Looking for something delicious to make in this cold weather? Try this easy peasy beef short rib where your instant pot or slow or pressure cooker does all the work for you! The ribs are combined with porcini mushrooms, chestnuts and marsala for a lip smacking dish. And for a tasty side dish try roasted pumpkin with basil gremolata that sings with flavour!
Every winter I have a dilemma. I love pumpkin but for some reason I give it a wide berth during the warmer months but come Autumn Winter I embrace it like a long lost lover. My issue is that it is one of my favourite things to eat in winter but almost as much as I love eating it, I loathe cutting pumpkin. Every time I do it, I think I am dangerously close to losing a finger.
Usually cutting pumpkin isn't an issue. I roast it whole but for this dish I wanted slices. And Mr NQN was nowhere in sight to do the usual pumpkin slicing duty. I gritted my teeth-literally and sliced them and counted my fingers after each cut swearing that next time I'd get an axe or never eat pumpkin again. Except this dish was so damn delicious that that resolve lasted until the first bite.
I actually made the beef short ribs the day before the dinner party. These involve a lot of fine dicing, another task I dislike, especially onions and carrots for different reasons. I had loaned Nina my food processor and beaters for a cake she was making. She had actually returned the food processor and kept the beater for another day but I didn't realise that.
Reluctantly I hand chopped the onion, carrot and celery - something I'd usually put in the chopper. I was gritting my teeth again and I finally understood why Nina didn't like cooking and I must admit I slightly cursed her for needing the food processor.
Until of course I was completely done. Then I looked across the bench and there sat my chopper and then I cursed myself for being completely blind to something that was sitting in front of me the whole time!
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your most hated job in the kitchen? And are you ever blind to something right in front of you?
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Beef Short Ribs With Porcini and Chestnuts
Original Recipes by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hr 15 minutes. Note: sometimes I find that these slow cooked beef cuts take longer than other batches. I'm not sure why, perhaps it has to do with the beef itself. So leave yourself plenty of time.
This recipe is best made a day ahead
- 1 cup beef stock, hot
- 40g/1.4ozs. dried porcini and oyster mushrooms
- 1kg/2.2lbs. beef short ribs
- Oil for frying
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 stick celery, finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup marsala wine
- 100g/3.5ozs. chestnuts, vacuum packed
- 1-2 tablespoons apricot jam
Step 1 - Place the dried mushrooms in the hot stock to rehydrate. Heat or set a large pot or set your pressure cooker or instant pot to saute. Brown the beef short ribs on all sides. Set aside. Then add oil and saute the onions, carrot and celery until soft, around 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the short ribs back in, the stock and marsala.
Step 2 - For a pressure cooker, cook on high pressure for 1 hour. For a slow cooker, cook for 8 hours, for a cast iron pot cook in a 160C/320F oven for 4 hours.
Step 3 - I like to skim the fat off so I do this the day before I want to serve it. I remove the beef and place the sauce in a separate container and remove the fat once it cools. Then place the sauce in a saucepan with the chestnuts and heat and reduce it until half of its volume. Add in some salt, pepper and apricot jam to taste. Reheat the ribs with this sauce.
Pumpkin With Basil Gremolata
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
- 1/2 pumpkin cut into slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 200C/400F and line a baking tray with parchment. Place slices of pumpkin on the tray and drizzle or brush with oil. Roast until cooked.
Step 2 - Meanwhile place the basil leaves, breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil in a food processor and blend. When pumpkin cooked scatter over the pumpkin and bake for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.