short ribs braised with plums
JUMP TO RECIPE -
Short ribs of beef, oven braised on the bone with plums and ginger turn completely black; only when you cut through the meat the pinkish colour peeks through. Smothered in plum and ginger sauce which, incidentally, turns black too, I couldn’t resist but present them in a black casserole dish. Maybe black is the new black in food presentation?
Beef short ribs are a very popular cut in America; here in UK not so much. It might now become hugely big because the recipe I’m presenting is called ’Obama’s short ribs’. Braised in the oven, with plum sauce, the dish was cooked by chef Marcus Samuelsson for President Obama when he visited the restaurant Red Rooster Harlem.
I found the recipe on NY Times Cooking site and got cooking; the short rib of beef is very tasty, very easy, good for a party and tastes ‘more expensive than it looks’. I tweaked a little, adding fresh plums and extending the cooking time so I was sure the meat would be falling off the bone. But it had me thinking too: very well, Obama’s braised short ribs, but do we know if he actually enjoyed it?
That’s the problem with the dishes named after celebrities: unless they actually cooked the thing (Barbara Bush’s cowboy cookies), they are lumbered willy-nilly with the edible tribute. Did Nellie Melba like peaches? Or Anna Pavlova meringue? Was Garibaldi partial to biscuits? And did John D. Rockefeller like seafood?
I’m sure the good former president, being a polite person, would have noshed what was served and praised substantially. But do you know if he did truthfully? Maybe he hated each mouthful and kept telling himself ‘do not ask what your country can do for you…’? I guess with the current incumbent at least you know where you stand: if it ain’t Big Mac, it’s garbage.
short ribs braised with plumsServings: 2Time: about 5 hours
- 2-4 beef short ribs on the bone
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp. groundnut oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed, smashed and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- a 3cm (1in) piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 3-4 ripe plums, stoned and chopped
- 120ml (½ cup) dry red wine
- 500ml (2 cups) beef stock
- 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 60ml (¼ cup) dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
1.Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/gas 3. Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper.
2.Heat the oil in a large oven-proof casserole dish and brown the ribs, for 2 minutes on each side. Remove them onto a plate.
3.Add the onion, carrot, celery, lemongrass, garlic and ginger to the pot and cook stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the plums and pour in the wine. Stir to dissolve any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Pour in the stock, add the hoisin and soy sauces, sugar and the bay leaves. Bring to the boil.
4.Transfer the ribs back to the pot, cover with the lid and put in the oven. Braise for 3 hours turning the ribs over every hour, then lift the lid and bake for another hour uncovered.
5.Remove the ribs from the sauce and strain it into a small pan. Wipe the pot, return the ribs into it and keep them in the turned off oven. Cook the sauce to reduce it – it should be already quite thick. Spoon the sauce over the ribs in the pot to coat them. Serve with any remaining sauce drizzled over the meat.