Braised Beef Short Rib with Sweet Onion Soubise and Port Reduction

The Bistro scooped the prestigious “Best Food” award at this year’s Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival.

More than 4,000 visitors flocked to Camana Bay’s Festival Green to sample culinary creations from more than 40 food and wine vendors.

The Bistro’s mouthwatering braised short-rib with onion soubise and port reduction was a hit with festival goers, along with the Taste’s five secret judges, a panel of experienced chefs, well-traveled foodies, food critics, and wine connoisseurs.

James Sedgely, Bistro manager, said the dish perfectly encapsulates what The Bistro is all about.

“Simple, tasty food with French flair, packed with rustic rich flavors,” James says. “We take a no-mess approach and let the qualities of the ingredients and preparations speak for themselves without an over fussy presentation.”

James says they chose to serve the dish at the Taste as it is a popular, classically French dish, which is most notably found in Provence, in the South Eastern region of France.  He adds that the award-winning dish will appear as a regular special on the menu at The Bistro.

“A lot of work goes into creating and perfecting a dish and then making it our own,” James explains. “It reflects on the whole team, not just the kitchen brigade that created it. Obviously it’s gratifying to see our customers leave happy, but to win an accolade such as this is great recognition not just for us – but for everyone in the hospitality industry.”

Other award winners at Cayman’s longest-running food festival were The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s restaurants Seven and Andiamo. The two restaurants, which both shared a booth, won not only the award for “Best Dessert” but also the coveted “People’s Choice” award, serving up gnocchi poutine and sticky toffee pudding to hungry festival goers throughout the event.

If you enjoyed The Bistro’s award-winning dish at The Taste, then here’s how to cook this mouthwatering dish at home.

Braised beef short rib with sweet onion soubise and port reduction

Courtesy of The Bistro.
Serves 6-8

  • 5 pounds beef short rib (have your butcher trim away any silver skin and remove bones)
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • ½ cup port wine
  • 1 liter beef stock (can be purchased at any local supermarket)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Season short ribs liberally with salt and pepper on all sides. Pour oil into smoking hot pan and carefully place ribs into pan. Sear on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown in color.

Once the ribs are seared on all sides, place into a roasting pan along with the remaining ingredients, cover with foil and place into the preheated oven. Cook for 4 hours, or until the texture is moist.

Remove ribs carefully from pan, reserving the braising liquid. Strain and chill liquid for 1 hour, remove from fridge and discard the fat.

Place liquid into a medium saucepan, simmer on medium-high heat until thickened and syrupy. Reheat the ribs with a small amount of beef stock for 7-10 minutes.

Next, baste the ribs with the sauce reduction. Serve with the sweet onion soubise.

Sweet onion soubise

  • 5 medium onions, sliced julienne
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup Arborio rice
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup gruyere cheese or Parmesan
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Thyme leaves, optional

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a preheated large sauté pan melt butter on medium-low heat. Place the onions into the preheated pan and sauté until onions soften but have no color.

Transfer the onions to a medium mixing bowl and proceed to add the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly and transfer to a greased or nonstick cookie tray.

Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or until rice is tender but al dente.