Whenever my husband says, “I’ve had a bad day,” or if he’s been traveling for work and he says, “It’s been a rough week,” I know exactly what to do: I bring out the short ribs! You see, when I have a bad day, I crave a slice of chocolate cake, maybe eat ice cream straight from the tub, or perhaps treat myself to a manicure. But for my husband, I found that my homemade short ribs stew does the trick to get him to crack a smile again. I guess at the end of the day, the path to a man’s heart is paved with meat and potatoes.
Here’s a few prep steps to get things started. You will need 1 medium onion, 2 medium potatoes, 2 medium carrots, lots of garlic, and green onions. For the seasoning you will need low sodium soy sauce, mirin, sake, sesame oil, fresh ground pepper and either instant dashi granules or dashi stock.
Cut one of the carrots into rolling chunks. Set the second carrot and both the potatoes aside for later.
Slice up the onion.
Cut 2 or 3 green onions into two-inch pieces for the stew and then cut one green onion into slices for garnish and set aside.
Grab a bunch of garlic.
You need 5 whole garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon chopped garlic.
Trim and cut 1 kg of short ribs into 1 1/2 inch pieces. I try to trim off as much of the visible fat as possible. Believe me, short ribs are such a rich cut that there will be plenty of fat and flavor left over that will come out during the braising process.
Now your prep work is done and you are ready to get to braising! The full recipe is below.
When you’re done, here is what you get after 2 1/2 hours of patience. It’s juicy and fall-apart tender short ribs, the ultimate comfort food, and hands-down one of my favorite things to eat. Japanese braised short ribs….pulling husbands out of ruts since 2010 :).
Japanese Braised Short Ribs
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 3 hours | Serves: 4
For the braising liquid:
1 cup dashi stock, plus more to top up if needed (1 teaspoon instant hondashi granules + 1 cup hot water gives 1 cup dashi)
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup sake
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
5 cloves crushed garlic
3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
For the short ribs:
1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 lb. (1 kg) – beef short ribs (cut into 1 1/2 chunks)
For the vegetables:
2 large carrots cut into rolling chunks
1 large white onion sliced
2 medium or 3 small potatoes cut into medium chunks
2 large green onions cut into two inch pieces
sliced green onion for garnish
4 cups cooked white rice.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, combine sake, mirin, sugar, soy sauce, about 20 grinds of pepper, both forms of garlic, sesame oil and 1 cup dashi stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
- Put 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat and add ribs, seasoning them liberally with salt and pepper. Brown well on one side, moving them around to promote even browning. Remove from dutch oven and set aside. Add a little more vegetable oil to saute the vegetables. Add onions and half the carrots and stir occasionally for about 3 minutes. Add the ribs back into the dutch oven along with any juice that has been released while resting. Nestle the ribs in between the vegetables so they are not sitting on top. Add the 2 inch green onion pieces.
- Carefully pour braising liquid over meat and bake, bone-side up and submerged in liquid (add water or more dashi stock if necessary), for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until meat falls from bones. Remove from oven, keep covered, and cool ribs in liquid for 30 minutes. At this point, ribs and liquid can be covered and refrigerated overnight. This would be ideal in separating the fat from the liquid and allowing the flavors to set in overnight. But, if serving right away, you can just skim some of the fat off the top layer after it’s been standing for a bit.
- About ½ hour before you are ready to serve, steam remaining carrots and boil the potato chunks until fork tender. Add to stew. Garnish with scallions and serve on rice.