Sundays are for…? Slow braised short ribs with butternut mash. A hearty winter warmer with fall off the bone meat and a buttery smokey honeyed butternut mash.
I always ask the guys at Country meat butchery and deli in Fourways, to cut me about 3kgs of short ribs from a full slab. I then portion them out into individual ribs, ready for braising.
For the short ribs
1.5 kg short ribs (approximately 8-12 ribs)
1 onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 leek, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
For the butternut mash
1 butternut, skinned and sliced into chunks
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Coat the beef short ribs with sprinkling of salt, pepper and smoked paprika and place in a hot frying pan with the coconut oil. Brown on all sides.
Cut up the onion, carrot, leek, thyme and garlic.
Transfer the seared short ribs, bone side up, to an oven roasting dish or dutch oven.
Add the vegetables to the frying pan and fry for about 3 minutes. Add the sugar, pepper and soy sauce and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. After a minute or two, add the red wine and let it bubble for another minute.
Pour the veggie, soy and wine mixture over the short ribs in the oven dish. Add more water just cover the ribs.
Put the lid on and braise/roast the short ribs for an hour. After an hour, turn the heat down to 160 degrees C for another 2 hours.
About 30 minutes before the ribs are ready, boil the butternut in salted water until soft.
Drain the liquid, add the paprika, honey and butter and mash it all up. You can use a stick blender if you wish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. What you’re looking for is a buttery puree/mash with a subtle hint of smokey paprika and some sweetness from the honey.
Remove the short rib from the oven and place in a roasting tray. Bump up the oven to full and grill the ribs for about 2-3 minutes – just to render and crisp up the fat.
Depending on the amount of liquid left in the original oven dish, you may want to reduce some of the braising liquid.
Take out the ribs, spoon over some of the braising liquid an let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
Make a quick salad of chopped cucumber, tomato and avocado with a rice vinegar and olive oil dressing. This will cut through the richness of the short rib.
Serve the short ribs on a bed of the mash and a spoonful of the braised vegetables and liquid.
After this hearty meal, you will probably want to go take a nap. You deserve it.
We often buy butternut (or as the Americans would say, butternut squash) in bulk on special and then run out of ideas on what to do with it because, let’s face it, there are only so many ways you can cook a butternut before getting sick of it. This recipe, however, has changed my outlook on butternut for good – it is the yummiest salad I have eaten in a very long time, and I’d even venture to say it was more delicious than similar salads I’ve eaten at restaurants. This recipe for roasted butternut, feta and baby spinach salad is adapted from Gina’s skinny recipes.
1 large butternut, peeled and diced
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp golden syrup / honey
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar / white balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp minced baby green onion
2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and fresh black pepper
2 cups baby spinach, washed and spun dry
1/4 cup raw chopped almonds
12 fresh cherries, quartered and pitted
1/4 cup crumbled feta
Preheat the oven to 200C.
In a large bowl, toss the butternut with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon syrup, salt to taste and fresh ground pepper.
Place on a baking sheet and roast in the centre of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until tender, turning half way.
Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile combine the vinegar, onion, 1 tablespoon syrup, mustard, oil, pinch of salt and black pepper to make the vinaigrette.
Toast the almonds in a pan on medium heat, being careful not to burn them
Divide the spinach on 4 plates and top each salad with the roasted butternut, cherries, crumbled feta cheese and the toasted almonds.
Drizzle the vinaigrette over each salad and serve immediately.
This salad can be served as a main meal, as we did, or a side salad alongside a main.
We got to try out that salad and salad dressing I had been dreaming about tonight, it was gorgeous. And a good thing too because the chicken espetada turned out to be off, something we only realised once we had braai’ed it and were doing a quick taste check to see that it was done. The salad on its own was quite satisfying and very healthy.
(Use quantities as required for the number of servings to be made)
Fresh mint leaves
Preheat the grill on your oven.
Cook the butternut in the microwave for 6min (assuming 800W microwave).
Layout the butternut on a baking tray in a single layer.
Drizzle the butternut with olive oil and season with ground salt and pepper.
Pop the butternut under the grill for about 15min until golden, turning once to evenly grill.
Remove the butternut from the oven once done and allow to cool.
In a large salad dish or small single-serving dish(es) layer the rest of the salad ingredients. The orange should be peeled and the segments separated. Either add the segments as they are or cut into chunks width-ways.
Toast the walnuts (any nuts may be substituted, even pumpkin seeds may be used) in a pan on a high stove setting. Watch them carefully as nuts burn easily due to their high oil content. (Ask me, I’m the woman who created an oven fire when trying to toast cashews, having carefully chopped them by hand not a moment before). Allow the nuts to cool.
Add the butternut once cooled.
Add the nuts once cooled.
To make the salad dressing combine the juice of an orange with a dash of olive oil (how much is really up to personal preference, but the oil shouldn’t be more than 1/3 of the orange juice), a pinch or two of the mixed herbs, a pinch of salt and about 2 teaspons sugar, to taste. Add the leaves from some fresh thyme straight off the stalk (thyme has such tiny leaves it would be a waste of time to try to chop them up). Give the dressing a good shake to dissolve the salt and sugar and to combine the oil and juice. Taste it and add whatever you feel is missing – I have been known to even add water to a dressing when I thought it was too thick and strong.
Just before serving drizzle the dressing over the salad.
Voila! A healthy meal which satisfies all of the senses…
The cold fronts are starting to bring in chilly wintry weather, and with the icy winds comes a yearning for warm comforting nourishment. What better than to start off the cold season with a lovely soup?
700g Woolworths butternut soup mix (72% butternut, sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, celery)
1 orange’s rind grated
20ml powdered stock (vegetable, chicken or beef)
125ml cream (may be substituted with milk)
Double thick plain yogurt
I made use of the method described on the back of the soup mix packet and adapted it, however this is similar to what has been described to me by my mother previously. This was my first soup and it came out fabulously.
Melt 30g butter in a pot at moderate heat.
Add soup mix and grated orange rind and sweat for 5min on low heat.
Pre-boil the water in a kettle.
Dissolve the stock (I used Woolworths powdered chicken stock) with some of the boiling water.
Add the stock and the rest of the boiling water to the pot.
Boil for 40min with the lid on.
Once the vegetables are soft, puree with a blender until smooth.
Add the cream (milk in my case).
Season to taste (I found that the stock was salty enough and didn’t require any additional seasoning)
Return to the stove to heat through.
Dish up and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkling of parsley. Keep the yogurt at hand for adding to your bowl as you run out!
Grate the orange whole and keep the juicy insides for another recipe such as a salad, salad dressing, dessert or simply eating just like that.