Can we say "finger licking good"? I made these slowly braised sweet, sour, spicy, sticky short ribs last night and we ate them again for lunch today. They cooked for four hours slowly urging flavors into the fibers of the beef short ribs and delectably cooking the meat till it was falling off the bone and juicy. It is an easy and awesome way to cook short ribs, serve with polenta or rice and a simple salad. A good Shiraz matches well with the flavors, but a Singha Beer would do an even better job. We only have one store that sells them and it was across town, so we opted for wine last night and ginger mint tea for lunch today. One recipe was enough for a dinner and a lunch portion for two people.
Here is the recipe. You will need a Heavy dutch oven or casserole for this. I used a mortar and pestle to do the pepper corns, but you could use a coffee grinder or mini food processor. No other special equipment needed.
*Beef short ribs are abundant here and quite reasonable, they are cut Asian style here and we even get boneless ones here. Your market, if on the mainland may cut them British Style and if that is the case, the recipe works equally well with that cut but you do want the bone-in style.
Succulent Thai Braised Short Ribs with Maui Onions
2-3 Pounds Beef Short Ribs (bone in)
2 teaspoons each coarse grey sea salt, green pepper corns and Szechwan pepper corns crushed in a mortar and pestle
2-3 Maui Onions halved and sliced thinly (about 4 cups)
6 cloves of garlic minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup maple sugar (*if you cannot find maple sugar use all brown sugar)
4 tablespoons fish sauce
juice & zest of 1 lime
kafir lime leaves (optional)
1 habanero seeded, membrane removed and finely diced* optional for extra heat
2-4 Hawaiian or Thai Chiles seeded and diced *optional for extra heat
1-2 teaspoons chile flakes
3 tablespoons Indian Ginger Garlic Paste (you can make your own by grinding equal amounts ginger and garlic with a little lemon juice, this keeps for a few weeks in the refrigerator and is nice to have on hand.)
1/2 cup of beef stock or dark beer
Pre-heat oven to 365 degrees
Let ribs come to room temperature and season with the crushed pepper & salt mixture on all sides. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
Place the olive oil in the dutch oven and sauté the short ribs till browned on all sides. Remove the ribs from the dutch oven and add the onions and sauté till soft, then clear a hot spot in the middle of the pan and add garlic. Allow to brown briefly and then stir. When the onions have just started to caramelize pour in the beef broth and deglaze the pan. Then add all sauce ingredients and stir well to mix.
Put the ribs into the pan *(they will be submerged in the sauce) and then cover and place in the oven for 4 hours, turning down the heat to 325 degrees after two hours.
You will know they are done when there is a nice crust on the edge of the dutch oven and the meat shreds off the bone, being ever so sweetly tender and as supple as the kiss of a lover.