"Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate." Someone said that. To show your gratitude, adoration or contrition to that special someone in your life, what better way is there than cooking them a delicious feast? Invite some friends! Crack open a bottle of red! In our eyes at least nothing breathes intimacy like candles, gentle inebriation, flirty eyes over the serving spoon, tender beef, creamy dauphinois and, later, the world's most sublime brownie.
Braised Short Ribs
- Preheat the oven to 140°C.
- Start with the beef. Season each of the ribs thoroughly with salt, then brown them off in a frying pan and set them aside.
- Get a large casserole - as large as you can - and add a little more oil. Fry the garlic briefly and add the onions, then cook them on a medium heat until they've softened. Add tomato puree, then add the wine and bring to a simmer, then add the thyme, pepper, ribs and beef stock. Add water to cover if necessary.
- Bring to a simmer and put the lid on, then place in the oven for 4-5 hours until they are almost (but not quite) falling off the bone.
- At this stage, remove them from the sauce and keep them somewhere warm wrapped in clingfilm.
- On the hob, reduce the braising on a high boil until you reach the consistency of sauce you're after. Before serving, heat the ribs in the gravy.
Cheese & Bacon Dauphinoise
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly.
- Place them in a large, wide pan and cover with the cream and milk. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then take off the heat and set aside to continue cooking gently.
- In a greased ovenproof dish use a slotted spoon to layer the potatoes with the bacon and cheese.
- Pour the cream over the top and bake for around an hour to an hour and half, covering with foil if the top looks too dark, until the potatoes are soft.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Pour hot melted butter over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Whisk eggs and sugars together until light.
- Add the chocolate/butter mix to the eggs and sugar and stir to make a glossy batter.
- Fold in the flours, cocoa powder and nuts and pour into a parchment lined baking tin. Bake for 20 minutes for gooey brownies, 24 if you like them more cake-esque. We like to leave our brownies to set completely in the fridge as they become deliciously thick and fudgey.