I’m not the biggest meat eater, I just eat it when I feel like it, or when I get hold of something special, or different, or, of course, if I’m taste testing. I don’t generally put a hunk of meat on a plate, look at it and think of it as a fulfilling meal… in my eyes, there’s so much more to food than that. But sometimes I do crave something meaty and, truthfully, I just absolutely love short ribs. I also love Asian food, and although I’ve never been to Asia and I could in fact just love the westernised version of their delicacies, I really enjoy the staple flavours, the style of cooking and the vibrant colours.
By flavours, I’m talking a salty rich soy sauce packed with umami, ginger with a bundle of nutritional benefits but also a great punch combined beautifully with lime, nutty but sweet sesame bringing versatility in seed form and deliciousness through the oil and not to mention the beauty of the humble peanut.
Think all of these flavours paired with some other essential Asian ingredients such as mirin, which is a sweeter and less alcoholic version of Sake – a Japanese rice wine, rice vinegar which brings a gentle acidity to the dish and then adding some kitchen staples. With this, my friends, we have ourselves a winning combination to pair with indulgent beef short ribs that are perfect for slow cooking.
Add a little rice infused with lime and BANG… we are lucky there was any left to go on the plate by the time I was done “tasting”.
For this recipe, we need the above mentioned ingredients and although most of these are generally readily available in almost any supermarket, I know that times are tough right now and there’s a chance you’re just cooking from your cupboard stores, so I’m going to give simple substitutes just in case you need them.
I made this for dinner the other day for the crew and served it with a very simple slaw (mainly because that’s the only way I can get them to eat vegetables and I challenge myself daily to get as many different vegetables into them as possible) but you can mix it up with whatever veg you like/have and feel free to stir fry them for a little change if you want. Saying that, here I like to keep them raw to maximise the crunch they provide for texture, but you do you!
What you’ll need:
For the ribs (serves 4):
- 12 Beef Short Ribs
- 750ml Sake (can sub for red wine but will be much richer)
- 250ml Soy Sauce
- 3T Mirin (can sub for 2T honey)
- 3T Rice vinegar (can sub for apple cider vinegar)
- 2T Sesame Oil
- 1T Ginger – either fresh or pickled, sliced
- 1 Onion, roughly chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic, sliced
- 1 Carrot, sliced
For the slaw:
- 1C Red Cabbage
- 1C Fresh Spinach
- 1/2C Grated Carrot
- 1/2C Broccoli Stems
- 1/2C Green Beans
- 2T Fresh Parsley (or coriander if you’re not like me and hate the stuff!)
- 2T Pickled Ginger
- 1/3C Peanuts
What you need to do:
- Preheat the oven to 110 C.
- Throw the carrots, garlic and onion into a deep sided baking tray or dish and drizzle with sesame oil, toss with your hands and place the ribs on top.
- In a small bowl, combine the sake, soy, mirin and vinegar.
- Pour this mixture over the ribs and sprinkle the ginger on top.
- Cover with tin foil and place in the centre of the oven, set a timer for 6 hours and go put your feet up!
- After 6 hours I generally take them out the oven to take a peak. Carefully lift off the foil and you will notice that the meat will have shrunk away from the bones and the amount of liquid will be more than you started with. Using a ladle, take some of the liquid and pour it over the top of the ribs and cover again. Put back in the oven for another hour.
- During this time, you can set a pot of rice, noodles or quinoa to cook. For this recipe, I tend to cook brown basmati or jasmine rice with a halved lime and some parsley stalks inside to infuse during cooking.
- Make your slaw by simply slicing everything thinly and mixing together in a bowl. Drizzle with a splash of sesame oil and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Once the ribs are cooked, remove from the oven and transfer the cooking liquid to a pot and bring to a simmer to reduce.
- You’ll notice there has been no salt added to this recipe – this is because at this point the reducing of the liquid becomes quite salty from the soy sauce and I feel is sufficient but feel free to adjust this according to your taste.
- Remove the bones from the meat and the ribs will flake easily. The meat should have a nice browning on the outside and a touch of pink in the middle.
- Serve with the slaw, rice and finish with the reduced liquid.