A few weeks ago I wrote about Moroccan Carrots. They were a delicious snack at a cocktail party I was co-hosting. These short ribs were made the same night. This had to be some of the worst food planning I’ve done for a party. Now, don’t get me wrong. The carrots were delicious and were devoured. And these short ribs are unbelievably good and we got down on them in a serious kind of way. But the thing is, there is not a ladylike way to pick up a big piece of meat on a bone and daintily eat it in mixed company. Especially when they taste this good and you just want to go all caveman on it and smear it across your face.
At one point in the night, I was in the kitchen with two ladies and a couple of dudes and I said, “you will have to excuse the ladies for a minute, we need to step outside”. I then whispered to the girls to grab a short rib. We stepped out back where we could be as messy as we wanted and munched down on these in a primal kind of way. There was much giggling and groaning involved. It was awesome.
So, needless to say, these short ribs are really good. They were fairly easy to make and were very well received. The wine gives them a great richness of flavor that tastes very familiar, but the Chinese 5 spice and the ginger give the ribs a twang of something really unique.
However, don’t make these for a cocktail party. Make these when you will either be seated with a plate and real silverware, or for a meal with friends you know well where you will roll up your sleeves and dive in with a big pile of paper towels nearby.
This recipe comes from Entertaining with Booze. I wrote about this book recently when I posted about the Rosemary and Pear Martinis. Fun book and I am very happy with both of these recipes that I pulled from it.
Exotic Braised Short Ribs
From Entertaining with Booze by Ryan Jennings and David Steele
- 2 TB canola oil
- 4-5 lbs beef short ribs, cut into chunks
- 1 TB Chinese 5 spice powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups red wine (shiraz or cabernet sauvignon)
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 TB sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven until smoking.
Season the ribs with the Chinese 5 spice powder, salt and pepper. Add the ribs to the pot in batches and brown on all sides, about 4-5 minutes, transferring them to a large bowl once browned.
Pour off all but about 2 TB of excess fat and oil from the pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and ginger to the fat in the pot and cook over medium heat until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, stock and tomatoes, making sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Return the beef to the pot and bring to a simmer.
Cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Braise until the ribs are fork-tender and most of the fat has rendered, about 2-3 hours. Start checking the meat at the 2 hour point (possibly later if your ribs are exceptionally fatty). Remove the ribs to a serving dish and cover with a lid or tent with foil. Strain the vegetables out of the sauce and discard, reserving sauce and skimming as much fat as possible off the top Return the sauce to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. (Mine took much longer than this. I simmered for about 45 minutes before my sauce thickened to a level I was happy with.)
Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste and pour over the ribs. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish.
Photographs by Jessica Yager