So you bought Trader Joe’s Umami Paste. Now for the next question: What the hell do you use this for? I wondered the same thing when I bought it. Out of the tube the primary flavor you’ll get is tomato paste. Within the tomato paste flavor you’ll get hints of parmesan cheese, olives, capers, garlic, mushroom powder, vinegar, and anchovy. There is a lot going on in this one little tube. The next obvious problem is that they don’t include any recipes, which they should have. It’s a product I’d like to see kept on the shelves as a permanent item. It should add a lot to anything with an existing tomato base to it. Where is the best place use it? Here is my recipe for Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Trader Joe’s Umami Paste.
I’ve included variations to this recipe to acknowledge this involves quite a few ingredients. If you have lots of dried spices you can work around the fresh ones as this recipe has lots of liquid to it. You can use bone in short ribs as the bones will add quite a bit of flavor, but will take up quite a bit of real estate in your pot. I used boneless in the pictures, but both will work. You can eat it the same day, but my recommendation is to allow it to sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs Ingredients
2-3lbs short ribs (can be with the bone in or boneless chuck short ribs)
Salt & Pepper
3 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
1 Onion Minced finely or 3 Tbsp of dried minced onion rehydrated with 6 ounces of water (not powdered onion)
3 carrots peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks finely chopped or 2 heaping Tbsp of Celery Flakes Coarse Cut rehydrated with 4 ounces of water
3 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 Tube of Trader Joe’s Umami Paste or 3 heaping Tbsp of tomato paste if you don’t have it
1-750 Milliliter bottle of Dry Red Wine like Cabernet Sauvignon
3 Tbsp of Beef Base
1- Tsp dried Thyme
1-Tsp dried Marjoram (can be skipped if you don’t have any)
1- Tsp dried Oregano
2 Sprigs of Rosemary
2 Bay Leaves
1 Head of Garlic cut in half crosswise
1 Cup of water (more if necessary)
- Take out your short ribs and allow them to come up to room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Heat a dutch oven or other similar type pan over a medium heat to get hot.
- While pan is heating up, salt and pepper both sides of your short rib.
- Add oil to pan and brown meat on all sides. When outside of meat is browned allow the meat to rest on a plate. You are not looking to cook the meat all the way through, you are only looking to brown the outside.
- Once you are done cooking the meat and some of the fat has rendered into your pan, add your onions, carrots, and celery and cook until soft.
- Once soft, add your flour and the Umami paste and mix until combined and cook for about a minute.
- Add wine and beef base to the pan.
- Add short ribs and any juices from the plate back to the pan and bring it up to a simmer.
- Add thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, bay leaves, and garlic to the pan. If the liquid does not cover most of the short rib then add water, if they completely submerged, then allow the sauce to reduce.
- Cover and put short ribs in the oven. Cook short ribs for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until tender. If using bone in, then the meat will literally fall off of the bone. If using boneless, you’ll be able to pull it apart with a fork.
- When timer goes off you now you have a choice. You can eat it now or wait one day for the flavors to combine. If you are waiting a day, wait for the pan to cool down to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator to cool. Scrape off any fat from the top the next day and reheat in the same pan you made it in. Be sure to remove bay leaves, heads of garlic and rosemary. This is one of those items where the smell is intoxicating (aside from the large amount of red wine it contains), but believe me waiting one day will do magical things to this recipe.
- Serve with potatoes or Trader Joe’s polenta for a hearty meal.
If you’ve found another use for Umami paste I’d love to hear it! Leave me a comment.
Want to see more items I’ve reviewed from Trader Joe’s? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for an alphabetized list.
Want to see more items from scratch? Click on Food.
Need a drink with this? Click on Drinks.