My favorite meal at CIA was at St-Andrews cafe (the most casual of the student-run restaurants). And my favorite dish there was Korean-Style Short Ribs. Short Ribs are one of my favorite braising cuts due to their large grain and loads of fat. I've had my share of really awesome short ribs both in restaurants and at home, but the ones at CIA really knocked my socks off. Luckily, the chef was willing to give me the recipe and I finally got around to trying it. Couple of things made me worry about the outcome of the dish:
- I had to scale the recipe down from 20 Lbs of ribs to a more reasonable size.
- I had to figure out what to do in all the places that said "as demoed by the chef" -- this was a recipe written for student line-cooks, who were going to get a demo on what to actually do.
- The use of onion and garlic powder and powdered ginger seemed strange to me. I don't actually have any of these things and didn't want to buy them just for this dish. So I threw in a bunch of fresh garlic and ginger.
- I didn't have veal stock and substituted store bought beef stock and a little store bough chicken stock. As Julia Child used to say -- you are alone in the kitchen, so who is ever going to know!
- The idea of a slurry (stock mixed with flour) to thicken the braising liquid before adding it to short ribs sounded strange to me.
- Braising uncovered with just a parchment paper on top of the ribs sounded even stranger. I thought you always want to create a tight seal.
- I wasn't sure how much salt to use since my stock was already seasoned and the liquid reduces so much during cooking.
- The temperatures were given for convection oven and mine is a regular one.
Here is roughly what I did.
For the sauce:
10 cups stock (I used mostly beef and a little chicken)
Slurry -- 2/3 cup flour and 1 1/3 cup stock, whisked really well until no lumps remain
For the ribs:
6-8 Lb bone-in short ribs, trimmed
Flour for dredging
Salt and pepper
3 large onions, large dice
3 large carrots, large dice (next time use 1-2)
5 celery sticks, large dice
1/2 Lb brown sugar
2/3 cups rice wine vinegar
3/4 cup soy sauce (next time use 1 1/4 cup)
2/3 cup mirin
1/4 cup chopped ginger
6-8 chopped garlic cloves
- Preheat the oven to 475F.
- Bring stock to a boil, stir in the slurry, simmer for 1 hour, skimming as needed.
- Season ribs with lots of pepper and just a little salt. Dredge in flour and roast in a large pan in the middle of the oven turning every 10 minutes until brown on all sides.
- Add onions, carrots, and celery to ribs and continue to roast until veggies are brown, about 20 minutes.
- Add brown sugar and cook until sugar melts and caramelized with mirepoix, about 15 minutes.
- Turn down the oven to 275F.
- Deglaze the pan with vinegar, mirin, and soy. Add ginger and garlic. Add the thickened stock and cover the pan with a piece of parchment. Braise for 5 hours. Turn ribs after 3 hours to help cook more evenly.
- Cool ribs in sauce for at least 1 hour. Remove ribs and chill. Strain sauce, chill overnight and degrease. To serve, warm up ribs with sauce in a pan on low heat.