Gluten-Free Asian Braised Short Ribs
This recipe is featured in Armchair Asia: Exploring the East from my Gluten-Free Kitchen
Reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More. Copyright © 2011 by Laura B. Russell, Ten Speed Press.
Metric conversions added by The Cook’s Cook.
Whenever the weather even hints at chilly, my husband requests “something braised.” If you’ve braised short ribs before, the technique here is the same, but the flavors change to add a distinctive Asian flair. The star anise contributes a warm licorice note to the ribs. Find it at upscale markets or Asian groceries. Butchers in Asian markets sell short ribs in 7.6 cm (3-inch) segments. If your market doesn’t offer this option, go ahead and cook the full-size version. Serve the ribs with steamed rice, or simmer soaked cellophane noodles directly in the sauce to soak up the flavor.
- Servings Serves 4
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1.8 kg (4 pounds) beef short ribs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed
- 4 quarter-size slices unpeeled fresh ginger
- 118 ml (½ cup) soy sauce or tamari (Gluten-Free)
- 118 ml (½ cup) dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine (Gluten-Free)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 whole star anise
- 14 grams (½ ounce) dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
- .45 kg (1 pound) turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges (about 2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water (optional)
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel and then sprinkle them with the salt. Brown the ribs well on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer the ribs to a plate.
While the ribs are browning, combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, rice vinegar, star anise, and 473 ml (2 cups) water in a Dutch oven or a pot large enough to hold the ribs. Remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid and, if they are whole, cut them into thin slices. Add them to the Dutch oven and bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the ribs to the pot. Return the liquid to a simmer. Simmer the ribs gently, partially covered, until almost tender, about 1 hour. Turn the ribs occasionally with tongs during cooking.
Add the turnip cubes to the pot; make sure they are covered in the liquid. Bring the liquid back to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until the turnips and meat are tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and vegetables to a deep serving casserole. Degrease the sauce by pouring it through a fat separator or by tilting the pot and spooning off the oil that accumulates on the surface. Bring the sauce to a low boil and cook until it reduces slightly, about 10 minutes. At this point you can pour the sauce over the meat or thicken it with the cornstarch mixture. Stir the cornstarch into the simmering sauce and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot or cool and refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days.
You can make this recipe into more of a stew by using 3 pounds of boneless beef chuck cut into 3.8 cm (1½ -inch) cubes, or 1.3-to-1.8 kg (3-to-4 pound) brisket. The whole cut will take longer to cook, possibly a few hours depending on the size. Check for doneness by inserting the tip of a paring knife into the meat; it should slide in and out easily.