Bring on the barbecue

Keele University’s Executive Chef, Peter Walters, fires up the barbie for some delicious summer servings

 “An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.’  – Will Rogers 

Well maybe one of the vegetables below will make you smile, or at least inspire you to cook something fresh and light for the hot days of July. All these are in season so take your pick. Aubergine, beetroot, courgette, fennel, french beans, globe artichoke, kohlrabi, mangetout, peas, runner beans.

We’re cooking beef short ribs this month. Also known as Jacob’s Ladder, these ribs are cheap to buy and can be used on a barbecue. You can strip the meat off the bones when cooked and put the whole lot together with the kohlrabi and shallots in a wrap if you like. 

Back to the vegetables though, and who couldn’t get inspired to cook something from the list above? But it’s the kohlrabi that’s the star here. For me, it has that ‘je ne sais quoi’ of a flavour, and a beautiful crunch to bite into. You can always add it to your coleslaw to give an old recipe a new twist. 

Short Ribs of Beef with Kohlrabi, Mustard & Dill Cream, Crispy Shallots

For 4 persons

1 litre Cola
150g Dark Soy Sauce
70g Brown Sauce
150g Tomato Ketchup
50ml Worcestershire Sauce
5g Garlic Puree
2 Jacob’s Ladder short ribs, cut into individual ribs
For the crisp shallots
250g Butter, diced
1 Banana Shallot, peeled and finely slice 
For the mustard cream
250g Double Cream
25g Wholegrain Mustard
5g Dill
For the kohlrabi
100g raspberry vinegar
200g olive oil
1 kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced
To decorate
Rocket leaves
Parmesan cheese, grated

1.) Heat the oven to 100C. Mix together the cola, soy sauce, brown sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce and garlic in a bowl. Place the ribs in an ovenproof dish and pour over the cooking liquor you have mixed. Cover the dish with foil and cook for 6-7 hours or use a slow cooker for this.

2.) Remove from the oven and then the ribs from the cooking liquor and allow to cool a little. Place the ribs in a frying pan. Add enough of the braising liquor to come a quarter of the way up the ribs. Place on a medium heat and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced to a thick sauce. Ensure the meat is coated well with the sauce.  

For the crisp shallots, melt the butter in a pan over a high heat. Add the shallots and stir constantly.

3.) When the shallot starts to colour, remove from the pan and strain through a sieve. Season shallots with salt then drain on kitchen roll. To make mustard cream, half whip the cream. Mix in the mustard, dill and a little salt.  

4.) Next for the kohlrabi salad, blend the vinegar and oil together. Place kohlrabi in a bowl and coat with the dressing of oil and vinegar. Leave for 10 minutes to soften.

5.) Serve onto four plates dividing the meat then scatter the crisp shallots over the meat and place a spoonful of mustard cream and the kohlrabi alongside. Garnish with a few rocket leaves and finely grated parmesan.


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