Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Warming Trend--Short Rib Stew

The day after a hectic one is when I plan to do nothing. But as it happens on most occasions, life comes in the way. And when all the chores are done I get itchy feet. The warmth of the sun blazes through the windows. Makes me don on walking shoes and take a spin around the park along with a reluctant husband. The bracing air does both of us a world of good, dissipating mental cobwebs and other home bound ties. 

Energized, I weave my way back to ground zero. Defrosted short ribs are the meat of choice. Lenten observations make for cranky souls so I do oblige them. Short ribs take a long time to braise. I usually finish them in the oven. Today I try a fast alternative. I forgo the oven for the pressure cooker. A shortcut version and time saving too! And I get to indulge in more leisure pastimes. 

Serves 3-4

8 pieces of Short Ribs
6 cloves Garlic
3 slices Ginger
1 Cinnamon stick
2 Star Anise
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 tablespoons Soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted Sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground Black pepper
3 tablespoons Flour
2 -4 tablespoons Water
2 Carrots

Peel and trim garlic.

Heat olive oil in a pressure cooker over medium heat.

Add the short ribs to hot oil and sear ribs on all sides till dark brown. This should take about 10 minutes.

Drop cinnamon, star anise, garlic, ginger and black pepper to ribs.

Add soy sauce, sesame oil and enough water to cover the ribs.

Bring the liquid to boil and put the lid on the pressure cooker.

After the first whistle, lower the flame to lowest point and let ribs cook for 30 minutes.

Let ribs cool before you open the cooker lid.

Bring the ribs and gravy to a vigorous simmer.

Alternatively you could use the oven too. Once the liquid is boiling cover tightly with aluminium foil and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 2 hours. Remove from oven.

Mix the flour and water to make a slurry.

Peel and slice the carrots into thick coins.

Add carrots to ribs. 

Add the flour slurry to the ribs and let the gravy thicken and carrots cook. 

Check the carrots after 5 minutes. 

 Serve short ribs with mashed potatoes.

I make a quick stir fry of peas, pea shoots and tomatoes. Potatoes, butter and milk come together in creamy perfection. Of course there's wine. The ribs are fork tender, melt-n-your-mouth goodness. That umami taste packs a punch. Long on flavor, short on time. Dinner goes by in an easy flash. The easy comfort of gravy and mash pleases immensely.