Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thai Beef Short Ribs

As you all know, it is one of my biggest pet peeves that I can’t get a wide variety of ingredients locally, because of where I live. I often have to drive an hour or more to get to a store that carries what I want. Every once in awhile, though, I am pleasantly surprised by something I find at the grocery store. I should probably also note that although we have a “super” walmart in our town (they call it super, but the truth is it’s the smallest version you can get, with no salon, eye care, tire & lube, and very limited selection) I tend to do most of my food shopping at the hometown grocer. The bill is generally a little higher, but I am a believer in supporting the little guy and, frankly, the meat selection is much better. I treat them well, and they return the favor by getting me certain things I ask for. (For example, the guy who does the liquor ordering just got me a case of a nice little moscato I asked him to get for me. He also does his best to keep the Schlafly seasonal beers in stock because he knows I love them. Okay, maybe that’s not the only reason, but I still appreciate it. Love that guy.)

Back to the point of my story. Every now and then, they surprise me (and I make sure I let them know how pleased I am). Just last month, I was tickled to find a batch of pork neck bones in the meat section. Occasionally I even run across something I’ve never tried before. It doesn’t matter. If its something different, I make a point of buying some and finding something to make with it, just to show my appreciation for them trying to bring variety in. Well, recently I had another find. Beef Short Ribs. Something fairly mainstream in the culinary world, and yet, I’d never made them. Sometimes the most basic things elude me just from lack of exposure.

But no more! I snapped up three packages of those gorgeous ribs and took them home to reside in my freezer while I came up with a good recipe. I originally intended to grill them, but in the process of researching a recipe, I decided it was too risky. It seemed slow roasting was a safer bet, at least for my first time out, especially since I don’t have a lot of experience with my grill yet.

And so, after looking at quite a few sites, I came up with this recipe that sounded lovely. Instead of just slow roasting, it begins with putting the ribs under the broiler, helping give the meat a nice crust. I like the idea of that because so often meats that are slow roasted (or cooked in the crock pot), though they can be wonderfully flavorful and tender, just don’t have the texture that I look for in a piece of meat. I like that caramelization, the crust....

I don’t think I could have found a better place to start. This recipe was super easy, beginning with seasoning the meat and broiling it for 10 minutes, then putting it in the slow cooker and topping it with an Asian sauce to cook while I was at work yesterday. When I opened the front door last night, I was overwhelmed by the fragrant cloud that hit me right in the face. I couldn’t get to the cooker fast enough, and when I lifted the lid? Well, I may or may not have been drooling....

The recipe finishes by adding some aromatics to the liquids from the cooker, cooking it down a bit and serving the sauce over the super tender ribs. I could have taken a bath in that sauce. I don’t think the hubs would have minded, either, after the way I saw him cleaning his plate. The meat was extremely moist and tender, and peeled away from the bone easily without just falling apart. Fabulous. Just fabulous. This one will be going in the official recipe card box for a repeat performance the next time I see short ribs at the grocery store.

Thai Beef Short Ribs
3-4 pounds beef short ribs (English cut)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Oil spray
4 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced ginger
3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp Fish Sauce (I didn’t use the fish sauce, since it really doesn’t like me)
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 lime, juiced and zest finely grated
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
3 scallions, cut into thin slices
2 Tbsp freshly chopped cilantro

Preheat a broiler on high. Season the meaty parts of the short ribs with salt and pepper and set bone-side down on an oven tray.

Spray with oil and broil until the meaty parts are browned (about 10 minutes).Transfer to a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Mix together the garlic, ginger, hoisin, vinegar, fish sauce, honey, soy sauce, and lime juice and zest in a small bowl, and pour over the short ribs. Cover the slow cooker and cook until tender, about 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
Transfer the ribs to a platter. Skim the fat from the liquid, then add the jalapeno, scallions, and cilantro and cook on high for 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve.

1 comment:

Krista said...

These look great! I was thinking of translating the Emeril recipe for Asian Braised Short Ribs to my crock pot, but I was on the fence. This is just what I needed to see to try. I'll just broil them a little first. Very timely post! Mine are thawing in the fridge as I type this.