As I had a hand in Keith choosing slow cooker meals as the prompt for this weeks recipe shed I thought I’d better write a good post for it. I even remembered to take some photo’s before it was half eaten, clear progress!
At this time of year there is nothing better than sitting down at the weekend and eating a hearty plate or bowl of food to warm you up. As soon as the clocks change our weekly meal plan changes from salads and fish to stews and casseroles. It probably also helps that a lot of this food is easy to prepare and that precise cooking times aren’t very important, perfect for lazy Sunday’s where you don’t leave the house. I also really enjoy trying out new and unusual cuts of meat, with the added advantage that they are often cheaper as well.
Last weekend was most definitely such a weekend, one where you feel like hibernating. In the freezer we had a short rib of beef that we’d be meaning to eat for a while. It had been part of a bigger rib of beef we’d roasted a month or so ago, so we’d chopped it off and kept it for another day (the rib was already massive for 2 people). Being a cheaper, fattier cut It really lends itself to slow cooking so I created this recipe specially. The beauty of this sort of recipe is you can really put in whatever vegetables you happen to have in the fridge and whatever fresh herbs you have to hand, it’s very easily adaptable.
Short rib of beef, 1-2 ribs per person, cut into individual ribs
Can of Guinness (or some red wine if you prefer)
Couple of bay leaves
Few sprigs of Thyme
- Heat some oil in a large saucepan, once hot brown the beef on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and cover with some foil to keep hot.
- Slice the onion and leek thinly, chop up the carrot into small cubes. Add all the vegetables to the pan used for the beef and soften gently. Worth adding a bit of butter at this stage also.
- Put the beef back into the pan with the rib at the bottom, add the Guinness and enough beef stock to cover the meat. Throw in the bay leaves and Thyme and some salt and pepper to taste. Turn down the heat and gently simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours
- After a simmering the meat should be starting to fall off the bone, as long as the meat is covered with the stock it shouldn’t dry out so the timing isn’t critical. Carefully remove the meat from the pan without it breaking up and cover with foil.
- Skim any fat off the top of the remaining stock and vegetables and turn the heat up to full. Let the stock reduce down for a few minutes, if you want you can add a little cornflour to thicken it.
- Serve the beef with some mashed potato and green veg with some of the gravy from the pan on top. We also kept the left over stock for a future meal.
P.S. you may have noticed that no slow cooker is used here, well that was just me being lazy and using just one pan. But the dish would lend itself very well to being cooked in a slow cooker. You’d get lovely soft meat from that gentle simmering.