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Slow-cooked BBQ Beef Short-rib, Horseradish Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream & Watercress with a Caramelised Onion Scone with Roast Beef Gravy

by Chef Paul Ainsworth

ingredients 33 ingredients
Prep 1 hour Cooking 3 hours
user icon Serves 4 people
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  • For the short rib
  • 1 whole boneless short rib of beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large Spanish onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 1 small bunch of thyme (1 sprig reserved to finish the dish)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • For the caramelised onions
  • 6 large Spanish onions
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g salted butter
  • 50ml sherry vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the scones
  • 170g Greek yogurt
  • 60g buttermilk
  • 4 egg yolks (retaining 1 tbsp for glazing)
  • 20g malt extract
  • 250g self-raising flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 85g Spelt Flour (or Emmer or Khorosan flour)
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g Gran Padano or Parmesan, grated
  • 30g grated cheddar
  • 75g unsalted butter, diced
  • 100g caramelised onions
  • For the Marmite butter
  • 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Marmite
  • To finish
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 small bunch watercress
  • 227g tub of Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh horseradish, peeled



  • Large heavy-based, ovenproof pan
  • Tongs
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Knife
  • Tray
  • Kitchen paper
  • Tin foil
  • Metal skewer
  • Slotted spoon/sturdy spatula
  • Serrated knife
  • Large bowl
  • Jug
  • Stand mixer with paddle
  • Cling film
  • 60mm round cutter
  • Baking sheet
  • Teaspoon
  • Pastry brush


Braise the short rib

  • Preheat your oven to 160°C.
  • Heat a large heavy-based, ovenproof pan over medium high heat. Season the short rib generously with salt and freshly ground pepper then carefully add the vegetable oil to the pan until gently smoking. Caramelise the beef all over on all sides, carefully turning with tongs.
  • While the beef is caramelising, prepare the carrot, celery and onion by peeling and chopping into thumb-sized pieces.
  • When the beef is evenly coloured all over, remove from the pan onto a tray. Carefully tip the used oil out of the pan and wipe the pan clean with some kitchen paper.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Add the vegetables to the pan and colour deeply without burning. When the vegetables are beautifully roasted add the tomato puree, immediately followed by the red wine. Reduce the wine by half then add the beef stock.
  • Carefully return the short rib to the pan followed by the thyme and bay leaf. The beef should be covered by stock. If you need to top up the pan with boiling water. Cover the pan with a lid or some tin foil and place in the oven.
  • Braise for 2-3 hours until the beef is just tender. Test this with a metal skewer or small knife; it should be tender but not falling apart. Remove the beef from the pan using a slotted spoon or sturdy spatula, cool to temperature then refrigerate to set for easier portioning.
  • Pass the braising liquid through a sieve into a clean saucepan then place over a medium heat and reduce until you have an intense sauce consistency. When the beef is chilled and firm, using a serrated knife carve the beef into 1.5 cm thick slices.


  1. Make the caramelised onions
  • Peel the onions and slice them in half. Thinly slice the onions and transfer them to a large bowl. Season well with salt and mix well to separate all the slices. Add the butter to a large heavy-based pan, and heat on medium heat until bubbling but without colour at this stage.
  • Add all the onions to the pan, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes with the lid on without browning. The sliced onions will become soft and sweet and have released all their moisture.
  • Remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring regularly until the onions are deeply caramelised. When you have achieved a uniform, deep colour, you will have some lovely sticky caramelised onions stuck on the bottom of the pan, don’t worry, this is exactly what you’re looking for.
  • At this stage add the vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan. Remove the onions from the pan and separate out 100g for the scones. The remaining onions can be reheated in a small pan or microwave to assemble the dish later.


  1. Make the caramelised onion scones
  • Combine the Greek yoghurt, buttermilk, egg yoks and malt in a jug. Mix well and store in the refrigerator.
  • Combine the two flours, salt, baking powder and cheeses in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the butter and mix on slow speed for 10-15 minutes until you achieve a breadcrumb-like texture. Alternatively, mixing by hand will be just as effective.
  • Add the caramelised onions to the yoghurt mix and mix well, then pour slowly from the jug into the dry ingredients. When you have a rough dough tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and bring the dough together by hand.
  • Next roll out your dough into a round 3cm high slab, slide this onto a tray, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 15- 20 minutes. Remove the scone dough from the fridge and using 60mm round cutter cut out your 8 scones. Flour well before cutting out each one by pressing in a straight downward motion. Tap out firmly and confidently onto the baking sheet.
  • Make sure all your scones are presented with the smoothest side facing up and are well-spaced as they will expand to about twice their original volume as they cook.
  • Next carefully brush the top of each scone with egg yolk. Bake for 13-14 minutes until golden brown and risen. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.


  1. Make the Marmite butter
  • Whisk together the unsalted butter and marmite and keep at room temperature.


  1. Assemble the dish
  •  Preheat your grill to its highest setting.
  • First warm the sliced beef in the sauce using a saucepan over medium heat. Slice the scones in half and grill until beautifully toasted. Brush generously with the marmite butter all over.
  • Arrange three slices of beef on top of each scone half. Add a few leaves of thyme and some small sprigs of watercress on each.
  • Top each beef scone with a teaspoon of Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream and generously grate over the horseradish to your liking. For the final touch spoon over some of the remaining beef sauce.


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