Short Ribs, Braised Lamb, and Slow-Cooker Beef and Farro Stew

Short Ribs, Braised Lamb, and Slow-Cooker Beef and Farro Stew all pair well with our 2013 Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon

We’re very excited to re-introduce Heritage our Cabernet Sauvignon this month.  It’s the perfect time for Heritage as its dark red and black fruits, tannic structure and herbaceous notes are perfect for the hearty winter dishes I’m ready to make.

One of the classic pairings with Cabernet is braised lamb.  As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, I’m a big Ina Garten fan.  I love the flavors she’s able to achieve with not overly complex recipes.  Ina’s Four Hour Braised Lamb with Provincial Beans is one of our favorites.  You can try her recipe here.

Another classic pairing is Short Ribs.  When I think of Short Ribs, I immediately go to one of our staff, Pamela, for her latest recipe.  Pamela is the Short Rib queen!  So I’ve asked her to share her recipe with you here. (below)

My first entry to the hearty winter dishes this year was a Slow-Cooker Beef and Barley Farro Stew, another great dish to pair with Cab.  This recipe came from Cooking Light.  The recipe calls for Barley but I substituted farro.  It was thick and delicious, and very easy to make.  Try it with barley or use my version with farro.

I hope you’ll try some of my ideas or come up with your own perfect pairing for Heritage!

Please share your recipes with us on Facebook!

Cheers!  Carolyn

Pamela’s Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs

(adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)

I’ve just recently discovered braised beef short ribs that are easy to make at home and still produce restaurant quality flavors. By using my pressure cooker I can have dinner on the table in around one hour. You can also make this in the slow cooker or in the oven (takes much longer). I serve mine with a garlic and parmesan riced cauliflower (low carb eater) and broccolini or any fresh green veggie.

 First you must use quality wine! I use Aver Family Vineyards wine like a Peite Sirah, but this month I was eager to try the 2013 Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon and OH MY…yummy!

I added a few more herbs to my version because I like bold flavors. Try some dried herbs like “herbs de provence” while it cooks and then add some fresh herbs at the end while reducing the sauce. To get the sauce thicker I’ve read adding gelatin does the trick. I’ll let you know next time if it works. For now I add a little flour to the sauce and just let it reduce by half.

Recipe for Boneless Beef Short Ribs with Cabernet Sauvignon (serves 6)

  • 3 pounds boneless short ribs, trimmed of excess fat

  • 2 tablespoons fat (bacon fat works good) or high temp cooking oil

  • 2 large onions, peeled and roughly cut

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 9 medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 3 cups Heritage Cabernet

  • 2 cup chicken broth

  • 1 (14.5 oz can) diced tomatoes, drained

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 large celery stalk chopped

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence

  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley

  • ¼ cup flour

  • Or

  • 1/4 cold water

  • 1/2 teaspoon gelatin


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat until smoking. (or use another heavy bottom pan)  Add half of beef and cook, without moving, until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn beef and continue to cook on second side until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes longer, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke. Transfer beef to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and brown the rest of the meat. Remove. Don’t forget to salt and pepper the ribs before cooking!

  1. Reduce heat to medium, pour off excess fat keeping about 1 tablespoon, add onions, celery and carrots, plus ¼ salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it browns on sides and bottom of pan, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

  1. Increase heat to medium-high, add wine and simmer, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add broth, tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. (this is where I add my herbs de provence) Add browned ribs and any accumulated juices to pot.

  1. Now put your pressure cooker lid on and get the rocker going to medium for 45 minutes to 1-hour. Check your pressure cooker instructions for cooking braised meats for settings and time needed. You can also cook ribs longer, if not completely tender.

  1. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat and carrots to serving platter and tent with foil. Strain cooking liquid through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator or bowl, extracting as much liquid as possible. Allow liquid to settle about 5 minutes and strain off fat. Return cooking liquid to a pan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 10 minutes. If you want a thicker sauce you can try this method I found on Cooks Illustrated. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin mixture; season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over meat.


Dennis Whitaker