Recipe For Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Today is reveal day for The Secret Recipe Club! I wonder who got my blog? This month I was assigned Nestlé Kitchens. This is a collaborative blog about good food, and good life. Three bloggers currently contribute to this blog and I had no idea where to even start looking for something to create for today’s dish. Did I want to do a make a drink or something sweet? Or maybe make something for a main course or to entertain with? Or maybe a side dish or something for the holidays, which are looming? I decided to click the random post button and see what the blog decided. And I was lucky! This is a dish I have been wanting to try, ever since my soup recipe I did using ribs. I have made one other short rib recipe, but I have never tried braising them following someone else’s recipe. Chris is a mother of triplets *gasp* and writes recipes for the world’s largest food company. Nestlé products are readily available in South Africa and I am very familiar with them. It made me feel like I already knew Chris before I ‘met’ her through this recipe.

"Red Wine Braised Short Ribs"

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs


Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 530g extra-lean bone-in beef short ribs
  • salt and ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 3 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 2 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 170mls red wine
  • 125mls port
  • 10mls balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon beef stock granules
  • 2 sprigs each fresh thyme, rosemary and sage
  • 2 carrots thickly sliced
  • 10mls water
  • 5mls arrow root
  • ¾ cup red wine
  1. preheat the oven to 160° Celsius
  2. heat the oil in large, heavy oven-proof casserole dish over medium-high heat
  3. pat dry the ribs and season
  4. working in batches, brown the ribs on all sides
  5. once brown, remove and set aside
  6. drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the dish, or add some olive oil if necessary
  7. add the shallots to dish
  8. cook for a few minutes until golden
  9. add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds
  10. stir in the wine, port, vinegar, stock, thyme, rosemary and sage
  11. bring to the boil, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the dish
  12. add the carrots along with the ribs and any accumulated juices
  13. bring to the boil, cover and place in oven
  14. bake covered, for 2 ½ hours
  15. check to make sure it does not dry out, and add up to 170mls water if necessary
  16. using a slotted spoon transfer the ribs, shallots and carrots to a large bowl
  17. if you have time, refrigerate overnight or freeze the pan juices for about 30 minutes
  18. remove the oil from the pan juices
  19. combine the water and arrow root in a small bowl
  20. add ½ cup red wine to the pan juices and bring to the heat
  21. whisk the arrow root into the pan juices
  22. bring to the boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until it starts to thicken
  23. remove and discard the stems from the herbs
  24. return the ribs to pan with ¼ cup red wine and incorporate the sauce
  25. serve over horseradish mashed potatoes

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

To see the other   recipes click the linky below


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Friday's Food Quiz Number 66

I was not on line from Friday lunch time until this morning, and nearly missed Pink’s Quiz! Here are my answers:

1. What is an Italian dumpling better known as?


2. What is “strata” in culinary terms?

a layered dish of bread and cheese, baked with an egg custard mixture, much like a quiche

3. What does “sous vide” means?

under vacuum

4. The “fifth taste” discovered by Japanese scientists, called “umami” describes what?


5. What are the main ingredients of “vichyssoise?

leeks, potatoes, cream and chicken stock

6. What is Mentsuyu?

a soy based condiment

7. The fruit of which African tree is used to make monkey bread?

the only thing I know is that it is similar to a cinnamon bun but have nuts

8. Why is fish traditionally served with lemon?

I have no idea! the acidity in the lemon must serve some purpose. 

9. What is tahini?

a sesame seed paste traditionally used for making hummus

10. What are the basic ingredients of Fregolata, a hard and crumby cake, which are eaten all over northern Italy at the end of a meal?

almonds, sugar, butter and lemon


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Ready Steady Cook

Hila, from Add To Taste asked for a volunteer for the next round of:

readysteadycook I  am going to be the host and what I need are participants. If you are familiar with the TV program then you know a mystery bag of ingredients are given to the two competing chefs. They have access to pantry ingredients and in an allocated time they have to come up with a starter, main course and dessert.

The blogger version is similar – if you take part, you will be assigned a blogger to give a mystery bag of 7 ingredients to. I will provide the list of pantry ingredients and from your bag, you have to come up with a starter, main course and dessert. Posts will have to go up by a certain time and a winner will be decided.

I am not going to do this unless I have at least 10 bloggers taking part. The deadline for submitting your name for this challenge will be the 23rd of November. Please complete the form below if you would like to take part.


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Secret Santa 2011

I want to thank all the South African bloggers who are taking part in my Secret Santa gift initiative. The assignments have all been sent out and on Monday I will do the ones for the USA / Europe and Australia. This however all depends on a few factors:

  • I need emails from the following bloggers with their postal addresses: sonsothunder, Serious Food For The Soul, A Dash of Domestic, Baker by Nature – if I have not heard from you I will count you out. Sorry, but I have left messages for all of you asking for this information.
  • I would love a few more people from Europe – Spain / Italy / France and England
  • I need one more blogger from Australia

"Secret Santa"

Please complete this form if you are keen on sending another blogger a gift to the value of R100 / €10 / $10


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Something Sweet Challenge To Use Figs

I have not got to many of my own challenges recently, and next week I will be away for 6 days and off the internet. But, I am still going to set a challenge and I hope you all find something lovely to make.

The challenge this week is to create something sweet using figs

Don’t forget that the competition is open till the end of the month – this prize is for South African residents only.


Yvette has shared a lovely pasta recipe with rocket. Natalie has a recipe for foldies with rocket.


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Presto Pasta Nights

My week started with submissions pouring in for PPN – and while I left them simmering in the inbox, I attended to sorting out who gets whom for Secret Santa. Once I had given that task my full attention, I started reading all the wonderful recipes for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights. I hope you will click on each blog name to be taken to the dishes submitted.

"PPN 239"

First up is Heather of girlichef’s Vermicelli Soup w/ Butter, Lemon, & Mint. This is a simply perfect dish for any moment, not just mid afternoon while watching Iron Chef.

Kirsten of From Kirsten’s Kitchen To Yours has a lovely dish of kale and slow roasted tomato fusilli, which works well for my Tandy Tuesday challenge of a pasta dish using 5 ingredients or less.

Ruth of Once Upon A Feast has shared with us One The Mend Quick Fettuccine Bolognese. I would not need to be sick to have an excuse to enjoy this meal!

Elizabeth of lawstudentscookbook submitted beef tetrazzini which is an adaption of another recipe she had and used up some of her left overs.

Val of More Than Burnt Toast has shared Sheet Macaroni and Cheese – an inspired dish. It has my favourite crunchy topping, and is going on to my bucket list!

Helen of Fuss Free Flavours is making sure we have something great to do with our Christmas left overs with this dish of chestnut, cranberry, stilton & sprout pasta. I might not be able to wait!

Alisha of Cook. Craft. Enjoy. has submitted a recipe for pierogie casserole. This is definitely something new and different for me.

Caffettiera from la caffettiera rosa cooked linguine with mussels.This little feast does not take long to prepare.

Jac of Tinned Tomatoes (who I will hopefully meet next year) has submitted this ‘creamy bowl of heaven’ as Ruth describes it. Her tagliatelle con Spinaci e Funghi is a dish to be enjoyed when you need a cheese hit.

Last, but in no means least is Shelby aka HoneyB of The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch has introduced me to a new ingredient with her capativi with wild mushroom sauce. I also now have another use for my sage plant.

If you missed my post earlier during the week, I made pasta with broccoli and anchovies.

"Farfalle With Broccoli And Anchovies"

Farfalle With Broccoli And Anchovies

Thank you Ruth so much for letting me host!


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Recipe For Chilli Crumpets

I need to learn the skill of paying attention and being in the moment all of the time. My mind is always filled with thoughts and I will be doing one thing and thinking about another more often than not. So, I went shopping and I needed fructose. I headed to the health food aisle, and picked up the first packet with white ingredients I saw. I did not even realize when I packed the ‘fructose’ into the cupboard that what I had was something else. Then, in the middle of baking I needed fructose and went to the store cupboard and searched. Lo and behold, what did I find but potato flour! How on earth had this happened. It does not feel the same through the packet, and indeed, I do not like the feel of it out of the packet. Not wanting anything to go to waste, and not feeling like making the effort to go and swap the ‘offending’ item, a few weeks later I used the potato flour to make an adaption of my wholewheat chilli pancakes.

"Chilli Crumpets"

Chilli Crumpets

Did you read the beginning of this post? About me needing to pay attention? Well, these chilli crumpets don’t have any chilli in them – or at least they didn’t when I published the recipe. The lovely Blubee sent me a kind e-mail to tell me I had left the ingredient out of the recipe! And, so, I am back here to edit and add the ingredient. As I say: Perfection is something to be achieved, not yet attained.

Chilli Crumpets
  • 165g potato flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 10mls dried chilli flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  1. mix the dry ingredients together
  2. whisk together the egg and milk
  3. add to the dry ingredients
  4. add the butter and whisk in
  5. using a tablespoon measure ladle the batter onto a flat griddle, turn once when bubbles appear

Click on the links for conversions and notes.


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I want to start out by sharing with you, that every Wednesday is meant to be herb day here, but somehow this has not happened with success. I only type up the post on the Tuesday if I have time. Also, I would venture out into my garden to take a photograph of my dill, but it is November and even though that means summer, it is actually winter here. It is overcast and miserable and raining. Very unseasonable weather for us (and please don’t blame climate change, we have been coming out of an ice age for a LONG time now). So, with that said, here is today’s post, with the photograph sourced from Wikipedia as usual.

Dill has a slight caraway taste and a long history of use in Indian cooking. It is an annual plant with feathery, aromatic, blue-green foliage and attractive flat-headed compound umbels of yellow flowers, which are followed by small elliptical flat seeds.

Dill requires full sun and a well drained, moist soil. Sow seeds directly into the soil in spring after the last frost, lightly covering them with soil and keep them moist until they germinate, or plant seedlings with the potting soil attached. In frost free areas you can plant dill in autumn.

Thin plants to about 5cm apart, and stake if necessary. Harvest leaves as required and spread them thinly on paper, then microwave them to retain good colour and fragrance. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place (this goes for all herbs and spices). Store fresh leaves in a plastic bag in the fridge, or chop them finely, put into ice trays, top up with water and freeze. Harvest the seeds after the heads have dried on the plant.

With the taste reminiscent of anise and parsley, the fresh leaves complement soft cheeses, white sauces, egg dishes, seafood and chicken, salads, soups and vegetable dishes, especially potatoes. Dill is famously used in gravadlax. Add fresh dill to hot dishes just before serving, as cooking diminishes its flavour. Dill seeds are used in pickling spice mixtures, in breads and in commercial seasonings for meat. Personally, I love fresh avocado, with lime, cream cheese, black pepper and dill.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs


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Farfalle Con Broccoli E Alici | Farfalle With Broccoli And Anchovies Recipe

We eat pasta at least once a week and for a long time, I wrote down exactly what we had made so that I could share my recipes with you. At one stage my draft folder had so many pasta recipes in it, I decided to stop writing down what I was making. Only on one occasion has this not been a good thing, as I made the most amazing pasta the other night and I am not sure I can recreate the dish. Not having a pasta dish to share with you this week would be ironic, as I am hosting Presto Pasta Nights. I turned to my copy of The Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kenedy and chose this dish to share with you. This is the second time I have cooked from the book, the first being gemelli. This will not be the last and I am challenging myself to cook one dish from each section of this book. The book describes each pasta shape and lets you know which ingredients go with the specific pasta. Farfalle is described as being 39mm long and 27.5mm wide and are often dressed with light vegetable sauces as a summer pasta, to eat outside when the butterflies are in full swing.

"Farfalle With Broccoli And Anchovies"

Farfalle With Broccoli And Anchovies

Farfalle Con Broccoli E Alici | Farfalle with Broccoli and Anchovies
from The Geometry of Pasta page 95
  • 160g farfalle
  • 1 head broccoli cut into florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed dried chilli flakes
  • 30g anchovy fillets, chopped and moistened with a spoon of water
  • 60mls cream
  • 50g grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
  1. put on a pot of water to boil for the pasta
  2. when boiling add salt, and blanche the broccoli until nearly soft
  3. remove and set aside
  4. cook the farfalle as per the packet instructions
  5. in a large frying pan fry the garlic in the oil until is starts to colour
  6. turn off the heat and add the chilli
  7. when the oil stops sizzling, add the anchovies
  8. crush with a wooden spoon to dissolve into the oil
  9. when the pasta is almost ready, add the cream to the garlic and return to the heat
  10. drain the pasta (reserve the pasta water) and add to the sauce with the broccoli
  11. cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coat the pasta
  12. add the Parmesan and plenty of black pepper at the end
  13. add a tablespoon of pasta water if it all gets a bit too claggy


Please see the Secret Santa post! I need one more blogger from each of the following areas to make this work: Australia, England, Spain, Italy, France. Also, could the American bloggers who said they would take part PLEASE send me an e-mail lavenderandlimeblog (AT) gmail (DOT) com with your postal address.

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Mashed Potatoes Recipe

This month, the Crazy Cooking Challenge is to make mashed potatoes. I think my recipe is awesome (of course), but doing the usual, I entered the term into Google, chose pages from South Africa, and came up with a recipe from Real Men Can Cook. The recipe is written just like I imagine Fritz would speak. I decided to make lamb shanks for Dave’s birthday for the competition running on yuppiechef. Jamie Oliver suggests a celeriac and potato mash to go with it. But, celeriac is not in season in South Africa. I chose to use this recipe for the mash. I would definitely try it again with the baking powder, but I would use my ricer as I prefer not mashing them with a hand held masher.

"Mashed Potatoes"

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes
From Real Men Can Cook
  • 1 potato per person, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 15g butter
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • salt for seasoning
  1. boil the potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes – or until cooked
  2. strain the potatoes
  3. wipe out your pot and add the cream and the butter
  4. add the potatoes and the baking powder and some salt
  5. mash them using a potato masher – you may need to add a bit more cream at this stage
  6. check the seasoning and adjust to suit your palate
Cooks Notes
I would steam my potatoes, but I used Fritz’s method here

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Please see the Secret Santa post!


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