Cooking with wine

Cooking with Wine

Bon Appétit!

Cooking with Wine

By Steve Walker-Duncan, M.Ed.,
CCC Department Chair,
Culinary Arts Camosun College
By Steve Walker-Duncan, M.Ed., CCC Department Chair, Culinary Arts Camosun College

With a hot dry weather forecast, this month’s recipe is a perfect “livin’ is easy” kind of summer dish you can make ahead of time. Then, leave it in a warm oven or on the BBQ while you enjoy more time outside with friends and family—and an ice-cold drink!

When you cook with wine, the rule of thumb is usually: if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it! In this case, however, the wine really does define the essence of the end product. While the beef is the star of the show, the wine most certainly is the ‘best supporting actor.’ It brings out the very best of the ribs with its acidity that tenderizes the meat and adds sweetness to the flavour.

Professional Cook students at Camosun Culinary Arts are taught how to tease and enhance flavours from the products that they work with. In a professional kitchen, the whole focus of everyone’s energy is to create the very best flavours with the ingredients available.

In this recipe, the layering of flavours builds upon each previous step, beginning with the proper seasoning of the meat. Seasoning creates a strong foundation for subsequent steps. The initial browning of each rib in hot fat produces a richness and colour to the dish that will have your guests salivating—before they even taste the finished product! Tomato paste contains sugars that caramelize during the third step. Adding wine as a final step helps to deglaze and cool the cooking sugars.

This dish does take some care and time, but the results are worth every minute. Use this method for any other tougher cut of meat. When the meat is shredded, the melt-in-your-mouth texture makes for a fantastic hot sandwich filling. Happy summer everyone. I’ll be back again with more savory dishes in the fall!

Find all of Steven’s contact info on the Camosun Culinary Arts portal listing page here on GoWestShore.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Yield: 1.5 kg or 10 to12 servings
2 kg 41/2 lbs Beef short ribs
75 ml 1/4 cup Oil or beef or bacon fat
165 g 1 cup Onions, diced
50 g 1/2 cup Celery, diced
50 g 1/2 cup Carrots, diced
3 ml 1 tsp Fresh thyme
3 ml 1 tsp Fresh rosemary
8 8 Garlic cloves, smashed
2 2 Bay leaves
80 ml 1/4 cup Tomato paste
750 ml 1 btl Red wine
70 g 1/4 cup Flour
1 L 4 cups Beef stock, hot
Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking with wine


  1. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil over high in an oven proof braising pan and sear meat on all sides.
  2. Remove beef from pan and set aside then add onion, carrot, celery to hot pan and cook until just starting to colour.
  3. Add garlic, herbs and tomato paste and stir continuously to avoid burning. Allow the tomato paste to ‘brown’ just a little and start to ‘stick’ on the bottom of the pan. Then, add a splash of wine to deglaze the crispy bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir continuously and reduce until dry and just starting to ‘stick’ once again. Repeat the deglazing action two more times.
  4. Make sure that all the liquid is evaporated and only oil remains. Then add the flour and stir until smooth. Add the remainder of the wine stirring vigorously to avoid lumps. Bring to a simmer and stir in the beef stock.
  5. Return the meat to the sauce and bring to a delicate simmer.
  6. Cover with tight fitting lid or foil and place in oven (or BBQ) at 145°C (300°F). Cook for 2.5 to 3 hours or until tender when a fork is inserted and given a gentle twist.
  7. Carefully remove the meat from the sauce and keep it covered while finishing the sauce.
  8. Strain the sauce into a clean pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce, if needed, in order to create a rich glossy consistency. The vegetables can be kept and used for garnish, if desired, although they will be very soft and well cooked.
  9. Return meat to the sauce and serve over potato or rice with fresh veggies.

About the author

Relative Posts

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.