Spring produce echoes many traditions from the Mediterranean in my mind. Peas are in season, and many cultures around the basin celebrate the little pods in hearty yet light stews. A beautiful transition from winter into summer: Textures are comforting and soft, flavours are fresh, mineral and grassy.
In Italy, "Risi e Bisi" or in Lebanon "Bazella w riz" literrally meaning rice & peas in both languages. The Italian version is fresh, cousin to a risotto, while the Lebanese is a tomato base stew also served with carrots. In reverence to these traditions, here is my version, with shortrib and some hidden mushrooms, great for an umami kick and also, for the kids!
I hope you enjoy it!
Straightforward but a little laborious
Prepare in 30 minutes, cook in 3-4h
Prepare the short ribs
Preheat your oven to 160ºC.
Season your short ribs with salt and pepper.
Over medium-high heat, drizzle some olive oil in a skillet or ovenproof casserole. When the oil starts fuming, carefully roast the ribs, fat side down first. Allow them to roast a couple of minutes on each side until evenly golden brown. Reserve.
In the same skillet, lower the heat to medium. Add the mushrooms with the aromatics (bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, and thyme). Mix well and allow the mushroom to cook and most of their moisture to evaporate.
Add the onions, stir well to coat in the oil evenly and cook until completely softened.
When the onions start to turn golden, add a ladle of warm stock, simmer and reduce.
Add the ribs fat side down. Pour additional beef stock to level with the ingredients. Cover and place in the oven.
Cook for 3.5 to 4h depending on the size of your ribs. Turn them half way through cooking.
Prepare the stew
Once the ribs are cooked, place the casserole on the hob.
Reserve the ribs on a plate, scoop out the onions and mushrooms into a bowl and strain the remaining jus into a small saucepan.
Warm the beef jus in the saucepan over medium - low heat.
In the meantime, prepare the stew: in a separate pan over medium heat, drizzle some olive oil and cook the onions with the bay leaf until softened. Season with salt.
Add the carrots, stir well and cook for 8-10 minutes. Add a ladle of beef stock to moisten the pan.
Add the mushrooms and onions and enough stock to level with the ingredients.
Place the short ribs on top of the carrot & pea stew, keep covered.
Once the beef jus has reduced by at least half, it should be syrupy and silky. Generously (for whats left of it, probably a couple of tablespoons) pour it over the ribs to glaze them.
Serve warm, eat quick!
For the short ribs
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 beef short ribs, at room temperature
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 Tsp black peppercorn
- 2 Springs of fresh thyme
- 1 Tbsp tomato puree (not for type B)
- 3 Small portobello mushrooms, finely diced
- 2 Onions, thinly sliced
- 1L Good beef stock, warmed
For the stew
- 1 Onion, finely minced
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Large carrot, finely diced
- 200g fresh or frozen peas