April 28, 2009

Asian-Style Short Ribs with Lacquered Carrots

We invited a couple and their 3-month old baby girl over for dinner. Chris is really good about picking out delicious recipes to show off when we have friends eat with us. This was definitely no different! If you are pulling your hair out, trying to figure out what to make for your next dinner party or small get together at your house... TRY THIS RECIPE!! I promise you that everyone will love it and think you are a genius. It is a lot of work but it's sooo worth it.

**Keep in mind that this really should be prepared the day before. If you chill overnight, the fat can be lifted right off the sauce.

6 short ribs on the bone, about 3 lbs total, trimmed of excess fat
1 1/2 c orange juice
1/2 c low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches baby carrots or 1 1/2 cups bagged mini carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the short ribs and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Coat the bottom of a 5-7 quart Dutch oven with a thin film of vegetable oil and set pot over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add enough short ribs to cover the bottom in 1 layer. Cook, without stirring, until short ribs lift easily from pot with tongs and are well browned on bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and continue with remaining short ribs, adding more oil to pot in between batches as needed.

Meanwhile, stir together the orange juice, soy, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

When the last batch of short ribs has been removed from pot, drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and stir 1 minute more until fragrant. Pour in orange juice mixture, let come to a boil, then put short ribs back in pot 1 at a time, bone side up; don't worry if you have to snuggle them a little bit.

Cover pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until meat peels easily away from bone when prodded with a fork, 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Remove from oven and transfer meat and bones to a plate. (The recipe can be made ahead to this point; let cool to room temperature and place short ribs and sauce in separate containers and store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

If serving dish right away, cover meat with foil to keep warm. Tilt pot to 1 side and spoon off as much fat as possible from sauce. Place pot over high heat and add the carrots and 1 cup of water; bring to a boil. (If made ahead, lift and remove solidified fat from top of sauce. Put sauce in a wide, deep pan, add carrots and water and continue as directed.) Reduce heat slightly and cook, uncovered, at a steady simmer until sauce is reduced by about half and carrots are just tender, 12-15 minutes. Return meat briefly to pan to rewarm, then serve. (If reheating meat, cover pan and heat in sauce for about 10-minutes more.) Serve with white or brown rice.
Serves 4-6.

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