A pressure cooker is a great way to use flavoursome inexpensive cuts of meat, turning them from tough to falling-off-the-bone in minutes rather than hours. The classic pico de gallo salsa (translating to mean “rooster’s beak” sauce), made with fresh tomato, chilli and coriander, works wonderfully with the sweet and rich flavours of the braise to invigorate the palate.
Beef short rib braise
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 4 x 300 g beef short ribs (see Note)
- 2 ancho chillies
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ white onion, finely diced
- 3 cumquats, rind grated and juiced
- 2 tsp grated piloncillo (see Note)
- 2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 400 ml beef stock
- 1 tbsp pinole (see Note)
- 200 ml crème fraÎche, to garnish
- 4 radishes, julienned, to garnish
- coriander leaves, to garnish
Pickled red onion
- 1 red onion, sliced into 2 mm rings
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 lime, juiced
Pico de gallo
- ½ cup finely diced white onion
- ½ cup tomato, seeded and diced
- 2 serrano chillies, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ cup chopped coriander
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 20 minutes
To make the braised short ribs, heat a 25 cm saucepan over high heat. Add the vegetable oil. Season the ribs well with salt, then sear on all sides for 3 minutes or until well coloured. Drain off the oil and transfer the ribs to a pressure cooker, arranging in a single layer.
In a dry frying pan on medium heat, toast the ancho chillies for about 15 seconds each side or until softened. Allow to cool. Remove and discard the seeds and stem from the chillies, then tear roughly before adding to the beef.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the pinole, crème fraÎche and radish, and cover the pressure cooker, securing the lid firmly. Bring to the boil and when the pressure valve starts releasing steam, place a timer on for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, to prepare the pickled onions, combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes, then drain off any excess liquid.
To prepare the pico de gallo, simply mix the ingredients well, and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving.
When the timer sounds, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and allow to cool. Remove the lid, then transfer the ribs to a warmed dish. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Strain the remaining liquid through a fine sieve into a small saucepan. Add the pinole and bring to the boil. Cook for 3 minutes or until thickened.
Remove the bones from the ribs, then place onto a serving dish and dress with the reduced sauce. Garnish with radish and coriander leaves. Serve with side dishes of pickled onion, crème fraiche and pico de gallo.
• If short ribs are unavailable, veal shin or osso bucco make great substitutes.
• Dark brown sugar may be used in place of piloncillo.
• If pinole (a coarse flour made from maize and other herbs) is unavailable, take 2 tbsp masa harina and warm gently in a dry pan until lightly toasted, stirring all the while. When it smells slightly nutty it is ready to use as a substitute for pinole.