Saturday, November 13, 2021

Justification for Short Ribs with a Chili Wine Glaze and a fun book review #WinePW

There are a lot of celebrations in this post.  Let's start with the celebration that we are enjoying with Paso Robles Wine for our Wine Pairing Weekend Group.  The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance generously sent me 4 bottles of wine to help with the celebration.   I received no monetary compensation and all opinions and writings are strictly my own.

Paso Robles Wines
Let me start by saying that I LOVE Central Coastal California and the wines made there.  They were my first foray into the world of wine and started the love affair that has expanded to include wines from all over the world.  

I have grown to love Old World Wines but my first and true love is New World Wines, especially those from California.  My brother and his family live in Santa Margarita smack dab in the middle of the Paso Robles Wine area. 

Paso Robles Wine Region

This event is being hosted by Lori of  Dracaena Wines, also located in Paso Robles, and makers of some wonderful wines featuring Cab Franc.  I belong to their wine club and always look forward to receiving my shipment.  Visit their website if you are interested in learning more about Dracaeana Wines.  

I stole the map above from Lori's Preview Post for this month's event.  See that little white line to the north of San Luis Obispo?  That is where my brother lives....don't blink or you will miss his little town and you don't want to do that because while it may be small, it is mighty. It is surrounded by Santa Margarita Ranch complete with ziplining, wedding venues, natural beef program, Ancient Peak Vineyards and Apple Farm Restaurant and Inn.  

Santa Margarita also boasts The Range Restaurant which draws people from miles around for their excellent food and service.  It also is home to Magnolia Market of Joanna Gaines fame.

collage of CA trip

This collage is of our last trip to Paso Robles area, pre COVID.  You see my husband and I getting ready for our ziplining adventure on the Ranch and our daughter and great niece ziplining.  Under the girls is a photo of me with our host of this event and owner of Dracaena wines, Lori, and our mutual blogging friend, Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Cam.  The large gathering is of family and friends at my nephew's home.  He lives two doors down from my brother and next door to his brother and their properties all border that of the ranch.  It is lovely.  Lastly, you see a photo of Lori giving us a quick lesson on wine making.

As part of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, Lori was able to procure wines for those of us who wished to receive them.  I anxiously awaited my wines and was very excited when they arrived.


When I saw that one of the bottles was from Castoro Cellars I was very excited and couldn't wait to open it.  Castoro Cellars is the first California Winery that I ever visited.  I opened this bottle to pair with a Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Chicken and Tortellini.  I will be sharing that recipe and my tasting notes on the pairing with you on November 20th.


I began researching the other 3 wines as they were from wineries with which I am unfamiliar.  I had found a recipe for Short Ribs with a Chili Wine Glaze in an issue of Food and Wine that I had earmarked to make.  When reading up on Justification by Justin Vineyards, I noted that it was a blend of Cab Franc and Merlot.  I thought it would be perfect with the dinner I was making.

phone with book cover and wine

Coincidentally, as I was making these decisions and planning a celebration dinner with friends, I was reading a memoir called My Grape Year by Laura Bradbury.  This is a wonderful story of her travels as a teenage exchange student from her home in Canada to the Burgundy region of France.

It is a coming of age novel, where she learns of life outside of her Northern American roots, becomes fluent in French, learns all about French foods and wine, and falls madly, head over heels, in love with a man 5 years her senior.  

This man, Franck, takes her home to meet his family where the following conversation takes place:

 "This jam is delicious" I said.

I could tell that I had said the right thing, as a proud smile lit up her face. "Andre and I make it ourselves.  From the black currants we pick at a neighbor's house."

I had just been to the International Marketplace earlier that day and had bought a bottle of French Black Currant preserves to use in the short rib recipe.  I decided to share my enjoyment of this book along with my recipe and pairing notes.  Another reason to celebrate!!

Black Currant Preserves

This was the first of a series by Laura Bradbury that she started when COVID hit and she was forced into lockdown with the rest of the world.  I am now reading the 3rd in the series and enjoying it as much as I enjoyed the previous two. Bradbury writes in a style that makes you feel as if you are sitting with her in a room, sharing a glass of wine and listening to her stories.

short ribs

The short ribs recipe in Food and Wine called for smoking the ribs on the grill and then glazing them with a Zinfandel Chili Glaze.  I cooked mine in an Instant Pot to which I added a little Liquid Smoke and then brushed them with the glaze and placed them under the broiler.  Instead of Zinfandel, I used some of the Justin Justification that we were going to serve with the ribs.

dinner plate and wine

I made a Gratin de Chouchou as a side dish.  This recipe comes from Reunion Island, a French Department in the Indian Ocean.  It was perfect with the ribs as was the wine.  This wine is deep, bold and smooth.  The smokiness of the ribs and the richness of the gratin were amazing paired with this wine.


As I write this post for publication on Saturday morning, I am sipping the Arborist wine from Vina Robles, another new to me winery.  On the nose is berries and spice.  This is a red blend of mostly Syrah and Petit Sirah.  It is lighter bodied than I expected but spicy and biting into a plum.  I am pairing this with a dinner of Tenderloin Tips over a Lemony Pasta so stay tuned for that article.

Or if you can't wait to hear about the pairing and don't want to wait for the article you can join us today at 11 AM for Twitter Chat where we will all be talking about Paso Wines and the pairings we made.  You will find us by following #WinePW.  Here are the topics that we will be discussing:

Instant Pot, Beef, Entrees, Short Ribs
Entrees, Beef
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Short Ribs with a Chili Wine Glaze

Short Ribs with a Chili Wine Glaze

These short ribs are "smoked" in the Instant Pot and then glazed with a Chili-Wine Jam and place under the broiler before serving.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 20 M


  • 8 large, meaty short ribs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 1-2 T. liquid smoke
  • 1/2 c. beef broth
  • 2 t. olive oil
  • 1/4 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 t. chili powder
  • dash of cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. dry red wine
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c. black currant preserves
  • 2 T. packed brown sugar
  • 2 t. tomato paste


  1. Turn an instant pot onto the saute setting and add the oil to the metal insert. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. When pot indicates ready, sear the ribs, in batches on all sides. Return all the ribs to the instant pot along with the beef broth and liquid smoke. Cancel the saute setting, seal the instant pot and manually set for high pressure for 50 minutes.
  3. When the ribs are done cooking allow pressure to dissipate naturally for 15 minutes before using quick release method to release remaining steam.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden, stirring frequently. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and garlic and cook for a minute longer. Add the wine and cook until mostly evaporated. Whisk in the water, vinegar, preserves, sugar and tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a thickened glaze. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Remove the ribs from the instant pot to a rack set over a broiling pan that has been covered with aluminum foil. Brush with the glaze and place under the broiler for about 5-7 minutes, until glaze is set and ribs are seared a bit.


Glaze recipe adapted from one found in Food and Wine

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  1. So many great wines and a book pairing bonus! Oh and did I mention I'm drooling, looking at those ribs!

  2. Looks delicious and sounds like a fun time.

  3. Been years since I've had a Justin wine, but the last time I did, it was the Justification. Loved it. I bet it paired well with your dish!


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