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Perfect match: beef ribs with cabernet shiraz

This robust wintry dish calls for Australia’s classic blend of plump shiraz and grippy cabernet, writes Max Allen.

By Alice Storey
  • Serves 6
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 35 mins cooking
Beef ribs with cabernet shiraz
Beef ribs with cabernet shiraz

Back in the good old days, Australian wine labelling was simpler. There was none of this new-fangled varietal identification. If you wanted a red, you simply asked for "Burgundy" or "claret". It didn't matter what grapes were used; what mattered was the style. As it happened, many Aussie "clarets" were blends of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. This wasn't unique to Australia; in 19th-century Bordeaux it was common practice to add plump syrah from the Rhône Valley to often-austere-tasting local cabernet. But the cabernet shiraz blend has come to be seen as an Australian classic, and with good reason: it's a terrific partner for robust wintry dishes, such as this one. The dark fruit sweetness of shiraz soaks up the earthy bitterness of the kohlrabi and silverbeet, while the grip of the cabernet sauvignon is exactly what you need to engage with the savoury meatiness of the ribs.

This robust wintry dish calls for Australia’s classic blend of plump shiraz and grippy cabernet, writes Max Allen.

Ingredients

  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 6 beef short ribs (about 500gm each)
  • 1 each onion and carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 400 gm canned crushed tomatoes
  • 500 ml (2 cups) veal stock
  • 2 thyme sprigs
Kohlrabi and silverbeet gratin
  • 700 ml pouring cream
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 600 gm rainbow silverbeet leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 kg kohlrabi, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 1 kg large waxy potatoes (about 3), such as Desiree, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 100 gm Gruyère, coarsely grated
Parsley sauce
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil

Method

Main
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 150C. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add ribs, cook, turning once, until golden (3-5 minutes), remove ribs and set aside. Reduce heat to low, add onion, carrot and garlic, stir until golden and tender (8-10 minutes). Add wine, bring to the simmer, add tomato and stock, bring to the simmer. Add ribs and thyme, cover, braise in oven until tender (2½-3 hours). Set ribs aside, strain liquid into a saucepan over medium heat (discard solids), reduce to a thick sauce (15-20 minutes). Just before serving, add ribs, stir to combine and warm through.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for kohlrabi and silverbeet gratin, bring cream, thyme and garlic to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, then set aside. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add silverbeet, cover, stir occasionally until wilted (2-3 minutes), season to taste and drain in a colander. Layer kohlrabi and potato in a 3-litre baking dish, scattering silverbeet and Gruyère between layers, and finish with Gruyère. Pour cream mixture over, season to taste, bake until golden and bubbling and kohlrabi is tender (40-45 minutes).
  • 3
    For parsley sauce, pound herbs, lemon rind, garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle until a coarse paste forms, then stir in oil. Spoon over hot ribs and serve with kohlrabi and silverbeet gratin.

Notes

Drink suggestion by Max Allen