Experiment with Beef Ribs

After the success of the lamb breast, I thought I’d branch out to cheaper cuts of other animals that I like to eat. Beef ribs seem to have gained popularity in the food world recently so I thought they’d be a good place to start.

I found out that you can’t get beef ribs in the supermarket. Luckily I live in a town with an abundance of butchers, and after a little bit of research, this looked like a good one.

So on Saturday my partner and I went in search of beef ribs. The butchers said that they didn’t have any, but would make sure that they had some for me on Wednesday. Not a problem. I sent my partner back on Wednesday, who was presented with one meaty rib which looked (and weighed) like it could feed about 4 people. It cost £4.

Now a beef rib is not small. It comes from a COW. One rib was too big for my slow cooker. Consequently a good 20 minutes was spent by my partner trying to cut this one beef rib into two serving. With standard kitchen knives. So make sure you ask the butcher to do this for you (unless you have a saw at home).

My most recent issue of Good Food Magazine had this recipe in it. I had most of the ingredients in my house so that wasn’t a problem. The problem was the fact that I don’t have a pressure cooker. Time to improvise and slow-cook the ribs. I followed the Good Food recipe with some minor changes (to cater to my tastes). I didn’t bother with the herb salad.

Here’s what I used:

A thumb size piece of ginger, peeled

31g fresh coriander

1 and a half red onion

5 garlic cloves

1 beef rib, cut into two

1 tsp castor sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

50ml oyster sauce

1 chicken stock pot + water

3 star anise

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Here’s what I did:

Check out the beef rib!!!

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These were meaty but also fatty. I seared them in a hot pan.

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A bit more (get your fan going and open a window. This is smoky business).

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When brown all over, I put them in the slow cooker. Next, the paste.

Into the food processor went the onion, garlic, ginger and coriander. I misread the recipe and threw in the leaves of the coriander as well as the stalks. A bit of a rookie error as the would’ve been a nice garnish towards the end of cooking time.

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The pan that I seared the beef in had some rendered fat in it. I cooked my paste in that for a few minutes with the sugar on a low heat before adding to the beef in the slow-cooker.

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Last set of Ingredients.

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I added the vinegar, oyster sauce, star anise, soy sauce and chicken stock pot in with the beef.

The beef needed liquid to cook in, specifically water. The pan that you seared the beef in and fried off the paste in will have some sticky, tasty bits in it. I de-glazed the pan with water and added this to the slow-cooker until the beef was covered. It will look like this.

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I turned on the slow-cooker, set it to low, put the lid on and went to work.

Five hours later, my partner sent me this photo which got me salivating:

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He had tasted the sauce and said that it needed to reduce and the flavours needed to intensify. I told him to take the lid off and keep an eye on it. I couldn’t concentrate on work and skipped out on the gym so I could get home quicker to eat this up.

Nine hours after getting the slow-cooker going, I FINALLY got back home. This was what was going on:

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You can see a fair bit of fat in there. To get rid of this, throw in some ice cubes and throw away once the fat solidifies on the surface.

This has been cooking for nine hours at this stage. It’s ready to eat. Plate up and sprinkle with fresh red chilli and coriander.

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I wonder how tender that meat is?

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TENDER ENOUGH THAT YOU COULD CUT IT WITH A SPOON!

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FALL OFF THE BONE TENDER.

The meat was perfect. It tasted beefy and delicious. The ginger came through nicely and it was just so moreish. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Next time I would:

  1. Get the butcher to portion the rib and not attempt this at home.
  2. Not add coriander leaves to the food processor.
  3. Add a red chilli or two to the food processor at the start.

This is the nicest beef dish I’ve ever made. Next time I invite people over for dinner, this is what they’re getting.

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