RECIPE: Braised Beef Short Rib, Pickle And Cheese Sandwich

Nothing shouts comfort food more than a warm gooey grilled cheese sandwich – the kind of ‘stick to your ribs’ heaven than only crusty bread and warm melted cheese can achieve, says Stéfan.  Add beef short rib slowly braised in Nederburg 56HUNDRED Merlot and a few pickles to balance things out and cheesy heaven awaits.


Stéfan adds: “If I were making this at home – I would definitely prepare more than what I would need for only a few sandwiches.  The beef may be braised two to three days in advance – so just go ahead and make three days’ worth.”

The lively, fruity and smooth-drinking Merlot forms part of the Nederburg 56Hundred range.  It is easy to drink, perfect for everyday drinking and I would personally recommend it for aspiring wine drinkers.  A bottle goes for R48.00.


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Slow Braised Beef Short Rib, Pickle and Cheese Sandwich, Grilled

By Stéfan Marais of Societi Bistro


150g flaked braised beef short rib (see below)

70g aged raw milk cheddar, such as Prince Albert Royal, thinly sliced

2 slices of your favourite bread

40g butter

Sliced pickles of your choice – I love the humble dill cucumber


To Assemble:

  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Lay half of the cheese on the one unbuttered slice.
  2. Top with the pickle, then the flaked beef short rib, and lastly, the other half of the cheese.  See where we are going with the two layers of cheese?
  3. Top with the other side of bread, butter facing outwards.  Gently press down.
  4. Grill until the cheese has melted over the contents and it looks like a heavenly cheesy melange of greatness.


For the braised beef short rib:


2kg beef short rib cut into 5cm pieces (boneless) – you know you are going to make more than one of these – so just cook the extra beef

2 tspn coconut oil

1 large onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 stick of celery, washed and cut

4 cloves of garlic, roughly crushed

¾ bottle of Nederburg 56HUNDRED Merlot

1 bouquet garni

Freshly ground salt and pepper




  1. Season the short rib generously with salt and pepper.
  2. In a heavy-based pot, heat the coconut oil and sear the meat on all sides.
  3. Remove meat and reserve on a plate.  Add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic to the pot.  Stir and lightly colour.
  4. Pour the wine into the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape any sticky bits on the bottom of the pan loose.  Don’t skip this step – there is some amazing flavour clinging to the bottom of your pot.
  5. Bring the wine to a light simmer and add the bouquet garnish and seared beef.
  6. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven for 3 hours at 160°C.
  7. Carefully remove the pot and lid.  Use a pair of tongs to remove the meat and reserve.  The short rib should be soft and almost falling apart.
  8. Strain the sauce through a sieve and rinse the pot.
  9. Place the sauce back into the pot with the meat.
  10. Place on a low heat and reduce slowly until most of the liquid has evaporated but the mixture is still moist.
  11. Gently pull the meat into rustic pieces using two forks.
  12. Reserve until you are ready to enter cheesy heaven.
  13. Enjoy with the other ¼ (or another whole) bottle of Nederburg 56HUNDRED Merlot.


About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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