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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Beer Braised Hoisin Short Ribs

If you haven't already figured it out, I'm not much of a meat maker. I prefer to make things that have meat in them but I don't have a lot of experience giving meat the star solo performance. But, I came across this recipe in a cookbook that I've had forever and haven't used. Don't be afraid of braising - it's probably the easiest way to cook meat. All you need is a few simple ingredients and some time. To me, this is a good Saturday or Sunday dinner because you'll need a good part of the afternoon for the braising. You can spend this time drinking the other 5 beers out of the six pack you bought for the ribs.

3 lbs of short ribs (depending on where you go, about 4 large ribs - buy lean if you can)
3 tbsp of vegetable oil
10 garlic cloves - mashed
2 tbsp ginger - minced (a 2 in. piece of fresh ginger cut into 1/4 in. slices)
1 bottle of good ale (12 oz)
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 cup hoisin sauce

*Serves 4, and best with mashed potatoes and garlicy snow peas or broccoli.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Generously salt and pepper the ribs on all sides.

3. Heat oil on medium high in a large ovenproof pot with a lid (Dutch oven or a pot with lots of surface area).

4. Brown the ribs on all sides (don't crowd the pot, you can do them in batches if needed).

5. When browned, remove the ribs and pour out all but a few tbsp of the fat in the pot.

6. Lower the heat to medium and saute the garlic and ginger for a couple minutes.

7. Add the ribs back to the pot, and add the beer and vinegar. Give it a stir, cover it, and place in the oven.

8. Bake the ribs for 2 hours. (you may smell the vinegar more than the meat for a while - don't be worried, they'll be delicious!).

9. After 2 hours, pour the hoisin sauce over the ribs and return to the oven, uncovered, for another 20-30 minutes...or until the meat is falling off the bone.

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