October 3, 2023

Cabernet Franc–braised Short Ribs

Recipe: Ex Nihilo

“This hearty braised beef dish uses what is fast becoming one of the Okanagan Valley’s—and Ex Nihilo’s—signature grape varieties, Cabernet Franc. This is an ideal dish to make ahead for a dinner party. The flavors simply become deeper and better integrated with time.” – Dawn Postnikoff and Joanne Sasvari


Short Ribs

  • 4 1/2 lbs bone-in beef short ribs or boneless chuck flat
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 pods black cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp salt


  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped (4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle Ex Nihilo Cabernet Franc
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 to 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 10 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Fresh pasta, to serve
  • Seasonal vegetables, steamed or grilled, to serve


Yield: Serves 4

Make Short Ribs

  1. Clean short ribs and remove excess fat and membrane from the back side. Set aside.
  2. Add all spices, except for salt, to a small frying pan and toast over medium heat, until fragrant. Set aside to cool slightly. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the spices. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in salt.
  3. Rub seasoning over short ribs and allow to marinate in the fridge for 2 to 12 hours.

Make Braise and Assemble Dish

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a non-reactive bowl, combine tomatoes, brown sugar, wine (reserving 1/4 cup to deglaze pan), molasses, tomato paste and soy sauce. Set aside.
  3. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add short ribs and sear on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add shallots, garlic and mushrooms to the saucepan and cook for 10 minutes until caramelized. Deglaze with the reserved wine, then stir in tomato mixture. Simmer for 15 minutes, until reduced by a third. Add stock and cinnamon stick.
  5. Return short ribs back to the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and braise in the oven for 3 to 31/2 hours, turning the ribs every hour, until very tender.
  6. Discard cinnamon sick. Transfer short ribs to a plate. Using an immersion blender, blend sauce to your desired consistency. Return short ribs to pan.
  7. Serve with sauce over fresh pasta, with vegetables.

Excerpted from Okanagan Eats: Signature Chefs’ Recipes from British Columbia’s Wine Valleys by Dawn Postnikoff and Joanne Sasvari. Photography by Jon Adrian. © 2023 by Dawn Postnikoff and Joanne Sasvari. Recipes copyright © 2023 by individual restaurants. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved