Ginger & star anise braised short ribs with simple potato mash
I like to take it slow on Sunday. Maybe we will wake up later than usual, drink tea in bed, put on some music and read the Sunday Times while our dinner cooks itself in the crock pot. Maybe we'll go out for brunch, or for a walk, and then come home in the afternoon and spend 5 hours on the couch watching football while something delicious simmers away on the stove. Either way, we're not rushing - for anything.
During the week, we're always trying to find the fastest, most efficient route to get us to wherever it is we are going. But, on the weekends, slowing down and taking the time to enjoy the process and try something new can produce amazing results.
This dish of spiced, slow braised beef takes time - 3.5 hours or so. But, it is easy, requires minimal prep and is guaranteed to please.
Braised Short Ribs
2-4 English cut bone in short ribs (average one per person)
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 carrot - peeled and cut into large chunks
1 celery stalk - cut into large chunks
1 small onion - peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic - crushed with skins on
1 inch fresh ginger - sliced with peel on
2 star anise
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock, beef stock or water
1/8 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1. rinse meat and pat dry with clean paper towel. season with salt and pepper. dust with flour. Heat oven to 400°.
2. over medium high flame, heat oil in a heavy bottomed cast iron pot or dutch oven with tight fitting lid. add short ribs, searing on all sides until nicely browned. remove to a plate.
3. add red wine, tomato paste, star anise and ginger. stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze, releasing any brown bits that may have become stuck during the searing process.
4. add carrots, onion, garlic, celery. stir to combine.
5. place short ribs - and any accumulated juices - back int the pot. add stock or water to just cover short ribs.
6. add black pepper and bring mixture to a boil.
7. cover and place in pre-heated oven for 2.5 - 3 hours or until meat is falling off the bone.
8. remove meat to a side plate and pass the liquid in the pot through a strainer into a clean sauce pot.
9. skim any accumulated fat from the top of the jus and keep warm over a low heat. adjust seasoning to your taste.
Simple Potato Mash
2-3 yukon gold potatoes - peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
1/4 cup warm milk or almond milk
1 tbsp butter
4-5 drops truffle oil (if you have it)
salt to taste
1. boil potatoes in salted water until tender. drain.
2. place potatoes back in the pot and, on a low heat, stir until potatoes are completely dry.
3. add butter and warm milk and mash until potatoes reach desired level of smoothness. (a good trick is to whisk them once they are mashed - this helps to break up big lumps)
4. season with salt and pepper.
5. remove from heat, drizzle in truffle oil and fluff with a fork before serving.
I like to plate this with a mound of mashed potatoes in the middle, topped with short ribs and surrounded by the hot jus and any green vegetable you like.