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

For the Sauce:

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

  1. Combine all ingredients except the sugar in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Carefully pour the hoisin mixture into the hot sugar – be careful it will steam!
  4. 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:

2 lbs (900 gm) boneless short ribs – about 6
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) neutral oil – canola, or safflower
Salt and pepper

  1. Set sous vide setup for 143F – 62C, and while water comes to temperature,
  2. Pat short ribs dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy pan over high heat
  4. Sear the meat quickly on all sides
  5. Seal meat into 2 vacuum bags distributing the meat evenly
  6. Cook at 62C for 48 hours (Make the sauce while the meat cooks!)
  7. Remove bagged meat from water oven
  8. Cut open bag and remove meat – blot with paper towels.
  9. Heat broiler to high, adjusting oven rack to upper third of oven
  10. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil, place a rack on top
  11. Lightly coat ribs with prepared sauce and place on rack on cooking sheet
  12. 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.

SV SR Featured

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!