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Monday, 12 August 2013

Braised Beef Short Ribs

I have been swanning up and down the coast the last 2 weeks with my friend Louise and whilst we have made some fabulous food, I have neglected to photograph it or write about it. Apologies to all, I think with the weather being so beautiful I was lulled into thinking I was on Xmas holidays or something.
This dish is so yummy and gets many many comments of high praise. It is not me, however but the slow cook in the Asian master stock. Kylie Kwong and Neil Perry are masters of these beautiful stocks and it is this that makes the meat so delicious. The cheaper cuts of meat lend themselves very well to the long slow cook. I have done this with beef brisket, pork neck, and beef cheek.
The beef ribs are available at any good butcher, however you may have to ask for them to be cut. Asian butchers have them all the time and as is always the way, they are half the price.
Start this the day before. All the work is done leaving more time to chat to your dinner guests.
There is a lot of fat on them so trim them as much as you can, before cooking them.
After they have cooked slowly for around 3 hours let them cool. Then trim as much fat from them as you can, strain the stock and place them back into the stock for heating at serving time.
It seems like a lot of work, but it is well worth it and you have less work on the night.
I cooked for 10 and used approximately 5 kilos of ribs.

The following is for 1.5 kilos beef short ribs, just increase the spices and flour, and cover with more stock and shao xing wine

1 tablespoons ground fennel
1tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoons smokey paprika
1-2 tablespoons chilli powder
4 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups chicken stock plus 3 extra cups water
1 cup shao xing wine
1/2 cup light soy
4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 onion roughly chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup rock sugar
1 star anise
2 good pieces dried manadarin or orange peel
4 chopped shallots

Mix the fennel, coriander paprika and chilli powder together with the flour.
Spray the ribs lightly with oil and coat them in the spices and flour mixture. The easiest way to do this is to place them in a plastic bag with the flour and spice mix and shake it around
Heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil in a heavy casserole pot. Brown the ribs on all sides and remove from the pot.
Lightly fry the garlic and onion in the pot and scrape up any remnants of the spices.
Add the stock, shao xing wine, soy sauce, cinnamon stick, mandarin peel, rock sugar star anise and chopped shallots and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours.
Place the ribs into the simmering stock and cover. Braise for 2 1/2 hours -3 hours. If some of the ribs are small they will break up and the meat will come away from the bone.
Follow the instructions above, removing the fat when cool and removing the meat from the bone and keeping in large chunks if possible. I then place them in a shallow baking dish and cover with the strained stock and cover the pan with foil so they gently reheat. If you bring them to the boil in a fast moving stock they may really fall to pieces.
I served them on a bed of creamed mash with some of the stock poured over with some garlic beans and french shallots sautéed in shao xing wine and rock sugar till caramelised.

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