Red wine braised beef short ribs with parsnip purée & persillade

Red wine braised beef short ribs with parsnip purée & persillade

4 as part of a shared meal
Chris Middleton

This dish is a real mid-winter rib-sticker. It screams comfort food and just makes you feel happy inside. It is pretty easy to pull off too. Make sure you get decent-sized short ribs from your butcher, and obviously cook it on the bone.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg beef short ribs, trimmed of sinew
plain flour, for dusting, plus an extra 25 g to thicken the sauce
100ml olive oil
1 onion, roughly diced
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 leek, sliced, white part only
8 thyme sprigs
10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 x 750ml bottle red wine
25g butter

Parsnip purée

Quantity Ingredient
1kg parsnip, peeled, ends removed, sliced into rounds
500ml milk
100g butter
100ml thin cream
ground white pepper, to taste


Quantity Ingredient
1 large handful picked flat-leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves
100ml extra virgin olive oil


  1. For the ribs

    Preheat the oven to 175°C — or 100°C if you have time to slowly cook the ribs overnight.
  2. Season the ribs with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then dust with flour, shaking off the excess.
  3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add a little olive oil. Cook the ribs on all sides until they’re nicely browned and a lovely crust has formed. Place the ribs in a flameproof casserole dish that will fit them all snugly with all the vegetables and the wine.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the frying pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, leek, thyme and garlic cloves and sauté for 10 minutes, until the vegetables start to caramelise.
  5. Add the sautéed vegetables to the ribs, poking them into the gaps. Add the bay leaves and wine, and a little water if needed to bring the liquid up to the top of the ribs. Bring to the boil.
  6. Cover the dish with a sheet of baking paper, then foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hours at the higher temperature, or overnight at the lower temperature, until the ribs are very tender. Let the ribs cool in the liquid.
  7. Remove the ribs from the braising liquid. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan and reduce over low heat for 20–30 minutes, skimming frequently. Meanwhile, slide the bones away from the ribs and place the meat into the fridge to set. Once cold, trim the gelatinous part from where the rib hangs onto the bone, then square the ribs up so they are neat.
  8. Once the sauce tastes balanced, mix the butter and the extra 25 g flour together in a bowl with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Whisk into the sauce to thicken it, then simmer for 10 minutes, until the flour taste is cooked out.
  9. When almost ready to serve, return the ribs to the sauce for 10 minutes to warm through.
  10. For the parsnip purée

    Place the parsnip in a saucepan with the milk. Cover the mixture with a round of baking paper and cook over low heat for 45 minutes, or until the parsnip is fully cooked. (Don’t be tempted to cook the mixture over a higher heat, or the milk will scorch on the bottom of the pan.)
  11. Strain and discard the milk, then drain the parsnip well and place in a blender. Add the butter and cream, season with sea salt and ground white pepper and whiz to a very smooth purée — it should taste delicious!
  12. Pass through a fine strainer, into a clean saucepan. Cover the purée with a lid to keep warm.
  13. For the persillade

    Finely chop the parsley with the garlic. Place in a mixing bowl and mix the olive oil through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  14. To serve

    Spoon the parsnip purée onto the bottom of a platter, if sharing, or four large wide bowls, leaving a bit of a crater in the middle. Arrange the ribs in the centre, then spoon the sauce over the ribs. Drizzle with the persillade.
  15. Delicious served with Roasted brussels sprouts and portobello mushrooms — and of course a big, gutsy red wine!
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