I love this recipe for the delicious, multi-layered flavor that the final dish offers. My boys Jude and Jax love this dish; it's a favorite for Sunday night dinner!
Technique tip: Save time and cook the short ribs a day ahead. Swap option: In place of cippolini onions, you can use Spanish onions. If you're worried about the richness of the dish, skip the Gruyère.
For the herb sachet:
Lay out a square of cheesecloth and place the thyme, orange peel, star anise and cinnamon in the center. Gather up the corners to create a small pouch/bundle. Tie the top with kitchen twine.
For the short-ribs:1.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.2.
In a pot, bring the red wine and stock to a simmer and reduce by half. Remove from heat and add the herb sachet.3.
Season the beef with salt and black pepper, toss in flour and set aside.4.
In a large heavy bottom skillet, heat the oil and carefully add the seasoned beef and sear until very well browned on all sides.5.
Remove the beef carefully from the skillet and add to an ovenproof casserole.6.
Pour the red wine liquid over the meat, cover tightly and place in the pre heated oven for 2½ hours.7.
Remove from oven, discard the sachet, season with salt to taste. Let rest until ready to assemble the cottage pie.
For glazed winter root vegetables:1.
Place the butter and water in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the vegetables, season with salt and simmer gently until almost all of the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes, gently stirring the vegetables to ensure even cooking.2.
Add one more cup of water, the brown sugar and thyme leaves. Cook slowly for another ten minutes, until tender and shining with the brown sugar-butter glaze.3.
Remove from heat and add the black pepper and sherry vinegar; adjust salt to taste and set aside.
For the mashed potatoes:1.
Place peeled potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to a rapid simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl and let potatoes let off some steam.2.
Pass the potatoes through a food mill and place back into a saucepan. Heat pot over medium heat, stirring until heated through and steam begins to come off the bottom of the pot. Add butter in steps, allowing each addition of butter to be almost melted before adding the next until it all has been incorporated.3.
Slowly add the heavy cream and the Gruyère and fold gently with a rubber spatula over medium heat until the cheese and cream are fully incorporated.
Place the beef short-ribs in the center of a large ovenproof casserole (be sure to add all of the delicious red wine jus along with the beef).2.
Spoon the glazed root vegetables over and around the beef stew.3.
Using a large kitchen spoon, gently cover the entire top of the beef and vegetable mixture with the mashed potatoes.4.
Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread the mashed potatoes and make small wavy textures for design effect with the potatoes.5.
Place the casserole in the oven (on a sheet pan for ease of transferring in and out of the oven) and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes brown slightly.6.
Sprinkle with freshly cut chives and black pepper before serving.