A couple weeks ago, I bought some short ribs but was at a loss at how I was going to prepare them. Normally I prepare them sous vide, but I wanted to do a traditional braise this time. I contemplated doing the Beef Bourgignon recipe in Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook, but I didn’t really have the time to do such a meticulous recipe.
I was reminded of the soy/sake short ribs I had at Maru and set out to find something similar, eventually stumbling upon an easy recipe by Momofuku’s David Chang on the New York Times Web site. I’m a big fan of Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar, where I had the perfect bowl of noodles on our New York trip last May, so I was pretty excited to give this recipe a try.
Overall, the dish turned out great. The meat was fork tender and delicious, and we even had fun with the plating. It was a bit on the sweet side, so next time, I think I’m going to cut the sugar since there’s already a lot sweetness from the apple juice and mirin.
BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIBS
1½ cups apple juice
1 cup sake
1 cup mirin
½ cup sugar
1 cup soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
10 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 to 5 pounds short ribs
2 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 pound baby carrots
2 tablespoons butter
8 to 12 small potatoes, preferably fingerlings, peeled
½ cup chopped scallions (for garnish)
4 cups cooked white rice.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, combine juice, sake, mirin, sugar, soy sauce, about 20 grinds of pepper, both forms of garlic, sesame oil and 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
- Season the short ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Put vegetable oil in a large ovenproof braising pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add ribs, Brown well on one side, moving them around to promote even browning. Turn, add onions and half the carrots, and brown other side, stirring vegetables occasionally.
- Carefully pour braising liquid over meat and bake, bone-side up and submerged in liquid (add water or juice if necessary), for 3 to 4 hours, until meat falls from bones. Cool ribs in liquid for 1 hour, then remove; strain liquid. At this point, ribs and liquid can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
- Remove bones from ribs. Skim fat from the top of the braising liquid. In a pot, combine meat with braising liquid; heat to a boil then simmer, reducing liquid until syrupy. If it seems too thick, thin with a bit of water.
- About half an hour before you are ready to serve, put butter in a skillet and add potatoes and remaining carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally and seasoning with salt and pepper, until browned and nearly tender, about 20 minutes. Add to meat. Taste mixture and adjust seasonings if necessary, then garnish with scallions and serve on rice.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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