserving the marinade, and dry the pieces on kitchen paper.

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan, dust the meat with some of the flour, season and fry on a high heat until nicely browned. Remove from the pan and keep on one side.

Wipe the pan with some kitchen roll and return to the heat. Melt the butter and gently fry the onion, carrots and celery for a few minutes until lightly coloured. Add the tomato purée and stir over a low heat for a minute. Then add the remaining flour, stirring all the while, followed by the marinade. Bring to the boil and simmer until it has reduced by half. Add the beef stock and the pieces of beef, bring back to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 2 hours until the meat is tender.

Whilst this is cooking, you can prepare the garnish. Put a saucepan of salted boiling water on the stove. Cook all the vegetables in turn till soft. Remove with a slotted spoon, plunge into cold water and drain. Keep to one side.

It’s difficult to put an exact time on braised meats, sometimes an extra half an hour’s cooking may be necessary. Check by tasting the meat. Once cooked, remove the pieces of meat, keeping them warm, and pass the sauce through a strainer (a sieve will do), ensuring that you get as much as possible out of it. The sauce should have thickened to a gravy-like consistency. Put the meat back into the sieved sauce and keep warm.

To finish the dish, melt 20g butter in a frying pan, add the vegetables and cook till they have a light golden colour. Then add the chopped parsley. Put the meat onto 4 hot dinner plates, sprinkle the vegetables on top and finish with freshly grated horseradish.

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