Braised Cabernet short ribs

Braised Cabernet short ribs with mac and three cheese


  • RIBS
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1.8Kg (4 Lbs) meaty beef short ribs
    • 750ml bottle Cabernet Sauvignon red wine
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
    • 1 tbsp butter, at room temperature
    • 2 tsp plain flour
    • 75g (3 oz) butter + extra for greasing
    • 25g (1 oz) plain flour
    • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper
    • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1L (1 ¾ pts) whole milk
    • 375g (13 oz) extra sharp cheddar cheese, roughly grated
    • 375g (13 oz) Fontina cheese, roughly grated
    • 50g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, roughly grated
    • 500g (18 oz) macaroni
    • 100g (4 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
    • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
    • 125ml (4 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar like red or white wine, sherry or rice)
    • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 large shallot, peeled and cut into chunks
    • mixed green salad leaves, to serve
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375F / Gas Mark 5). Butter a 35cm x 23cm (5cm deep) (13 x 9 in (2 in deep)) baking dish and set on a baking sheet.
  2. Heat the oil in heavy, wide ovenproof saucepan (that has a tight fitting lid) over a medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the ribs on all sides for about 8 minutes, until browned. Remove the ribs from the pan and set aside.
  3. Discard the oil from the pan and add the wine. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits. Then return the ribs and any accumulated juices, add the rosemary and thyme and bring back to the boil. Season well and then cover with the lid and transfer to the oven to braise for about 2 hours until the meat is very tender and almost falling off bones.
  4. After about an hour and a half, begin to prepare the mac and cheese. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, cook according to pack instructions or until al dente and drain well.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over a medium-high heat. Stir the flour, cayenne and nutmeg through and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk, stirring all the time to give a smooth mixture. Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring all the time, until the sauce thickens. Whisk the cheddar, Fontina and Parmesan cheeses into the sauce and stir until melted. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Stir the cooked pasta through the sauce and remove from the heat. Spoon the pasta into the baking dish and sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
  7. Carefully remove the now cooked ribs from the juices and set aside in a warm place, covered with foil. Skim and discard any fat from the top of the braising liquid then boil the liquid for about 20 minutes until reduced by half. Meanwhile, blend the butter and flour together in a small bowl to make a smooth paste. Once the liquid is reduced, whisk in the flour and butter paste and simmer for 5 minutes over a medium heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the ribs to the sauce to warm through for a few minutes.
  8. Finally, prepare the vinaigrette. Place the oil, vinegar and Dijon mustard in a mini blender and blitz for about 30 seconds to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper and adding a drop more vinegar if necessary. Add the shallot and pulse a few more times until combined. Toss through salad leaves just before serving.
  9. Spoon the mac and three cheese out onto each serving plate and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Arrange some salad beside and serve.