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.
Roasted cauliflower soup is currently our favourite go-to meal when we don’t particularly feel like cooking. Since it’s also winter here, few meals can beat the warm comforting taste of roasted cauliflower, mixed in with a healthy dose of roasted garlic and coconut cream.
For those on the Banting (LCHF) meal plan, this is a winner.
This recipe calls for roasting cauliflower and garlic in the oven for about half an hour until the cauliflower is tender and just starting to brown. This gives the cauliflower a deeper and richer flavour.
While the cauliflower is roasting, soften the veggies and herbs in a pot. Add the cauliflower to the veggies with the stock and cook till soft.
Blend/puree the soup mix together with a can of coconut cream.
And there you have it. Roast cauliflower soup with garlic and coconut cream.
Serves: 4 adults
1 large head of cauliflower
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
3/4 teaspoon salt, ground (we use Himalayan pink salt)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (may use dried)
4 tablespoons of coconut oil (or use olive oil)
1 leek, thinly sliced
3 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 can coconut cream (optional but highly recommended)
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C. Break the cauliflower into small florets, removing the core and excess stems. Toss the cauliflower and garlic cloves with 3 tablespoons of the coconut oil and season with salt and pepper and place in a roasting try.
Roast for 30 minutes until the florets are soft and just starting to colour at the edges. Don’t burn or over-roast the florets as this will leave a bitter crunchy taste in the soup.
Cook the chopped leek, carrot, celery and thyme in a large pot with a tablespoon of coconut oil for about 10 minutes until tender.
Once the cauliflower is ready, add it to the vegetables. Add the 3 cups of vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until all the veggies are soft and the liquid has reduced.
Pour the soup mixture into a food processor or use a stick blender to puree until smooth. For a totally decadent finish, blend in a can of coconut cream (the thick stuff, unless you want to use coconut milk which makes the final product a bit more liquid)
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and season to taste
A couple of notes. We’ve made this soup a couple of times and we all love it – even the kids ask for seconds. At first I used dried thyme, which left a few stalks in the final soup. This is probably unavoidable unless you want to go through the process of straining your soup for an even silkier finish, but I think this might be slightly overkill for a hearty soup. I prefer to use fresh thyme if available.
A blender or stick blender seems to get better results than the food processor. If you want a smoother finish go for the blender, if you like it a little more chunky, the food processor will work perfectly.
You can add as little or as much garlic to the roasting process as you want. We once put in a whole bulb and it was fantastic. Using about 6 whole cloves is the minimum we would use to get that nice rich flavour profile.