Braised beef short ribs with fennel seeds

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic head, cloves separated, crushed
  • 3 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp each rosemary and thyme
  • 500 ml red wine
  • 800 gm canned diced tomatoes
  • 3 litres (12 cups) chicken stock
  • 2 beef short ribs (about 700gm each)
  • 5 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 50 gm caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
01   Preheat oven to 150C. Heat olive oil in a very large saucepan over medium heat, add onion, garlic and half the fennel seeds, season to taste and sauté until starting to soften (3-4 minutes), add herbs and cook until onions are soft (8-10 minutes). Deglaze pan with wine and reduce liquid by half (20-30 minutes), then add tomato and stock and bring to the boil.
02   Season ribs to taste and lay them snugly in a roasting pan. Add tomato stock (ribs need to be completely covered, so add a little water if necessary), cover and roast until meat starts to fall from the bone (2-3 hours). If liquid evaporates, add extra water. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate in braising stock overnight.
03   Dry-roast remaining fennel seeds (1-2 minutes), set aside.
04   Remove meat from braising stock and set aside. Strain braising stock through a fine sieve and reserve 1 litre. Remaining stock will keep frozen for 3 months.
05   Cook anchovies and a little of their oil in a shallow saucepan over very low heat, add reserved braising stock, sugar and roasted fennel seeds and cook until liquid is reduced by half and is rich, slightly sticky and a little sweet (20-25 minutes), then add lemon juice.
06   Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over low-medium heat, add short ribs and turn occasionally until browned (10 minutes each side). Transfer to braising stock and simmer over low-medium heat until stock is reduced to a thick sauce consistency (10-20 minutes). Serve ribs on a platter topped with braising stock.
This recipe is from the November 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

O TAMA CAREY, ANDREW CIBEJ , DANIEL JOHNSTON, BERTA, SYDNEY

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

LYNSEY FRYERS-HEDRICK

Drinking Suggestion:

A BROADLY STRUCTURED RED VARIETAL SUCH AS AGLIANICO. , suggested by GIORGIO DE MARIA

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