I’ve got the beef

19 Feb

I’ve already declared my love and respect for the slow cooker – having worked for the creator of that handy dandy Crock-Pot. It’s ideal for soups, stews, chili and the like but I wouldn’t say the results are necessarily company-worthy. Until now. I discovered a recipe that produces restaurant quality beef ribs. Honestly, I’ve never prepared beef ribs – opting instead for pork. We were gifted with several racks of both and I have been trying to find novel ways to prepare them. This recipe is so outstanding that I would serve it at a dinner party. Furthermore it is super easy. The only caveat? It must be prepared a day in advance. Don’t expect great results if you try and make/serve it the same day!

I found the recipe in The Gourmet Slow Cooker Volume II (2006) by Lynn Alley and there are several others I can’t wait to try in this slim paperback cookbook – that is still available in bookstores on online. Beverage recommendations are included with every recipe!

The bones had already fallen off the ribs when I took off the lid after 7 hours of slowing cooking. I also was able to remove a thin layer of fat that clung to the meaty ribs. Here’s what you do next. Place the ribs, sans bones unless they are still attached, in a casserole dish, cover and refrigerate. Pour the sauce left in the slow cooker into a plastic or glass container and also refrigerate overnight. By the next day you will see an impressive amount of fat – probably as much as the remaining “gravy” – has risen to the top and you can simply scoop it out (it will be solid) and discard. Pour the now fat-free sauce over the ribs and reheat 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees. Meat will be fork tender and luscious!

Korean-Style Ribs

3 pounds pork or beef ribs, trimmed of excess fat

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 cup freshly squeezed orange or tangerine juice

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon finely minced or grated fresh peeled ginger

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey

3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

2 green onions, green parts only, thinly sliced, for garnish

Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the ribs and cook, turning, for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned on all sides. Transfer the ribs to the slow cooker. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, orange juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and brown sugar and mix well. Pour the sauce over the ribs. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until the meat is very tender.

To serve, arrange the ribs on plates or a serving platter and spoon the sauce on top. Garnish with the sesame seeds and green onions.

Tip: Tropicana OJ won’t cut it. Pick up a small bottle of freshly squeezed OJ in your grocer’s produce section.

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