For years I struggled to decide whether classically French, or boldly Asian flavored short ribs were my favorite. Truth be told I made Boulud’s more than any others over the years, so I guess the French won out. Then one day I decided to concoct a marriage of the two styles, took the best of each method and with a little tweaking over time, came up with these “Fusion” ribs. The technique is classic French as are the addition of red wine, thyme, shallots, carrots and celery. The Asian twist comes with the help of fresh ginger, cinnamon, fennel, soy, and star anise. The resulting dish is knock-your-socks-off good.
Test Kitchen Notes
Oui, Chef's multi-culti short ribs are an inspired, and well-edited, foray into fusion cuisine. His suggestion to chill the ribs overnight makes de-fatting a snap and the ribs get that much more succulent -- but even the night of, they're pretty darn tasty. A note of caution: Use the lowest sodium stock and tamari you can find and be gentle in your seasoning of the ribs before browning -- all the flavors concentrate substantially by the time the meat is sliding off the bone. Note: I halved the recipe and it fit perfectly in my 5-quart dutch oven. —Kristen Miglore
beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
bottles dry red wine
low-sodium beef broth
soy sauce or tamari
a/p flour, for dredging
large shallots, peeled, trimmed, and split
medium-sized carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into coins
ribs of celery, peeled, trimmed and roughly chopped
fennel bulbs, fronds removed, cored and roughly chopped
Pour the wine into a large saucepan set over medium heat. When the wine is hot, carefully set it aflame. The flames could jump quite high, so watch out. Let the flames die out, then increase the heat so that the wine boils; allow it to boil until it cooks down by half. Remove from the heat and reserve.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F
Warm the oil in a large, heavy, dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper. Place about 1 cup of a/p flour in a large mixing bowl and dredge each of the seasoned short ribs through the flour, knocking off any excess flour before continuing. Then, when the oil is hot, and working in batches, slip the ribs into the pot and sear 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until well-browned. Transfer the ribs to a sheet tray. Repeat with remaining ribs. Remove any burnt flour residue, and all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pot, lower the heat under the pot to medium and toss in the vegetables, spices and herbs. Brown the vegetables lightly, about 10 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes more.
Add the reduced wine, ribs, soy and beef stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and place in the oven to braise for 2 1/2-3 hours or until the ribs are very tender. It's best to make the recipe to this point, then let the ribs cool in the braising medium. Chill in the pan overnight, then scrape off the congealed fat from the top the next day before continuing.
After removing all the fat from the top of the braise, carefully transfer the meat to a platter. Boil the braising medium including all the remaining solids until it the liquid has reduced to about 3-4 cups. Pass the sauce through a fine strainer, pressing on the solids to extract all their goodness, then discard the solids. Season the sauce to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the ribs back to the sauce and heat over a low flame (or covered in a 350 degree oven), basting the ribs frequently, just to heat through. Serve with a potato puree (a sweet potato puree is great too), and a generous slathering of the rich sauce.
I am a father of five, who recently completed a two year professional hiatus during which I indulged my long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts and immerse myself in all things French. I earned “Le Grande Diplome” from Le Cordon Bleu, studied also at The Ritz Escoffier and Lenotre cooking schools, and completed the course offerings of the Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin.
About six months ago started "Oui, Chef", which is a food blog that exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my children a few things about cooking, and how our food choices over time effect not only our own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences through the blog, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals as a family, passing on established familial food traditions, and perhaps starting some new ones.