Thursday, March 8, 2012

Asian Braised Short Ribs with Cranberry-Teriyaki Glaze

This year my wedding anniversary fell on a Tuesday, which means not much actual celebrating. Yes, we could have tried to get a sitter and gone out on the town. But when you're used to going to sleep around 8:30pm (sad, but true) and getting up at 4am (even sadder still), the idea of staying out late on a Tuesday sounds like more trouble than it's worth. Not very romantic of us, I know. So I felt at the very least that I should make something slightly more special than the usual weeknight meal to mark the occasion. That was an okay plan until it went awry, thanks to a messy and painful blender accident (scroll down to see some of the fallout). Luckily the ribs came out great (I'd hate to think all that crying* was for naught).

*I didn't do all the crying - my daughter joined in too (it was a regular symphony).

Makes 10 servings

7 lb. beef short ribs, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces (have your butcher do this)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
2-3 large onions, roughly chopped (about 2 ½ cups)
3 carrots, roughly chopped (about 1 ¼ cups)
2 to 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
1 medium fennel bulb (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), stalk discarded and bulb roughly chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, root ends trimmed, tough outer leaves discarded, and finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic, minced (about 3 to 4 cloves)
1 ½ teaspoons minced ginger (from 1/4-inch knob)
2 cups Chinese Shaoxing rice wine or sake
1 cup dark soy sauce
3 whole sprigs fresh thyme
1 large (or small) dried bay leaves
½ cup cranberry-teriyaki glaze (recipe follows)

1.      Sprinkle short ribs with 1 ½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
2.      In large heavy (oven proof) stockpot over high heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, sear ribs, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer as browned to plate, reserving rendered fat in pan.
3.      Add onions, carrots, celery, fennel, lemongrass, garlic, and ginger and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft, about 10 minutes.
4.      Add rice wine, soy sauce, thyme, bay leaf, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Return short ribs to pot and add water to cover. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 3 ½ hours.
5.      Preheat oven to 375º F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Carefully transfer the ribs to the sheet pan. Brush the ribs with glaze. Bake for 5 minutes, flip ribs, brush with glaze and bake for 5 more minutes.
6.      Transfer ribs to serving dish; serve with more glaze.

barely adapted from Epicurious, December 2006 by Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger

Makes about 2 cups

1/2 large red onion, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/2 cup dried cranberries, such as Craisins
zest and juice of 1/2 orange
1/2 cup naturally brewed soy sauce
1 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil for cooking
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1.      In a saucepan coated lightly with oil over high heat, sauté the onions, ginger and dried cranberries until soft, about 5 minutes.
2.      Add the orange zest and juice, soy sauce, cranberry juice, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce by half over low heat, about 10 to 15 minutes.
3.      Immediately, transfer to a blender and blend until almost smooth, drizzling in oil (do not blend until super smooth, with small bits is preferable). Taste and adjust seasonings.
4.      Let come to room temperature, then transfer to a glass jar, seal and store in fridge for up to two weeks.

from Ming's Master Recipes by Ming Tsai

raw beef short ribs
searing the ribs
all the vegetables
removing the tough layers from the lemongrass
cooking all the vegetables
adding the Shaoxing rice wine
adding the soy sauce
thyme and bay leaves added
adding back the ribs
ribs covered with water and braising
While the ribs were braising, I made the cranberry-teriyaki glaze:
sliced red onion
grated ginger
orange zest
dried cranberries
cooking the onion, ginger and cranberries
adding the orange zest and juice
soy sauce, cranberry juice and sugar added
in the blender
out of the blender and splattered all over me and the kitchen
(this is why I usually use the immersion blender)

Good thing I doubled the glaze recipe.

Seriously, it was on the floor, cabinets (high and low), my shirt, pants and
in my hair. Plus I burned my arm & wrist. I thought the lid was on tight,
so I didn't hold it down. Let this serve as a cautionary tale for the rest
of you. Of course, I've done this before and that didn't stop me.
This is my arm the next morning. I know it doesn't look
like much to the naked eye, but it hurt like a mother.
blended (what's left of it)
cranberry-teriyaki glaze
removing the ribs from the braising liquid

Actually, that's just a bone. You'll find that many of
the ribs will have fallen
off the bone. That's a good thing.
braised short ribs
brushing the ribs with glaze
asian braised short ribs with cranberry-teriyaki glaze

I couldn't bring myself to throw out all the yummy deliciousness left in
the pot. So I removed bay leaves, thyme and bones that fell off the ribs. Then
I skimmed off the fat and blended it (using the immersion blender this time).
I figure I can turn this into a nice gravy or soup. I haven't done either yet. If I
don't have time to use it today, I'll freeze it and make soup with it another time.
skimming off the fat


Jamie Stanek said...

These blender lid pops happen when the hot liquid is blended with the cooler air with the lid shut. This rapidly heats the air causing it to expand and build pressure until the lid pops off. I've done it too. Just 'cause you know doesn't mean you're smrat!

Susan said...

Thanks for the kind words...we'll see if you give me a pass when I do it again next month. That's about how long it takes my brain to cycle and forget what I already relearned this month.

Anonymous said...

We usually do not celebrate special occasions on a 'school night' either. preferring to move them to a weekend night so we can enjoy a glass of wine and stay up past 8:30 .
...and, I'll use the wand, lesson learned!

Michael Culliton (friend of Jamie and Shannon)

Susan said...

Our weekend just wasn't an option this year I'll plan better!

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