Fragrant Ribs And A Coke

January  3, 2011
Author Notes

This recipe started out awhile back when Mr L ripped a page out of a magazine at the dentist ... for a beef jerky marinade. He made the jerky and it was good ... though he made it again and modified it a bit to our tastes, and then we lost the magazine page. The next step - I used what we remembered of the recipe as a marinade for babyback ribs, and they were good. And of course we didn't write it down. Now we are at beef short ribs, pulling from memory and what we know to be good and a little input from The Flavor Bible ... and they are good. And I wrote it down. - aargersi —aargersi

Test Kitchen Notes

Fork-tender, juicy short ribs in what aargersi unassumingly describes as a "fragrant" sauce. I'd like to bottle this sauce and wear it as my winter perfume. My husband would go wild... almost as wild as he did while eating this richly spiced concoction. Note: the ribs render quite a bit of fat while cooking. If you prefer a leaner sauce to spoon over your ribs, pour it into a container and set it in the fridge for 30 minutes (or longer) then skim the fat that hardens at the top. —CookLikeMad

  • Makes 6 meaty ribs, you judge how many of them you can eat
  • 1 can Coca Cola
  • 5 stars of anise
  • 1/2 cup coffee
  • 3 1/2 inch "coins" of ginger
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon white peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • 6 meaty beef short ribs on the bone
  • 2 yellow onions - peeled quartered and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic - peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup low salt or home made (always better of course) beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons sambal olek (chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • fresh cilantro to serve
  • olive oil for your pan
  • salt and pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Put the first 7 ingredients (through the 5 spice) in a saucepan and simmer on low heat until it has reduced by at least half and has become a bit syrupy. Turn off the heat.
  2. Heat your oven to 275. Salt and generously pepper the ribs. Add enough oil to your dutch oven to coat the bottom, and heat to med-high. Sear the ribs meat side down first until they are nice and brown, then flip and sear the bone side too. Remove them from the pan to a plate. Turn the heat down to medium.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and cook them until they are golden and caramelizing. Add in the garlic and cook a few more minutes. Strain you reduced mixture into the pan, and add the broth, zest, chili and molasses and stir it all around. Add in the ribs meat side down, cover the pan and put it in the oven.
  4. After 2 hours flip the ribs to meat side up, cover them back up and back into the oven for at least 2 more hours (more would not be a bad thing) until they are fall apart tender. I like to baste things so I go in there now and again and do just that.
  5. To serve - remove the ribs to a plate, I like to keep them on the bone but it is up to you. Use a slotted spoon to get the onions out and spoon them over the ribs. Then, use your trusty baster and go to the bottom of the pan with it - this way you can extract the good juices without getting too much of what is most probably a substantial layer of fat (not that I am opposed to fat but one must use it judiciously :-) squirt that over the ribs. Serve them with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro leaves. We like them with rice.

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I work in databases by day, but creativity is my outlet. Food - imagining it, making it, sharing it. And art, I come from a family of artists and have been collaging in my garage studio. You can see my work on Etsy in my shop AbbiesGarage