Normally when I think of beef short ribs I think of a winter dish, done as a long braise with red wine and aromatics. There is no doubt it’s delicious but I really don’t want to heat the house up in the heat and humidity of summer. Besides that just feels a bit heavy.
The fourth of July is almost here, what about doing them as BBQ ribs? They’ll need a low and slow cooking, but I wanted them to hold together unlike the fall-apart texture you’ll get in a braise.
Enter sous vide. Cooked very low and very very slowly, one can cook the ribs, yet retain integrity of the meat. Imagine a piece of juicy beef that is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Sous vide can do that.
I‘ve been thinking about this dish for quite a while and pictured a fan of juicy slices with an Asian inspired glaze.
I could have gone with Galbi – which is Korean, and delicious in its own right but that is a rather thin sauce and often used as a marinade. I wanted a sticky, salty, sweet sauce; based on Char Sui. While Char Sui normally refers to roasted pork, I’ll dodge the rules and use it with beef and that’s what I got. I took a recipe from Epicurious and made it my own. Of course.
The sauce can be made a day or so ahead. You also have plenty of time with a 48 hour cook time for the ribs.
Glazed Sous Vide Short Ribs
Serves 6 as an appetizer, 3 as a main course
6 Tablespoons (90 ml) Hoisin Sauce
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Fish sauce
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) grated shallot
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon (5 ml) Black bean sauce
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) Chinese 5 spice powder
2 cloves garlic grated
1/3 cup (75 ml) sugar
- Combine all ingredients except the sugar in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- In a dry medium saucepan over medium high heat add the sugar, melt the sugar, using a whisk or a silicon spatula to stir, until sugar is melted and turns brown.
- Carefully pour the hoisin mixture into the hot sugar – be careful it will steam!
- Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 6-8 minutes – until mixture is thickened.
At this point you can let the sauce come to room temperature before chilling it. Or, for a more finished sauce, strain out the solids through a fine mesh sieve, using a spatula to push the liquid through.
When cool, place in covered container in the refrigerator.
For the Short ribs:
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) neutral oil – canola, or safflower
Salt and pepper
- Set sous vide setup for 143F – 62C, and while water comes to temperature,
- Pat short ribs dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a heavy pan over high heat
- Sear the meat quickly on all sides
- Seal meat into 2 vacuum bags distributing the meat evenly
- Cook at 62C for 48 hours (Make the sauce while the meat cooks!)
- Remove bagged meat from water oven
- Cut open bag and remove meat – blot with paper towels.
- Heat broiler to high, adjusting oven rack to upper third of oven
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil, place a rack on top
- Lightly coat ribs with prepared sauce and place on rack on cooking sheet
- Broil the ribs until sauce is bubbly – about 3 minutes, if desired, remove ribs, give another coat of sauce and broil again. They should have a deep mahogany shine and color.
Allow ribs to rest 5 minutes, cut into 1/2” (1 cm) slices, serve with kimchi, add a little more BBQ sauce on the side of desired.
These ribs are fork tender, rich, beefy, with a salty sweet glaze. The kimchi adds crunch and a nice sour acidic component that compliments the beef.
This was pretty easy to make given the right tools, and it turned out about how I imagined it would. I’ll make these again with a lower temp and longer cook. Three day ribs anyone? Or, how about pork belly?
Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!