Beef short ribs in black bean and liquorice glaze
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Alan Gillard
Cooking beef short ribs is easy ... but it takes time. Like other tougher cuts of meat, short ribs come from the part of the animal that does all the hard work and time is needed to break down the collagen, the long inflexible protein that holds meat fibres together.
Beef short ribs also contain a lot of fat which ensures the slow-cooked meat will be succulent. Any fat that pools in the dish can be lifted off. A trick I use is to lift the meat from the cooking dish and set aside. Scoop off as much excess fat as you can, then throw in a tray of ice cubes, quickly swirl them around before using a holed spoon to lift them out. The fat will cling to the ice cubes. Reheat the sauce if required.
For more tips from Allyson about cooking with beef short ribs, see here.
- Heat the oven to 140C.
- Grate the rind from the oranges, halve and squeeze out the juice. Use a spoon to scoop out any remaining pulp and mix the rind, juice and pulp with the black bean sauce and liquorice.
- Brown the meaty side of the short ribs in a dash of oil in a hot frying pan.
- Place the beef short ribs, meat side uppermost, in an ovenproof dish that will fit the short ribs snugly. Pour the black bean and orange sauce evenly over the beef. Season with black pepper and cover with a lid or foil.
- Bake for 3 ½-4 hours (the beef will benefit from being turned occasionally), removing the lid or foil in the last 30 minutes of cooking time. The beef should be well cooked, with the meat beginning to fall from the bone and the accumulated liquid in the dish beginning to form a glaze.
- Serve in wraps or on sliders, or as-is with a citrus-dressed coleslaw.
- Black bean sauce is available in supermarkets, look for it in the Asian section. If using black bean paste, which is much thicker, use 2-3 tablespoons only and ½ cup water.
- Allyson used New Zealand confectionery liquorice here. If you do not have any, use 4-5 star anise in its place.
- Try these online butchers: westmerebutchery, gourmetdirect, themeatbox