Recipe: Anise-Scented Short Ribs

Well, It has been a long time coming, but this recipe is too good not to share. The key to getting a perfect, melt in your mouth experience with this recipe is to hit up the beef guy at the Memphis Farmers Market for your short ribs. Three bucks a pound (last time we were there) makes this a super affordable meal. This is a great cold, rainy day recipe because it stews for a couple of hours, which warms the house up nicely. And the smell, ahh the smell of slow cooked meat and anise, Glade Plug-Ins I scoff at you. You can also do this in a pressure cooker in a fraction of the time and have it turn out just as good. Just follow the rib cooking times on your machine.

Anise-Scented Short Ribs
Time: 2 hours or more, largely unattended

  • 1 Tbs Olive oil
  • 3 Pounds meaty beef short ribs
  • Freshly ground black pepper or szechwan peppercorns to taste*
  • 1 medium to large onion chopped
  • 5 nickel sized slices of fresh ginger or 2 teaspoons of ground**
  • 3 cloves of garlic lightly crushed
  • 5 whole star anise***
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce or fish sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp rice or white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • Salt (optional)

  • 1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven. Brown the short ribs well on all sides. Season with pepper as they cook. Don't rush the process, which will take about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the heat so you don't burn the ribs or get the oil too smokey. You can also do the initial browning in a 500º F oven in a roasting pan turning the ribs every so often to get an even brown. This takes about 20 minutes as well.

    2. Remove the ribs with a slotted spoon and pour off most of the fat. Lower heat and cook onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger cooking for another 2 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except carrots and salt. Bring to a boil and return ribs to the pot.Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook slowly, occasionally turning the ribs, for about 1 hour.

    3. Add carrots and re-cover pot. Cook 30 minutes more until ribs are tender and meat is falling off the bone. Remove carrots and ribs from stew juices and place on a platter in a warm (200º F) oven. Discard the ginger and star anise pieces. Turn pot heat to high and reduce the liquid, stirring until thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Add more salt or soy sauce to taste. Serve sauce on ribs with white rice. I also like crusty bread to soak up the juice, but I am rather gluttonous when it comes to this recipe.

    *Szechwan peppercorns have a far superior flavor in this dish, use them if you can find them.
    ** Fresh ginger is easy to come by, use it over ground ginger, the flavor doesn't come close.
    *** Viet Hoah Market on Cleveland has the hook up on affordable star anise. They have the hook up on a lot of spices but that's for another post. you might be able to pick up some szechwan peppercorns there too.

    Recipe source: How to Cook Everything, Bittman



    • At 8:16 AM, Blogger Winslow said…

      Hi La,

      That sounds marvelous! I have a recipe for oxtail stew that uses many of the same ingredients, but I never considered star anise-scented ribs. Thanks for the post, I'll have to give this a try sometime.

    • At 10:42 AM, Blogger La said…

      it is fabulous. We have also made it with lamb shank and that was wonderful as well.

    • At 2:30 PM, Blogger Tery Spataro said…

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    • At 2:31 PM, Blogger Tery Spataro said…

      Sounds delightful and divine! I'll have to try that recipe!

    • At 4:47 PM, Blogger linda said…

      This was so delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe!


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