By Hiroko Shimbo
If you never tried my method of preparing short-ribs as presented in Hiroko’s American Kitchen, please do so. It will be an eye-opening discovery for you. What make my method so special is the use of kelp stock as a braising liquid, and also the use of the Japanese technique of rinsing the meat after browning before braising. These methods produces a rich and flavorful dish, but with a clean and lean character. You will find this dish uniquely delicious among all the recipes for braised short-ribs. And my favorite Makombu is a key to making these the very best braised short-ribs.
7 tbs Kishibori Shoyu
5 tbs Honey
3 tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbs Red Pepper flakes
5 to 5 ½ pounds bone-in Short Ribs (about 6 whole bones)
2 tbs Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sake
2 cups Kelp Stock
2 tbs Sugar
1 bunch Swiss Chard
6 Cipollini Onions
1 tbs Rice Vinegar
6 Cherry Tomatoes
Crusty Bread, for serving
In a large bowl, combine 6 tablespoons of the Kishibori Shoyu, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes. Add the short ribs to the sauce and marinate for 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 325 degree F. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Remove the short ribs from the marinade and wipe them with paper towels, reserving the marinade. Place the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add half the meat. Cook the ribs until all sides are golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the browned short ribs to a sieve, and lower the ribs into the boiling water. Quickly swish the ribs in the water and remove them, discarding the water after both batches of ribs have been cooked and washed. (see page 31).
Combine the sake and kelp stock in a large pot over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Add the sugar and the ribs (in a single layer) and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Cover the pot with a lid, transfer it to the oven, and cook the short ribs for 1 hour.
Cut the Swiss chard in half lengthwise along the center of the stems, and then, crosswise into 2-inch slices. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil (see page 14). Add the Swiss chard and cook for 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer the Swiss chard to a colander to drain and air-dry. Add the cipollini onions to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to the colander with the Swiss Chard.
Remove the pot of short fibs from the oven and transfer it to the stovetop. Add the reserved marinade to the pot and cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Add the prunes and cipollini onions and cook for 15 minutes longer. Toward the end of the cooking time, taste the cooking liquid and, if desired, add the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
Remove the beef, prunes, and onions from the cooking liquid and place them in a bowl. Transfer the cooking liquid into a gravy separator to remove the excess fat. Return the cooking liquid to the pot (you will have about 2 cups) and add the vinegar. Cook the liquid over medium heat, uncovered, until it is reduced to two-thirds of its previous volume. Return the short rib, prunes, and onions to the pot, and add the Swiss chard and tomatoes. Cook the short ribs and vegetables, covered, over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the ribs and vegetables are heated through. Divide the meat and vegetables among dinner plates and pour the remaining cooking liquid over them. Serve the dish with crusty bread.
Makes 6 servings