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Beef short ribs agrodolce

You'll need

1.2 kg (about 4) beef short ribs 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil 50 gm prosciutto, coarsely chopped 6 onions, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped 5 sage leaves 1 sprig of rosemary 15 gm dried porcini, soaked in water for 15 minutes 2 tbsp tomato paste 250 ml (1 cup) red wine 125 ml (½ cup) saba (see note) 60 ml (¼ cup) balsamic vinegar 900 ml beef stock


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Season beef ribs with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat olive oil in a wide heavy-based casserole over high heat, brown ribs (on all sides except bone side) in two batches for 2-3 minutes each. Transfer to a tray.
  • 02
  • Pour off half the oil and discard, then return casserole to heat and add prosciutto, sauté for 1 minute, add onion, carrot, celery, herbs and drained porcini, and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables caramelise (8-10 minutes). Stir in tomato paste, reduce heat to medium and cook until dark red in colour (4-5 minutes). Add red wine, saba and vinegar and cook until reduced by half (10-15 minutes). Add beef stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then return beef ribs to casserole and bake, covered, until ribs are tender (2 hours).
  • 03
  • Transfer ribs to a warm serving platter and pass vegetables and juices through a mouli (see note) into a saucepan. Skim fat from surface, then cook over medium heat until thick (3-5 minutes). Season with 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Pour over beef ribs and serve immediately.
Note Saba is the sweet reduction of grape must and is available from The Essential Ingredient and select delicatessens. A mouli is a rotary sieve available from specialist kitchen supply stores. Alternatively, you can use a coarse sieve and push processed vegetables through using the back of a ladle.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Robust red primitivo.

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