I love asking my local butchers (the marvellous Hubbards at Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds since you ask) for different and unusual cuts of meat when I’m trying out new recipes – these braised oriental spiced beef short ribs are a family favourite. Slow cooking on the bone makes the meat incredibly tender and the mix of Chinese five-spice, soy, garlic, chilli and ginger creates a sublime sauce that literally sticks to the ribs! A great informal supper dish for friends and family, it has the added bonus of being relatively inexpensive to make.
- 1 kg beef short ribs – roughly 6 or 7 ribs. This is a rich dish so one fat rib is usually enough per person.
- 2 tablespoons flour mixed with 2 teaspoons of crushed black pepper
- 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 x 3cm piece of fresh ginger – peeled and finely grated
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
- 4 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
- 1/2 litre beef stock
- 1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- The juice and zest of a fresh lime
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Place the seasoned flour in a large plastic bag and add the short ribs. Shake to thoroughly coat the ribs.
- Heat the oil in a large, wide-bottomed casserole dish. Brown the seasoned ribs on each side and set aside.
- Add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes until slightly browned. Stir in the ginger, five-spice, garlic, lime and chopped chilli. Add the soy sauce and the stock. Bring it up to simmering point and add the beef ribs with any resting juices to the pan.
- Cover and leave to cook slowly in the oven for 21/2 to 3 hours until tender. The meat should literally be falling off the bone. You can serve the meat off the bone but it’s nicer to serve with the bone intact.
- The sauce should be sufficiently reduced and clinging to the ribs at this point. If not, cook on the hob uncovered until it thickens. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Serve with sticky jasmine rice and steamed pak choi – garnish with chopped spring onion.
To find out more about Hubbard’s visit www.hubbardstradtionalbutchers.co.uk.
This recipe was originally published in my monthly Food & Drink column in the Bury Free Press.
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