Naturalaz smoky beef short ribs, broken gremolata, pumpkin silk and pangrattato

Take a look at this hearty winter classic with infinite depth and soul. This deconstructed version of succulent, slow-cooked, wine-braised beef ribs is infinitely simpler, especially when using Naturalaz Smoky Beef Short Ribs. This will make a delicious main for an à la carte menu or a crowd-pleasing function dish that’s easy to serve and requires minimal prep.



  • 1 pack Naturalaz Smoky Beef Short Ribs (173073), trimmed and portioned
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 100g pancetta, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons shitake mushroom seasoning (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 20ml maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3-4 sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 200ml red wine
  • 400g Italian crushed tomatoes
  • 300ml beef stock

Pumpkin silk

  • 1 whole Kent pumpkin
  • 30ml roasted walnut oil
  • 10ml maple syrup
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt


  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ bunch basil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 tablespoons toasted walnuts, crushed
  • Salt


  • 2 cups coarse breadcrumbs, made from stale sourdough
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes


To prepare the sauce in advance, dice the onion, carrot and celery into a brunoise (or blitz in a food processor). Mince the garlic and then sauté with mirepoix in oil until soft. Add the pancetta and wait for the fat to render, then add the spices and mushroom seasoning. Stir in the tomato paste and cook down for a minute before adding the maple syrup and Dijon mustard. Add the herbs and the wine, then simmer until reduced by half. Stir through the tomatoes and the stock and allow the sauce to simmer covered for 45 minutes.

For the pumpkin silk, halve the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and roast cut-side down on a lined tray at 180°c for 50 minutes (or until the flesh is soft). Set aside until cool. Scoop the flesh into a fine mesh sieve and strain over a bowl for at least an hour. Keep the strained pumpkin juice. Once cool, blitz the flesh in a food processor until silky smooth. Push through a drum sieve for a smoother purée. Add the oil, maple syrup and nutmeg. Season to taste.

The key to gremolata is fresh ingredients and a sharp knife. Traditionally, gremolata is only parsley, garlic and lemon, but this version has nuts. Leave them out if you want – it’s entirely up to you. This is best prepared at the last minute. And not for more than one service. Finely chop the parsley and basil and then mix with the garlic, lemon zest, toasted walnuts and a generous pinch of salt.

For the pangrattato, toss the breadcrumbs with the oil, garlic and salt. Toast until crisp and golden in the oven or a pan. Make sure you keep them moving for an even colour. Traditionally known as poor man’s parmesan, pangrattato is a delicious, crispy, garlicky and cheesy breadcrumb recipe from the ever-resourceful Southern Italians. A perfect example of ‘cucina povera’.

There are many ways to heat the ribs. For à la carte service, they can be pan-roasted, warmed in the sauce, chargrilled or heated in a hot oven. This will take about 15 minutes from cold. For large groups and functions, keep warm in a hot box. They also work well regen.

Notes: The residual golden pumpkin juice is a delicious by-product with lots of potential. Think drinks, desserts, risotto and more!

As seen in winter 2024

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