Recipe: Cabernet Braised Beef Short Ribs w/ Cumin and Carrot Barley Risotto

I was going to write a piece about wine today but I may have forgotten to take my anti-depressant(i don’t remember) and I feel like a pile of shit. Tomorrow I may write a piece on how dumb it is to forget to take your SNRIs. So today you get one of my recipes that I banked a couple of weeks ago. It’s medium difficulty. I have also done this recipe with mashed potatoes instead of the risotto, if that is more your speed.


4 Short Ribs*

1.5 Cups of a good California Cabernet

Beef Stock

1 tbs cracked black peppercorns

1 Large Onion diced

2 Cloves of Garlic Sliced

2 large carrots halved and rough chopped

Canola oil

1 Cup of Pot Barley(soaking in beef stock for about 30 minutes before cooking)

1/3 of a stick of butter

1 tbs cumin

1 ts turmeric

The Short Ribs: 

In a large sauce pan on high heat, with canola oil, sear your short ribs** on all sides. I like to get my pan screaming hot for this, if you get a nice crust of caramelization on them. Bring the heat down to medium/low and add, your cracked black peppercorns, about 1/3 of your large diced onion and half of your sliced garlic. Continue to sauté this all together until your onions sweat (turn translucent and release their oils). Then add your wine, cover and and let all those ingredients marry for about 10 minutes. After the ten minutes the wine will have reduced, add enough beef stock to cover your ribs and again cover and simmer for about an hour(stir and flip the ribs every so often). After the hour the ribs should be fork tender, carefully remove the ribs from the braising liquid(letting them rest on a cutting board), add about half of your butter, increase the heat and reduce by about half. ***

The Risotto:

In another sauce pan sweat the rest of your onions in canola oil. During that time in a bowl toss your carrots with some oil, salt, cumin and turmeric. Really get a nice coating on the carrots. You then add carrot, oil and spice mixture to the sauce pan. Increase heat to high and saute until the carrots begin to get tender(5-7 minutes) You then add the Pot Barley and beef stock mixture to the sauce pan. Bring to a rolling boil for about four minutes, this will help release the starches from the barley and you will probably have to deglaze a bit with more stock. Don’t be afraid to add stock, the barley will soak it up or the heat will evaporate it. You want to cook the barley down to tender, but with a little chalkiness in the middle.(just like doing risotto al dente.) The consistency of the risotto should be that when you scoop it onto your place the risotto spreads out and doesn’t clump together. ****


I like to put down the risotto first and then put the ribs on top. Then a healthy drizzle of the reduction over the ribs. 

*You should go to a real butcher for these as I find super markets remove the cap of fat and connective tissue from their short ribs. This fat is what makes short ribs so tender and give you an amazing sauce.

**Liberally salting your ribs before they go in the pan is a great way to help with a crust.

***From here on out is your choice. I like to do a reduction of the braising liquid so that is what I am going to write. You can also make a roux and turn the braising liquids into a gravy. Both ways are acceptable, but I find that this dish is rich enough without throwing gravy on top of it.

****The consistency of risotto will always be fought over by cooks. I will use Mario Batali’s litmus test which is what I wrote above. Some people like it quite a bit thicker, do what you want. But know that if it’s a gelatinous consistency you are wrong.