Although the short ribs from Hammersley’s Bistro (sadly no longer) are one of my go-to recipes, every now and then you need to step out of your short rib comfort zone. The Accidental Locavore saw this recipe in, of all places, the Wall Street Journal, and gave it a try. I halved the recipe to serve about 5 people. If you skip to the end, you’ll see what I did with the leftovers.
For the ribs:
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 5 (16-ounce) beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
• 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger (about 5 ounces), thinly sliced
• 3 garlic cloves, sliced
• 1/4 cup finely-chopped lemongrass
• 1 dried Thai chili
• 3/4 cups soy sauce
• 5 cups water
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1 teaspoons kosher salt
For the glaze:
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- Pinch of five-spice powder
- 1 dried Thai chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, Thai basil and/or chives, for garnish (optional)
Make the ribs: Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven with a lid over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook ribs until golden-brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside.
Decrease heat to medium and cook ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilies until golden and fragrant, 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, water, sugar, salt and ribs to pot. Cover and gently simmer until ribs are tender, about 1 hour.
While the ribs are cooking, make the glaze. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer hoisin, garlic, soy sauce, honey, five-spice powder, chilies, orange zest and vinegar until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Remove ribs from liquid and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Brush glaze all over ribs, reserving extra, if there is any. Broil until glaze starts to bubble, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer ribs to a platter and brush with extra glaze, if you have some. Garnish with chopped cilantro, serve and enjoy!
My verdict: These were really good! I served them with steamed jasmine rice and some broccoli that I steamed, tossed in a little sauce and stuck under the broiler for a minute after the ribs had cooked. You might want to line the baking sheet with parchment to keep the clean-up easier. The glaze is delicious and would probably go well with anything pork (but that’s kind of an easy call). Since my pantry doesn’t have any Champagne vinegar, I just used white balsamic and white wine vinegar would be fine too.
We didn’t want to dump the leftover liquid down the sink because of the fat content, so I put the pan in my auxiliary fridge, aka the back porch overnight. When I went out to grab it, it occurred to me that there was some fine “bone broth” in that pan, so I took the fat off, strained the ginger and garlic out, packed it in one-cup servings and froze it. It will make great stock for cooking rice or stir-fries etc. However, do not use it in anything that you would reduce it in! Because of the soy sauce, reduced it will become unbearably salty. Just saying. The two leftover ribs were stripped, went with the leftover rice and broccoli and made a terrific fried rice lunch!