Well, well, well. It’s the end of February and I’m two for two in my goal to make one recipe per month from Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now.
So let’s talk about beef short ribs for a second. It’s something I always order when I go out for Korean BBQ and I usually go on and on about how tender the meat is, how juicy the cut, how do they do it, etc, etc. And then I realize that I’m the one doing it because when you Korean BBQ, you’re the one Korean BBQ-ing. The point is, I didn’t grow up eating short ribs and so it became this glorious and special cut of meat that one can only consume in self-BBQ’d format at fine Korean establishments.
That’s not so much the case, turns out. You can also slow-cook these suckers in a dutch oven until they’re fork-tender. And it’s so good. It’s sort of like when you really like an album and you think there’s no way it could sound that good in concert, and then you go to a show and it’s even better live.
The Melissa Clark recipe I chose to make is her Chile-Coconut Braised Short Ribs. This dish should not taste as good as it does given how easy it was to make. And the kitchen smelled so good while it was cooking that I would periodically stand there for minutes at a time, inhaling deeply.
You will need:
- 2 lbs boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, deveined and minced
- 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
- 1 shallot, minced
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- juice and zest of 2 limes
- sliced scallions for serving
*A quick note about ginger: I always seem to waste fresh ginger because I don’t use it often enough. Now I freeze a large chunk in a plastic bag and grate off a bit when I need it. This is probably an obvious solution, but when it occurred to me it felt like an epiphany. A ginger epiphany.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Season the beef with 1 tsp of the salt, chili powder and black pepper. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook the beef until it’s browned. I seared this in batches for no apparent reason. Maybe I was excited and it felt fancy to do it this way, but you can just throw all the meat in in one go. The searing police will not come after you.
Add the garlic, jalapeños, ginger, shallot and cumin seeds. Stir it up for 2 minutes.
Next, stir in the coconut milk, lime zest and juice, remaining salt and ½ cup water. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover and stick in the oven. Cook until the meat is tender, about 2 to 2 ½ hours. About an hour into cooking, stir the meat.
Serve topped with sliced scallions. I had this with rice, but I’m willing to bet it would be very sexy with polenta. I also reheated the leftovers the next night and I swear it tasted even better. The flavor of thejalapeños was more intense, but without the heat. It may taste even better a night after that, but the world will never know. Because this one gets gobbled up fast.