Tangy Braised Short Ribs
This bright, sweet and salty recipe for braised short ribs will work with bone-in or boneless meat, as long as the short ribs are thick (at least 1 1/2 inch), and not the thinly sliced Korean style. Seasoning your meat with salt and pepper at least 24 hours in advance will greatly improve the flavor of the finished product. And, if you can spare an extra 24, making them a day ahead of serving will make them even better, with all that braising liquid flavoring the meat as it sits. Finishing with herbs and lemon are hardly a revelation in the braised meat department, but they are especially welcome here. The fresh lemon juice at the end transforms the braising liquid into a bright, brothy, spoonable sauce good enough to drink.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 5pounds bone-in short ribs, at least 1 1/2-inch thick, cut into single bone portions (or 3 1/2 to 4 pounds boneless, at least 1 1/2-inch thick)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 2large yellow onions, quartered
- 2heads garlic, halved crosswise
- 3tablespoons honey
- ½cup apple cider vinegar
- ½cup soy sauce or tamari
- 4cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth
- 4thyme sprigs
- 2cups parsley, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
- ½bunch chives, finely chopped
- Flaky sea salt
- 3lemons, halved, for juicing
Step 1Season short ribs with salt and pepper at least 1 hour (at room temperature) and as much as 48 hours (covered and refrigerated) in advance.
Step 2Heat oven to 300 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Working in batches, sear short ribs until deeply golden brown on both large flat sides, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer short ribs to a large plate or cutting board and drain all but about 2 tablespoons fat from the pot. Discard remaining fat. Repeat with remaining short ribs. Drain all fat from the pot and carefully wipe out. (No need to wash, just get rid of any scorched bits.)
Step 3In the same pot over medium-high, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and garlic get a bit of color, 4 to 5 minutes. Add honey and cook, stirring until it starts to bubble furiously, turning a darker amber brown and sticking to the bottom of the pot as it cooks.
Step 4Add vinegar and soy sauce, and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a strong simmer and cook to reduce by about half, 5 to 8 minutes. Add broth and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and add short ribs back in, bone-side up, making sure they are as submerged in that braising liquid as possible. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Do not look at it or remove the lid for 3 hours. (Nothing bad will happen, promise.)
Step 5After 3 hours, check the short ribs, they should be extremely tender and nearly falling apart, almost having the jiggly texture of a baked custard or Jell-O. (If not, continue roasting another 20 to 30 minutes.) Remove from oven.
Step 6At this stage, you can remove the lid and using a spoon, carefully skim as much of the top layer of fat as possible. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees, and return the pot to the oven, uncovered, to let the short ribs brown a bit on top and thicken the braising liquid a bit, another 35 to 45 minutes. (Alternatively, you can remove the short ribs from the oven, let them cool at room temperature and place in them in the fridge, overnight. When ready to serve, remove them from the fridge and using a spoon, scrape off the solidified fat on the top layer. Return the short ribs, covered, to a 325-degree oven until totally warmed through, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the lid and increase temperature to 425 degrees, and continue to cook, uncovered, to let the short ribs brown a bit on top and reduce the braising liquid, another 35 to 45 minutes.)
Step 7Meanwhile, combine parsley and chives in a small bowl and season with flaky salt.
Step 8Remove the short ribs from the oven and serve straight from the pot or transfer them to a shallow bowl or plate with high sides, spooning the braising liquid over. Squeeze lemons over, letting the juice season the braising liquid. Sprinkle with parsley mixture before serving.