Tamarind and white pepper braised short ribs
Prep time 15 mins
Cook 3 hrs
Beef short ribs work wonderfully in braises because they have lots of connective tissue that is full of flavour and breaks down to a tender, melting texture during slow cooking. We love the salty-sweet and peppery flavours of this recipe, which is not traditional in South East Asia but draws on the ingredients of the region. You can make it a day ahead and reheat it on the stovetop or on the barbecue – the ribs will sizzle in the sauce.
4 short ribs (2.7 kg)
90 g dark palm sugar, crushed
80 ml fish sauce
2 tsp white peppercorns, finely crushed
4 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
2 star anise
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp tamarind puree
Steamed rice to serve
2 large handfuls of mixed Asian herbs, such as Vietnamese mint, coriander, mint, garlic shoots, shiso and thinly sliced green shallots
1. Preheat oven to 150C. Heat a wide shallow casserole over high heat, add short ribs and turn occasionally until golden (5 minutes). Add garlic and peppercorns and turn once or twice to cook the garlic slightly and remove the rawness (1 minute), then add fish sauce, soy sauce, tamarind, palm sugar, star anise and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover and braise in oven until meat is falling from the bone (3 hours).
2. Remove beef from sauce, then chill sauce in a jug until a fat layer is evident on the top which can be easily removed. (You can also chill beef and sauce overnight for serving the next day.) Reduce skimmed sauce in the same pan over medium-high heat until thick and well-flavoured (10 minutes).
3. Return beef to sauce, return to oven covered, turning once until heated through (15 minutes).
4. Serve beef with steamed rice and a handful of fresh herbs some lime wedges on the side. You can also barbecue the beef ribs and serve with a salad.
Recipe and image by Eatable.