Asian Style Beef Short Ribs | Easy Entertaining

Back in the day, I came home from work to the most amazing smelling flat. It wasn't perfume or freshly laundered linen - it was this. My flatmate had tried to make something she called Asian style beef short ribs, and I had arrived as it was simmering on the stove. I knew then, that whatever I tried to make myself for dinner would pale in comparison - so I gave up and had a cup of mint tea for dinner.

Recently, I tried to recreate the "smell" for myself - with great success, I can tell you it also tastes amazing. I served it simply with rice and some pickled cucumber, but you can add a selection of sugar snap peas, baby corn and carrot batons to balance it out a little - the sauce from the ribs is deliciously rich.

Asian Style Beef Short Ribs
Serves 2, generously

600g beef short ribs
1 l water (the sauce is very rich, I'd advise against using stock)
125ml soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
2 whole star anise
1 tsp crushed ginger
1 tsp dried chilli flakes (to taste)

1 tsp brown sugar
squeeze of lemon juice to taste

jasmine rice and pickled cucumber to serve

sliced spring onion and fresh red chill to garnish

In a large pot, heat the sesame and vegetable oil over a medium high heat. Add the short ribs and brown as much as possible on all sides, then add the 5 spice powder, crushed ginger and chilli flakes, stirring until the ribs are evenly coated. Add the water, soy sauce, star anise and chilli flakes and reduce to a simmer. Leave to simmer with a lid on for 45 minutes - 1 hour, making sure the ribs are fully immersed in the liquid at all times.

After an hour, remove the lid and add the brown sugar - have a little taste of the sauce at this stage, remembering that it will reduce and the flavours will intensify. Increase the heat to a low boil, and remove the lid - you are now looking for the sauce to reduce and thicken. This will take approximately 15 minutes - it's best to keep an eye on it, and stir occasionally. Once the sauce has reached your desired consistency (you want it thick - but not syrupy), add a squeeze of lemon juice and taste again. It may need a little more sugar or chilli, depending on your preferences.

Allow the beef to sit in the sauce until ready to serve - garnish with sliced spring onion and fresh red chilli, and wait for the neighbours to come knocking on your door.


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