Sunday, April 28, 2013

Korean Short Ribs

I have been wanting to make short ribs for awhile now, knowing I would need to dedicate a large block of time to cook the meat slowly.  I had assumed I would use a braise similar to the lamb with French or Italian influences, but I recently had a "Street Taco" at the Yard House restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles that used Asian flavored short rib meat.  I was transfixed, which translates to "challenged" whenever I want to duplicate or improve on something I just tasted.  So the gauntlet is thrown down and I am making Korean style short ribs.

I am blogging this as I go, but won't post until I see how it turns out as I made myself the Guinea Pig in these experiments.

I purchased 12 beef short ribs, rinsed them and marinated them over night in the following:

(I usually don't "measure" my ingredients, but go by what looks right, so I've roughly estimated the quantities below, however being precise doesn't matter).

1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
1/2 cup Soy Sauce (not "lite"" - and I use an organic variety)
1/3 cup Sambal Sauce (found in the Asian Isle of your grocery store)
1/3 cup Sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons Worscestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons Agave Nectar
2 Red Jalapenos sliced with seeds

Mix the marinade together and taste.  It should be hot, sweet, and vinegary.  Place the ribs in a large casserole dish or bowl, and pour the marinade over the ribs.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

The remaining ingredients for the braise are:

1 White Onion, chopped
1 large can (28 ounces) Diced Italian Tomatoes
1/2 bottle good red wine (I used a Merlot - but use what you like)
1 Quart (12 ounces) of a good chicken stock - if I don't make my own, I use a Free-Range, Organic Low Sodium product
1 Bay Leaf
Olive Oil
The Marinade Liquid

Heat a large stock pot and add about 1 - 2 tablespoons of a good olive oil.  Add the onions and cook until sweated down.  Push onions to one side and pat dry the ribs, adding a few at a time.  Cook each side until brown, reducing the heat.  Be careful not to burn the meat as the sugar in the marinade will tend to burn.  If that starts to happen, turn the meat and use the moist side of the uncooked meat to "deglaze" the bottom of the pan.  After the first ribs are brown, stack them on top of the onions and brown the remaining ribs.  Pour in the wine, the tomatoes, the stock, the marinade liquid and add the bay leaf.  Increase the heat and put a lid on the pot.  Bring to a small, rolling boil, then reduce the heat to low. 

A few comments as it is cooking.  I removed the lid slightly to let the alcohol burn out.  For about the first hour of braising, it reminded me of a German Sauerbraten due to the vinegars and wine.  Now, about an hour and a half later, the scent has mellowed out and is starting to smell delicious.  I might use the sauce later to cook some small red or Yukon potatoes and maybe some carrots.  Waste nothing!

The total braising time, once simmering, was about 3 hours.  The meat came easily from the bone, so I turned the pot off and let it sit while I went to the store to get some more veggies.  When I came back, I removed the meat from the pot and noticed that during the resting time, all the bones fell off the meat and were at the bottom of the pot.  The meat falls apart on the fork - but I'm not done yet!

I removed the meat to rest in a container and also removed the bones.  I will use the bones another day to make a beef stock for French Onion Soup.

Then I cooked about 4 cups of baby carrots and the same with a package of new potatoes, a variety including fingerlings, and about the same with some cippolino onions in the broth for about 25 - 30 minutes until fork tender.  I just removed the vegetables and am now reducing the sauce.  Once the stock is reduced, it will make a delicious pasta sauce.

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