Here's Why You Should Be Eating Savory Cobbler

October 21, 2015

We’ve partnered with Brooke Bass of Chocolate + Marrow and Washington-based Columbia Winery to celebrate the bounty of the Pacific Northwest through a series of dinner recipes. Each dish features a twist—a progression from a classic or a new approach using time-tested ingredients.

Today: Forget sweet—you should be making savory cobbler. 

Shop the Story

It takes a long time—I’m talking years—to build a readership as a food writer. The internet is bursting at the seams with bloggers, somehow proliferating at rapid-fire—it kind of feels like going to law school. The market is saturated. Only a few survive. Why you? 

But every now and then, a bump will come your way when a recipe takes off. And just two weeks and two posts into starting Chocolate + Marrow, my little food blog, I had a stroke of beginner’s luck—a recipe caught fire. 

It was a braised short rib dish that pulled inspiration from bouef bourguignon, made with red wine that’s swirled in with garlic, onions, and thyme. The browned short ribs smacked of umami after a low-and-slow braise in the aromatic wine and broth mixture. They were so tender that they fell off the bone with just a single touch. 


I’ve made the recipe dozens of times, and it remains a favorite among friends and family, as well as in the blogosphere. But with this take, I gave the dish new life—a little top-off, if you will. 

I braised the short ribs in a rich, velvety wine (I went for Columbia Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon) and tossed in freshly-foraged chanterelle mushrooms with the vegetables for extra earthiness and a little Pacific Northwest flair. Then I covered the whole thing with dollops of thyme dumpling dough that end up crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside—buttery scooping vessels that you’ll only want more of. No potatoes, no noodles, and no rice necessary. 

You can easily serve the cobbler with the wine that you cook the short ribs with (after sneaking a glass while cooking). It's a simple, stick-to-your-bones meal that can be adapted with different mushrooms and meats, and will take you through autumn and beyond.

Cabernet-Braised Short Rib and Chanterelle Cobbler

Serves 6 to 8

For the braised short ribs: 

2 pounds thick-cut short rib meat, bones removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 carrots, roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups beef stock, plus more as needed
1 bay leaf
4 fresh thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish

For the thyme biscuit topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons frozen butter
3/4 cup milk, plus more if necessary
3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Brooke Bass

With an elegant balance of fruit-driven flavors and a firm acidity, Columbia Winery makes wines that are well-suited to complement a variety of meals and entertaining occasions.

The All for Farmers Market

We’ve joined forces with Tillamook to support All For Farmers—a coalition benefiting farmers across the nation—with a special market that gives back. Featuring Shop all-stars and a limited-edition Five Two apron, a portion of proceeds from every purchase supports American Farmland Trust’s Brighter Future Fund.

The All for Farmers Market

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • SusanSeattle
  • Donald Sherbondy
    Donald Sherbondy
  • celia bancroft
    celia bancroft
  • Emily
  • Brooke Bass | Chocolate + Marrow
    Brooke Bass | Chocolate + Marrow
Food photographer, writer, and blogger


SusanSeattle December 27, 2015
Looks like a great recipe. The Costco in our area (Kirkland, WA) sells wonderful boneless beef short ribs, which sound like they would be perfect here.
Donald S. October 25, 2015
So where do we find Chanterelles in western Nebraska?
Author Comment
Brooke B. October 25, 2015
Hi Donald, I'm not familiar with the mushroom varieties that grow in Western Nebraska. If you have trouble finding fresh chanterelles though, you could look for dried chanterelles. You'd need about 2-3 ounces of dried for this recipe. Or you could play around with a different type of mushroom! Your standard white mushroom would work fine, though the flavor will be a bit less earthy and concentrated.
Donald S. October 25, 2015
Thanks Brooke! I'll probably use portabella's.
Author Comment
Brooke B. October 25, 2015
Cool! Let us know how it turns out with them!
Donald S. October 25, 2015
I will ... for sure!
celia B. October 22, 2015
I just noticed that you say the short ribs should be boneless even though the heading paragraph says the meat was so tender it falls off the bone in the original recipe. Please clarify? Could you use another cut of meat to save time?
Author Comment
Brooke B. October 22, 2015
Hi Celia! In the original recipe, which did not include the biscuit topping (among other things), the bones were left in the short ribs. However, because I wanted something that could be scooped with the topping directly from dutch oven to the plate, without having to remove the bones while eating w/ the topping, I recommended removing them here. Most butchers will remove the bones for you free of charge so that you don't have to wrestle with it at home. You could always leave them in if you prefer and then just advise your guests to be carful while eating as there are large bones still in the braised meat part.

As for using a different cut of meat, I actually wouldn't recommend it. The slow cooking time with the short ribs is part of what makes this recipe so special. You could give it a shot with something else (not sure if you had a particular cut in mind?) but I'd imagine the flavors wouldn't be nearly as dense.
celia B. October 22, 2015
Thanks, Brooke, for responding so quickly! I will have my butcher do the job then. ;) And I will let you know how it turns out. I just found chanterelles at Costco so the timing could not be better for a dinner party I am planning on Saturday.
Author Comment
Brooke B. October 22, 2015
Chanterelles at Costco?! AMAZING. Hope you love the dish as much as we have this fall season :)
celia B. October 22, 2015
That's what I thought when I saw them! Score!
celia B. October 25, 2015
Well, I made the cobbler yesterday and I must say, I was sceptical about the short rib meat, but it was incredible-- tender and very flavorful. I am a convert! The only thing I would tweak in future is definitely adding more liquid prior to the bisquits. They absorbed way more of it than I ould have imagined and it could really have used more "gravy". Otherwise it was fabulous! Thanks!
Author Comment
Brooke B. October 25, 2015
Thank you so much for letting me know and for your feedback on the recipe, Celia! I'm SO excited you enjoyed the dish as much as we have. Hope to see you around the blog sometime! :)
Emily October 22, 2015
This looks amazing! I want to make a vegetarian mixed-mushroom version for a pot-luck this weekend (though I know cutting out the short-rib kind of defeats the recipe's purpose!) - any suggestions for how to keep the filling's integrity in tact when cutting out the meat aspect?
Author Comment
Brooke B. October 22, 2015
I love the idea of doing a vegetarian version! My very first thought was to up the veggie content by including a hearty braise-worthy veg like cabbage, collard greens (stalks removed), or green beans. If I were to choose any of those three, personally, I'd choose cabbage cut into large chunks, seared in oil like the rest of the veg, and then braised in the wine and broth. Next idea (and, really, you could do both) is to incorporate some kind of legume. Personally, I'd go with lentils if I were to braise in wine, but you could also try red kidney beans or maybe even chickpeas. Legumes would also have the added bonus of sneaking in some protein!

Let me know if you give this a shot. Now I'm curious!
Author Comment
Brooke B. October 22, 2015
Hi Nancy,

Haha that sounds fun, actually! But the blog title is just a mashup of two of my inspirations. The chocolate being my chocolate lab and the marrow coming from a quote that inspired my blog from Henry David Thoreau. Of course, like any true foodie, I also happen to love chocolate AND marrow. ;)

Nancy October 22, 2015
Recipe looks and sounds great - a riff on or merger of two great recipes (boeuf bourguignon and biscuit toppings). But tell us more about your blog title? (I was half expecting chocolate in the beef recipe, a la mole sauce).