Guinness-braised short ribs with crispy oyster gremolata and buttermilk

GeorgeFarrugia_BeefRibs_960x540_2250.jpg (1)
  • medium
  • 4-6
  • 4 hours 20 minutes
Not yet rated

A knockout sharing dish that's perfect for cold weather, this recipe takes the classic combination of beef and oysters and amps up the flavour tenfold. Short ribs are slow-cooked in a rich Guinness, treacle and bacon sauce until falling off the bone, before being garnished with deep-fried oysters tossed in a zesty, herby gremolata. The light buttermilk sauce brings everything together with a lactic creaminess.

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First published in 2020




Short rib

Buttermilk sauce

Oyster gremolata

To garnish


Preheat an oven to 150°C. Heat a generous glug of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Add the carrots, onions, garlic and tomatoes, along with the peppercorns, juniper berries, cloves and star anise, and fry for 5-10 minutes until coloured
Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves, cook for a few more minutes, then pour in the white wine and reduce by half. Add the veal (or chicken) stock, give everything a good stir, then transfer the contents of the pan into a large casserole dish
In the same pan, fry the bacon until coloured, then pour this into the casserole along with any fat. Deglaze the frying pan with a little water, scraping up any bits on the bottom, then add this to the casserole too
Place the frying pan back over a medium-high heat. Season the short ribs liberally with salt and pepper, then colour them all over in the pan until deeply caramelised. Transfer to the casserole dish and drain any leftover fat from the frying pan

Pour the Guinness into the frying pan and simmer for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol, then stir in the treacle. Transfer this to the casserole, then give everything a good stir. Place the lid on the casserole dish and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3-4 hours

While the beef cooks, make the buttermilk sauce. Shuck the oysters and strain their juices into a bowl (set the oysters aside in the fridge to make the gremolata later). Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender along with the oyster juices and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and gently heat (do not allow to boil). Very gently simmer for 5 minutes, then pass through a fine sieve. Set aside to reheat before serving
When the short ribs have been cooking for 3-4 hours and are very nearly ready, make the oyster gremolata. Take the reserved oysters and cut them in half, then place the flour in 1 bowl, the eggs in another and the breadcrumbs in a third. Coat the oyster halves in flour, then egg then breadcrumbs, ensuring they are completely coated
  • plain flour, for dusting, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 200g of breadcrumbs
Bring a deep-fat fryer or deep pan of oil to 180°C. Meanwhile, mix together the chervil, parsley, lemon zest and horseradish, then season with the salt and Espelette pepper
Deep-fry the oysters until crisp, then toss in the herb mix
To serve, pile the short ribs onto a serving platter, ensuring they’re coated in plenty of the reduced sauce. Place the oysters on top, sprinkling over any leftover gremolata. Pour over the buttermilk sauce, garnish with oyster leaves and edible flowers and serve

After swapping a law degree for a career in the kitchen, George Farrugia's flavour-driven, classically rooted cooking has made him one of the UK's rising culinary stars.

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