I made the short ribs again Friday night. Well, actually, I made them Thursday night and served them Friday night. They were once again, a success, even better than the first time, actually. I did not take any more pictures, which is a shame. My camera has been woefully underused of late. These short ribs are great, because the recipe is easy to adjust for the size of the crowd, they are not an excessive amount of work, and they are better when they are done ahead of time. The sauce was better this time because I skimmed it better, so it was not greasy at all, I was able to remove most of the fat. If they are prepared ahead of time, pull the ribs out of the pot and store them separately in the fridge. I didn’t do this last time, and I couldn’t skim the cooled fat very well. Dirty the extra pot, it’s well worth it.
OH! And I almost forgot, I figured out that if I didn’t brown the bone side of the meat, most of the bones stayed attached, which made for a lovely presentation. Consider my words eaten Fine Cooking, you are of superior cooking intellect…
Asian Style Beef Short Ribs with Frizzled Leeks (serves 6-this recipe is easily doubled.)
Adapted from Fine Cooking
1-1/3 cups drained canned whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine, or dry vermouth
2 tbl brown sugar (I’ve used light or dark)
2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
6 to 6-1/2 lbs beef short ribs on the bone (each 3 to 4 inches long)
Freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tbls vegetable oil; more as needed
6 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1-inch piece fresh ginger (about 1 ounce), peeled and cut into 8 slices
6 large scallions (white and green parts), cut into 2-inch lengths
1 tbl unsalted butter
3 medium leeks (white and light green parts), cut into 2-inch-long julienne strips (2 to 2-1/2 cups), rinsed, and dried well
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Put the tomatoes, 2/3 cup water, the soy sauce, sherry, and brown sugar in a bowl and stir. Add the five spice powder.
Pat the short ribs dry with paper towels and season them with pepper. In an ovenproof pot (I have gotten the best results from my dutch oven) that’s large enough to hold all the ribs in no more than two layers, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Put as many ribs in the pot as will fit without crowding and brown them on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter. Brown the rest of the ribs, adding more oil if needed, and transfer to the platter.
Pour off the fat from the pan, reduce the heat to low, and add the garlic, ginger, and scallions, stirring and pressing them against the pot, for 1 to 2 minutes to bring out their flavor. Return the ribs to the pot and pour the tomato and soy sauce mixture over them. Bring to a simmer and cover. Transfer the pot to the oven and braise the ribs, lifting and turning them about every half hour, until the meat is very tender and starts to fall off the bone when pulled with a fork, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
Transfer the ribs to a serving platter (or if you’re working ahead, transfer them to a baking dish; refrigerate, covered, when cool). Pick out and discard the ginger and star anise from the pot and pour the remaining sauce into a large, clear measuring cup. When the fat rises to the surface, after about 5 minutes, spoon it off and discard. (Or, if you’re working ahead, cool the sauce in the pot, refrigerate it, and skim the solid fat off the top. When it’s time to reheat the ribs, return them to the pot and heat gently in the oven.)
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Reheat the sauce, season generously with pepper and more salt, if you like, and pour it over the ribs. Scatter the leeks over the top and serve.
For detailed pictures see here.