Meliz Cooks Christmas with Blossom Avenue | Blossom Avenue

Meliz Cooks Christmas with Blossom Avenue

Published: 9 December 2020

Spiced Beef Short Ribs & Caramelised Shallots with Pomegranate Molasses, Honey & Cranberries

There are some ingredients that are undeniably synonymous with Christmas, and for me, cranberries come high up on that list. Team them up with the sweetly spiced tones of cinnamon and bay, flavours both reminiscent of my beloved Cypriot cuisine, and the tangy sweet combination of pomegranate molasses and honey, and what you have here is a wonderful festive twist on my popular beef short ribs recipe. The meat falls apart after cooking in the beautifully rich and unctuous sauce, and even better still, there’s hardly any washing up as everything is cooked in one pan and popped into one dish to cook (ok, maybe just another pan for the mash!).

I hope you enjoy making this deliciously Christmassy main course – would you swap your turkey for it?! I know my family would!


(Serves 4)

2 tbsp olive oil

4 large beef short ribs (300-400g each rib)

A few sprigs of thyme

4 banana shallots, halved lengthways

1/2 garlic bulb (sliced through horizontally)

20g butter

1 beef stock cube

2 tbsp beef gravy granule

500ml boiling water

1 tbsp tomato purée

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

3 tbsp honey

2 tbsp cranberry sauce

1 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

150g fresh cranberries

Salt and pepper to season



Preheat the oven to 180c fan (200c conventional).

Dissolve the stock cube and gravy granules in the boiling water and leave to one side.

Season the short ribs all over with a good pinch of sea salt and coarse black pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, and sear the short ribs, with the thyme sprigs, until browned all over, (make sure you sear the sides too) and pop them into a large casserole dish (with a lid). Add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves to the dish.

In the frying pan you used to sear the ribs, add the shallots, cut side down, and cook for a couple of minutes until they start to brown and caramelise in the beef flavoured oil. Add the butter, then carefully flip the shallots over and brown the underside for a couple of minutes. Remove them to a plate and leave to one side.

Now to the same pan, add the beef gravy stock and stir in the tomato purée, pomegranate molasses, honey and cranberry sauce, let it come to boiling point then carefully pour the sauce over the ribs in the casserole dish.

Pop the lid on the dish and cook on the bottom shelf for around 3 hours, stirring and basting halfway through (if they are really meaty ribs, I leave them for 3 1/2 hrs).

After 3 hours, take the dish out of the oven, add the caramelised onions, pop the lid back on and cook for a further 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, carefully make some space around the onions, pop the cranberries in, put the lid back on, and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Serve with fresh greens and creamy garlic mash (for the mash, boil 1kg Maris piper potatoes and 1 large peeled garlic clove in a large pan of water, drain, then mash everything through a sieve and gently reheat with 30g of butter, 100ml milk and 50ml double cream, constantly stirring until it’s hot but not piping. Don’t let the bottom catch. Salt and pepper to season).

Written by: Meliz Berg

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