Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ginger Soy Short Ribs with Miso Risotto


This meal was inspired by a dish I had while in Missoula, MT at The Red Bird this summer on vacation with the family. We got some time to go out with some old friends to a nice place and get a nice meal. Very rare for us.

The original dish was bison two ways as short ribs and tenderloin. I really liked the short ribs, which were braised then smoked (or smoked then braised?) and the miso rice. The tenderloin was fine, but was too much for me on the plate. The short ribs were enough. 

For this version, I'm skipping the tenderloin from the original and swapping the miso rice for miso risotto, since I thought the rice in the original was a bit dry. 

Ginger Soy Short Ribs with Miso Risotto
(marinade from here, technique from here, risotto very lightly adapted from momofuku's miso risotto, here)

Ginger Soy Marinade:
3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs, each about 3 inches long
1 bunch green onions, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. sesame oil

Miso Risotto:
3 tablespoons bacon fat or lard or butter
1 large (or 2 small) shallots
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup sake
6 cups Asian Vegetable Stock (or your favorite stock) at a strong simmer Recipe below
1/2 cup of peas
2-3 teapoons of shiro (white) miso, to taste
1/4 cup of grated Romano cheese
1 tablespoon of butter

Asian Vegetable Stock:
(I'm not going to pretend that regular, store-bought chicken or vegetable stock wouldn't work fine for this recipe, so if you're pressed for time, just use that - you'll need 6 cups, at a simmer for the risotto, BUT- if you have 20 minutes and a pressure cooker, go for it!)
4 cloves garlic
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 onion, quartered
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake
A handful of parsley stems
A handful of mushroom stems (I didn't have any, but you should use them)
A handful of bonito flakes
1/4 piece of nori
4 quarts of water (may vary according to your pot)

For smoking the short ribs:
1 chimney of charcoal, natural lump works great
1 handful hickory chips, soaked for 1 hour

To finish:
12 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed

==

So, I began by marinating my short ribs:

3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
1 bunch green onions, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. sesame oil

Just toss everything into a ziplock bag.

Let this go as long as you can, but an hour should suffice in a pinch. I usually do this type of thing in the morning while I drink my coffee and stash it in the fridge all day.


==

Next you can make your stock. This can be done ahead, too.

As said above, you can use store-bought chicken or vegetable stock for this and be totally fine. But if you want to go the extra mile and ramp up your risotto, do yourself a favor and go for the gusto. Making your own stock is economical, tasty and easy. It also lets you dial in any flavors you want to impart to your dishes. With a pressure cooker, it's quick, easy and outstanding. 

Just add your veggies:

4 cloves garlic
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 onion, quartered
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake
A handful of parsley stems
A handful of mushroom stems (I didn't have any, but you should use them)


Add a handful of bonito flakes and... 


1/4 piece of nori.

Using these two ingredients really sends the broth to Japan. The bonito flakes add a smoky umami flavor as the nori gives it MORE umami punch with some flavors of the sea. Very nice. 


Fill with 4 quarts of water - or to your max fill line.


Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes and let the pressure dissipate on its own. 

Strain once or twice as you see fit. I always do it twice. 


Meanwhile, empty the contents of the short ribs into a pot. Marinade and all. I turn the ribs bone-side up.


Add enough water to come half-way up the sides of the short ribs.


Cook at 300 for about 2 hours or until tender when poked with a fork.


You don't want them to be "fall-apart-tender" just yet but they will be tender.


Remove the short ribs and strain the liquid. 

Sorry, didn't get a pic of the straining. Keep the liquid on hand.

Note that I lost some of the bones. It's ok. 


==

Now the second part of this is the smoking.

It's not going to be very long as we're just going to impart the flavor and glaze that the smoke gives, as well as finishing off the cooking process.

Grab just an handful of hickory chips (or whatever wood you want) and soak them for about an hour - so they won't just burst into flames when they hit that charcoal.


Light a whole chimney of charcoal.

I use the "natural lump" because it's awesome.



When it's just starting to ash over the top it's ready.

Usually takes me 15-20 minutes.


Turn out the coals on one side of your grill.


Throw the wood chips on the coals.


Arrange the short ribs on the opposite side of the grill.


Cover and let smoke for 20-30 minutes.


After about 15 minutes:


Pull them when they get a nice dark bark - again, only 30 minutes. 


==

Next, we'll do the risotto. 

If you're time conscious, you'll have already started this before you started the ribs smoking. Just be aware that the risotto will take 45 minutes or so (maybe a bit less) so time your service accordingly. 

==

I started with 2 tablespoons of bacon fat and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.


Peel and dice a couple of shallots.


Add to the fat.


Measure out a cup of arborio rice and 1/2 a cup of sake (in lieu of white wine).


When your shallots are translucent, after about 5 minutes, add the rice.


Give this a stir for 60 seconds - 2 minutes at the most.


Add the sake.


Stir until absorbed.


Add your super-fantastic-number-one-fun-time Japanese inspired stock, at a simmer, a ladle at a time from this point on.


Stir every-so-often until you get those nice little trails of starch after most of the liquid is absorbed then add another ladle. Repeat until al dente.

Again, refer to this post for much more detail on risotto making.


When your rice is just about ready, lower the heat to low, add the peas, a pat of butter and the miso.

I started with a teaspoon and ended up using three. It's up to your taste here. Start with one, add another and go from there. 


Add your 1/4 cup of Romano.


Stir well to combine and remove from the heat. 


==

Remember that strained cooking liquid from the short ribs? 

Put that in a small pot or pan and add the 12 oz of peas.

Cover and bring this to a simmer over medium-high heat. 


Cook for a 5-7 minutes until tender to your liking. Less time for more snap.


==

Plate with some of the sauce from the peas with the ribs, risotto and peas.

==

While this dish was inspired by a restaurant dish, it's much more approachable for a home cook. The Short ribs were outstanding. The ginger and soy added a nice sweet/savory element while the smoke really came through in flavor and texture as it created a nice sticky bark on the short ribs. 

The risotto was creamy and very nicely flavored with the miso. Combined with the short ribs it paired really well as the peas added some texture and ruffage to the plate. 

Overall, this was a fantastic plate of food. Everything was balanced and fulfilling. This is a really great dish if you are craving some Asian flavors and some good old-fashioned meat. 


Enjoy!

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