Costillas de res, or beef short ribs as we know them, have begun to find their way onto our local butchers’ counters and supermarket shelves more and more in recent years. They are ideal for slow cooking and typical of the Spanish style of using cheaper cuts of meat to get maximum flavour!
If you like your ribs smoky and sticky as I do, then very slowly braising the beef in the sweet, rich sherry of Jerez mixed with the warmth of the Spanish pimentón picante is perfect. This recipe does take some time and patience, being ideally cooked the day before you want to eat it, but the preparation is quick and easy, and the end result is finger licking, melt in the mouth, delicioso!
(You will need a large, deep roasting tray ideally with a lid for the cooking, so that the ribs sit in one layer across the bottom. If you don’t have a lid, you can use tin foil.)
Ingredientes (to serve 8)
- 2 kilos of short ribs (ask your butcher to cut them into inch long pieces)
- 2 tbsp. good olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 tsp. pimentón picante (hot paprika)
- 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 large sprigs of thyme
- 600ml rich, sweet sherry
- 250ml beef stock
- Salt and pepper
- First season the beef ribs with salt and pepper, and then in a large frying pan heat two tbsp. of oil and brown the ribs well on all sides.
- Remove from the pan and place in the bottom of the roasting tray so they are only one layer deep.
- De-glaze the pan with a little of the sherry and pour over the ribs.
- Mix together the remaining sherry, stock, garlic, pimentón and sherry vinegar and then pour over the ribs. They should be almost covered in the liquid.
- Add the bay leaves and sprinkle the thyme across the top, along with a good pinch of salt and grind of pepper.
- Cover the ribs in a piece of grease-proof paper, ‘tucking them in’ to the inside of the pan, so that the liquid does not escape. Put on the lid or tightly cover the pan in foil and cook on 140 ° for 3 1/2 hours, turning the ribs half way. Check every hour that they are not drying out and add a cup of water if necessary (or sherry if you have any left in the bottle!)
- Remove the ribs and leave to rest until they are cool enough to handle, then carefully remove the bones and discard, they should simply pop out after all this cooking time.
- Place the ribs and all the sauce in a container to refrigerate overnight.
- The following day the fat should have separated from the sauce and solidified on top of the ribs, so you can remove this with a spoon or your hands easily, being careful not to take any of the delicious sauce with it which will be this stage be like jelly.
- When ready to eat, gently warm the ribs and the sauce on a low heat until the ribs are piping hot (at this point taste to check the seasoning and add more if required).
- Remove the ribs with a slotted spoon to a warmed serving bowl and cover to keep warm, then turn up the heat and rapidly boil the sauce for a couple of minutes to reduce and thicken a little.
- Pour over the ribs, sprinkle with parsley and tuck in! ¡Qué rico!