Monday, November 15, 2010

Asian Braised Short Ribs

The selection of beef short ribs at the grocery store are not what they used to be.  I remember the prepackaged cuts of ribs being about 3 inches long.  Now, you can find them 1 to 1 1/2 inch long.  I guess I could have got what I wanted from the butcher, but it was too early and I did not want to wait. I hope that the prepackaged cuts get longer and more beefy when it is BBQ season.

This recipe takes a long time, since beef ribs are not a very tender cut of meat.  However, the good thing is you can prepare most of it a day in advance and put it in the fridge.  Make the recipe through the 3 hour cook time as noted below. Save the last step of cooking for the next day. Just pull them out, skim the fat off and put them in an electric skillet set at 325 degrees, pour on the hoisin sauce and cook for 1/2 hour.

If you like ribs with a caramelized crust and tender inside meat that falls off the bone, you will decide that this recipe is a keeper. It makes enough to serve 6-8 people.

Braised Short Ribs
adapted from David Lebovitz 

3 tbs Chinese or Japanese Rice Vinegar
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 1/2 cups dark beer (room temp)
1 cup hoisin sauce*
Salt and pepper
3 tbs vegetable oil
10 garlic cloves (peeled and minced)
1 inch piece of ginger
10 short ribs (3 inches long if requesting cut from butcher)

Season the ribs with salt and pepper.  Take an electric skillet and put in vegetable oil and heat to 350 degrees.

Place the ribs in the pan and fry.  Let each side to cook for about 12-15 minutes before turning.  You want the sides to be dark brown and caramelized.  This process could take an hour or more, depending on how many rib batches (due to size of skillet) you need to cook.

Unplug or turn off the heat under your skillet.  Transfer the ribs to a heat resistant bowl and set aside.  Slowly pour your beer into the skillet and scrape up the browned bits with a spatula.  Take a wooden spoon and stir in the garlic and ginger.  Then turn on the heat to medium or plug in skillet and heat to 325 degrees, continuing to stir the mixture with wooden spoon.

Once the temperature reaches 325, pour in the vinegar and sprinkle in the chili powder.  Mix with wooden spoon until distributed in liquid.  Then place the ribs back in the pan. Cover and let cook for 3 hours.  During this time, turn the ribs every 45 minutes.  Also, add additional water if the liquid evaporates.

Then uncover and pour the hoisin sauce on the ribs.  Cook uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with rice and steamed bok choy or mashed potatoes and green beans.

*the rice vinegar is easy to find, but I had to go to a few grocery stores for the hoisin sauce. I finally found it at Albertsons.