Tuscan Braised Beef with Farro Pilaf

Slow cooking makes for delicious deep flavour and fall-off-the-bone goodness in this classic man-magnet dish served over a veggie-rich pilaf. Beef belongs in this plant-forward dinner. DYK that folks who eat meat are more likely to eat more fruit and veggies. It’s true!
Yield 6 Servings Prep. Time 30 min Cooking Time 180 min Total Time 210 min


Here are the following ingredients:

Braised Ribs

  • 4 lb (2 kg) thick-cut Beef Bone-in Chuck Short Ribs (about 6 ribs)
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable or olive oil, divided
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) fennel seeds, crushed (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) dry red wine
  • 2 cups (500 mL) no-salt-added beef broth
  • 1 cup (250 mL) canned no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 8 oz (250 g) mixed sliced mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake and king oyster
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) farro
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups (500 mL) no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 4 cups (1 L) baby spinach (abut 4 oz/125 g)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese

Shopping List

Here are the following shopping items to buy:


Follow these cooking methods/directions:

  1. Braised Ribs: Pat ribs dry with paper towels; season all over with salt and pepper to your taste. Heat half of oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or enamelled cast-iron roaster. Brown beef in batches, adding more oil as needed, for about 10 minutes, until browned all over. Transfer to a plate.

  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add carrots, celery, onion, rosemary and fennel seeds (if using) to pot. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot; simmer until reduced by half. Stir in garlic. Add broth, tomatoes and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.

  3. Return ribs to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Cover and cook in preheated 325°F oven, turning ribs every 45 minutes, for about 2½ to 3 hours, uncovering for the last 30 minutes, or until meat is very tender.

  4. Pilaf: Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Cook mushrooms, onion and thyme, stirring often, for 7 to 10 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Stir in farro and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or liquid is absorbed and farro is tender. Stir in spinach, peas and Parmesan. Remove from heat and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted and peas heated through.

  5. Discard bay leaves from rib sauce. Skim as much fat as possible off the top of sauce; discard. Divide pilaf evenly among 8 plates. Top each serving with a short rib. Stir in vinegar and parsley into sauce; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon sauce over each rib.