Braised Alberta Beef Short Ribs



Simmered in Okanagan Valley Merlot and served with horseradish mashed potatoes, this dish is served on Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer. Read Nancy Mueller’s travel article and listen to her Big Blend Radio interview about her luxury rail experience about the Rocky Mountaineer!

Braised Short Ribs (Serves 6)
Photo by Rocky Mountaineer

1 bottle Okanagan Valley Merlot

30 ml / 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

900 g / 2 lb short ribs, trimmed

to taste sea salt

7 g / 1½ tsp black peppercorns, crushed

10 garlic cloves

8 shallots, large, trimmed and split

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 leek, chopped

6 sprigs Italian parsley

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

30 g / 2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 litres / 8 cups beef or chicken stock, unsalted

to taste white pepper, ground

3 pcs pappadum

Pour the wine into a large saucepan set over medium heat. When the wine is heated, carefully set it aflame. Let the flames die out, then increase the heat so that the wine boils. Allow it to boil until it cooks down by half. Remove from the heat.

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat to 175°C / 350°F. Place the pappadum on the oven rack and bake until bubbles start to appear on the surface and the pappadum starts to brown (approximately 5 minutes). Immediately remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large casserole dish big enough to hold 6 ribs. Season the ribs all over with salt and crushed pepper. When the oil is hot, slip the ribs into the pot and sear for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until well browned. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate.

Remove all but 14 ml / 1 Tbsp of fat from the pot. Chop the carrots, celery and leek into 3 cm / 1 inch pieces. Lower the heat to medium, and toss in the vegetables and herbs. Brown the vegetables lightly for 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute to blend. Deglaze with the reduced red wine and add browned ribs and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot tightly and slide it into the oven to braise for about 2½ hours, or until the ribs are tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork. Every 30 minutes or so, lift the lid and skim and discard whatever fat may have bubbled up to the surface.

Carefully transfer the meat to a heated serving platter with a lip and keep warm. Boil the pan liquid until it thickens and reduces to approximately 1 litre / 4 cups. Season with salt and pepper and pass through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the solids, and set aside the sauce.


Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

1.4 kg / 3 lb yellow flesh potatoes, cut

3 litres / 12 cups salted water

120 ml / ½ cup 33% heavy cream

60 ml / ¼ cup milk

to taste horseradish

60 g / ¼ cup butter

to taste pepper, ground

to taste sea salt

Bring 3 litres / 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add in the washed, peeled and cut potatoes and cook until very soft (35 to 55 minutes) at a medium boil. Drain all water and mash potatoes. Add in the cream and milk. Check seasoning (salt and pepper), and add horseradish to taste. Finish off with fresh butter.

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association Gardens, Farms & Local Flavors

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