Tis the season to treat yourself and loved ones to a special occasion meal. These Braised Short Ribs look so impressive and are so full of rich, wintry flavors-like oranges and a sweet hoisin sauce- that your guests will have no idea they took only 20 minutes of hands on time. They taste even better the next day, making them ideal for a carefree dinner party. Beef is a bit pricey these days, but it’s the holidays, so let’s splurge together!
Secrets to a Great Braise
Braising is an easy way to coax tender flavor from tougher cuts of meat, but there are some secrets to creating a really great braise:
- using a heavy pot or dutch oven that maintains a steady heat
- getting a good sear on all sides of the meat; don’t overcrowd the pan and don’t rush this step
- deglazing the pan to get all those yummy browned bits into the sauce
- using deeply flavorful liquids to create a rich sauce
- adding aromatics like ginger, orange zest, cinnamon sticks really amps up the flavor
Sear the Short Ribs
I start making braised short ribs by getting a really good sear on all sides of the short ribs. A proper sear adds so much flavor, both to the meat itself and the sauce. Plus it makes the meat an attractive bronzed color. Sear the ribs in batches. Too many at once causes steam that prevents the nice brown crust we are looking for.
When all the ribs are seared, keep them in a bowl and heat more oil in the same pot. Now we sauté all the aromatics to make an umami rich sauce for the short ribs.
And at this point, all the hands on work is done, and we let time and low heat work their magic. After about an hour and a half, the meat should be fork tender. If not let it go for another 15-20 minutes. The sauce will be dark and glossy and so fragrant! I like to add some fresh orange zest curls as a garnish.
This lusty dish deserves some equally sexy costars:
- My Ginger Saketinis are the perfect adult beverage pairing
- Mushroom Dumplings for a fun starter
- Miso Maple Squash is a wonderfully seasonal side
- Vanilla Poached Fruit rounds out this stress free, largely make ahead, meal
Give these delectable Braised Short Ribs a try and let me know what you think. Rate and leave a comment, and tag us in your holiday feasts @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs (also known as boneless flanken short ribs or boneless chuck short ribs)
- 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
- 2 dried arbol chiles
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup oyster sauce
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup mirin
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
- Trim the beef of any thick exterior fat and gristle. Cut the beef into 3-4 pieces. Set aside.
- Heat a dutch oven or deep heavy skillet over medium high heat for several minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pot.
- Add half of the beef to the pan, making sure the beef pieces do not touch and you are not crowding the pan.
- Cook the beef for 1-2 minutes untouched so that there is a nice dark brown sear. Turn the beef onto another side and again cook for 1-2 minutes. Repeat this for at least 1-2 more sides making sure each side has a good dark crust. Do not rush.
- Set the beef aside in a bowl and repeat with the remaining beef.
- Add the final tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the onions, ginger, garlic cloves, and chiles. Saute for 1 minute and then add the cinnamon stick and star anise. Continue cooking for another minute.
- Peel the zest off of the orange, excluding as much of the bitter white pith as possible.
- Wrap the onion and garlic spice mixture along with the orange peel in a piece of cheesecloth about 12” x 16” and tie it to close.
- Put the beef back into the pan along with any accumulated juices and put the cheesecloth pouch on top.
- Add the sauce and water to the pot. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium high heat and stir to blend all of the sauce ingredients, scraping the bottom to get all of the browned bits.
- Then cover the pot with a lid and lower the heat to medium low.
- Cook for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Use a fork to check the beef. It should slide into the beef easily. If not, then cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer the meat to a large platter. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce the sauce for 5-10 minutes until it is thick and syrupy. Pour the sauce over the meat.
- Serve immediately.
*Like all braised dishes, this beef is even better on the second day. Leftovers keep in the fridge for several days. You can also freeze leftovers. Defrost in the fridge overnight and then warm over medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
Keywords: beef, short ribs, hoisin sauce, holiday meals, braise