A few years back, I got an email from my aunt, stating there was a new TV cooking show that they were auditioning for in San Fran. I checked out the link. It was a show called Master Chef, headed by the infamous Gordon Ramsay (who I actually like). Not deterred by the potential of verbal abuse on a daily basis from the Chef, I signed up. The premise of the show was they would take amateur cooks who’ve never worked professionally and teach them how to cook with the prize being a restaurant of their own. Sounded cool.
These were the short ribs I made. I thought they turned out great. The producer and chef who interviewed me for the show thought the same. Unfortunately, he thought they were too good and he accused me of having either worked in a restaurant or attended culinary school. Neither was the case, but that was the end for me. He wished me well and sent me packing. For the complete, snarky recalling of the days events, check here. It’s a post I wrote years ago (I’d like to think I’ve mellowed a bit since then). Anyways, I’ve also one a competition or two with these ribs in one form or another. The recipe might sound like a little bit of work, but the end result is worth it.
Pear and Sake Braised Short Ribs
- 2 cups pear or apple juice
- 1 cup sake
- 1 cup mirin
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup soy sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 10 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like corn or grapeseed
- 4 to 5 pounds short ribs
- 2 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, combine juice, sake, mirin, sugar, soy sauce, about 20 grinds of pepper, both forms of garlic, sesame oil and 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
- Put corn or grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof braising pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add ribs, seasoning them liberally with salt and pepper. Brown well on all sides, moving them around to promote even browning. Remove from pan and add onions and the carrots, stirring vegetables occasionally.
- Add ribs back to pan. Carefully pour braising liquid over meat and bake, bone-side up and submerged in liquid (add water or juice if necessary), covered, for 3 to 4 hours, until meat falls from bones. Cool ribs in liquid for 1 hour, then remove; strain liquid. At this point, ribs and liquid can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
- Remove bones from ribs. In a pot, reduce braising liquid; heat to a boil then simmer, reducing liquid until syrupy. If it seems too thick, thin with a bit of water. Add meat back to the liquid to warm.
- Taste mixture and adjust seasonings if necessary, then garnish with scallions.