Meltingly tender Asian Beef Short Ribs, perfect for entertaining or a comforting family meal.
As meat is very expensive where we live, I am always on the lookout for cheap cuts, and my recent discovery has been beef short ribs. There’s an old saying that, “the closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat”, and what is particularly marvellous about beef short ribs is not only the tender chunk of meat on the bone, but the lovely layer of fat in each piece which renders down during cooking to add delicious flavour to the sauce. In addition, the bones help to add a meaty richness to the dish, making beef short ribs pretty much the perfect cut of meat for braising or slow-cooking.
I think you could use beef short ribs in almost any recipe which calls for a cut of meat which needs slow-cooking, such as brisket or chuck steak, but you will need to adjust the amount accordingly to allow for the weight of the bones.
I was unable to find the translation for “beef short ribs” into German, so it was rather amusing to discover that, not only did my butcher readily supply this cut, but that they had adopted the English name, seemingly because it was only the foreigners who were buying this cut!
I love stews and braises with Asian flavourings, and whilst these Asian Beef Short Ribs are typically something I would make in winter, we love it at all times of the year. In fact, there’s something comforting about sitting down to a dish like this one during the week, especially if you might be working from home and can simply pop this into the oven to cook slowly during the day.
Due to the rich and flavourful sauce which accompanies the meat, the best accompaniment is plain steamed Jasmine rice and either some steamed broccoli or Asian greens such as pak choy. Our children are going through an oddly surprising phase where they can’t get enough steamed broccoli (or other vegetables, for that matter!), so I am taking full advantage of the situation and serving them as a side dish wherever possible!
I think beef short ribs have a way of making stews and braises more elegant, so I think this recipe would be perfect for entertaining. In fact, I have tried making my Vietnamese Beef & Carrot Stew with beef short ribs, and it is a winner!
Asian Beef Short Ribs
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4-6
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1.5 kg (3.5 lb) beef short ribs
- 2 large brown onions, thickly sliced
- 4 cm (2 inch) piece of ginger, coarsely grated
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark)
- 4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 star anise
- fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
- red chillies, finely sliced
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).
- Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pan (which has a fitted lid) over medium-high heat.
- Sear the short ribs until they are browned and golden on all sides. You may need to do this in batches. Remove the ribs to a large dish and set aside.
- Turn the heat down. Add the onions, ginger and garlic to the pan. Sauté for a few minutes until the onions have softened.
- Add the Chinese five spice powder and cook for about a minute.
- Add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, chicken stock, cinnamon stick and star anise. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
- Return the short ribs to the pan, along with any juices which have settled in the bowl.
- Cut a piece of baking or parchment paper to fit the pan, and cut a small hole in the centre to allow the steam to escape. Place the baking paper directly on top of the stew – this helps to keep everything submerged while it’s cooking and to prevent the loss of too much moisture.
- Cover the pan with a lid and place in the oven for about 2.5 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone.
- Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the ribs to a large dish.
- Skim as much fat as possible from the sauce in the pan.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat on the stove and let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened slightly.
- Serve the ribs with steamed Jasmine rice and steamed broccoli (or other Asian greens), with the sauce drizzled over the meat.
- Garnish with coriander (cilantro) and red chillies.
If your pan does not have a lid, simply cover with aluminium foil.
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 575
- Sugar: 12.4g
- Sodium: 949.3mg
- Fat: 29.3g
- Carbohydrates: 23.1g
- Fiber: 1.6g
- Protein: 55.3g
- Cholesterol: 201.9mg
Share your photos!
If you have used this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and using #eatlittlebird