Braised Short Ribs with Plum Sauce

I love ribs. Absolutely love them. Beef shortribs are a different animal (no, er, ok, some pun intended), but still, they’re ribs! A beautiful but tough, rich and fatty cut, that with a bit of time and slow cooking, can be transformed into the most tender, flavorful, delicious meat. With that being said, I wanted to enjoy these with some plums before they disappear for the season, and so the result was a dish that seemed like a blend of homey comfort food and some Asian flavors: Braised Short Ribs with Plum Sauce.

Braise dishes just scream late autumn/winter to me, and this is the kind of dish that will keep you warm but still have surprisingly bright, full flavors. After hours of slow cooking, the ribs will be fall apart tender and the sauce will take on a very full body with surprisingly complex flavor. The plums lose some of that bright fruitiness, but combined with spices like anise and cloves, after all this cooking, they take on a different, sultry character that stands up to beef nicely. Served with a bit of rice (good for sopping up stray sauce) and steamed veggies, and this dish is a real winner.

  • 4 strips bacon
  • ~4 lbs short ribs
  • flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • dash of anise
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • fennel seeds
  • black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 shallot
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery
  • 2 anaheim
  • 2 serrano
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch chunk of ginger
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 4 plums
  • 1 Tbsp apricot preserves
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup rice cooking wine
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar

Get things ready by finel dicing up the vegetables.

Cook the bacon and set it aside, reserving the grease.

While you wait, dredge the shortribs in flour, salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander and then brown them in the bacon grease for about 2-3 minutes per side (don’t move them around or they won’t get that beautiful crust). Work in batches so as to avoid crowding the ribs (or you’ll steam them rather than brown them). Set these aside.

With the meat out of the way, drop the whole spices in the grease for a minute–they should just begin to give off a nice aroma before you proceed. Then, add in the celery, carrot, and shallot, sweating them for 2-3 minutes before you add in the peppers for another 3 minutes. Finally, add the garlic and ginger for a minute further.

With the vegetable base softened, deglaze the pan with beef stock. Pit and chop the plums. Add them to the mix.

Finally, add in all of the remaining ingredients (apricot preserves, etc) as you wait for this to warm up. Crank the heat up to get this to a boil and return the meat to the pan (bacon included). Do your best to submerge it as much as possible.

Once boiling, cover the pan and transfer to a 350°F oven for 3 hours. Flip the meat once halfway through cooking.

Once time is up, remove the meat from the pan and set it aside. Now, in a food processor or a blender, puree the mixture and strain it to get a nice, smooth sauce. Boil it hard for 5-10 minutes to reduce the liquid to a saucier texture and skim the fat that will froth up around the perimeter of your pan.

Depending on how much fat you saw in your sauce (probably a lot) and your time constraints, a good last step is to further defat your sauce by setting it in the fridge. As it cools down, the fat should begin to solidify and settle on top. Remove these chunks of fat, warm the sauce back up again, add the beef back in so you can heat them again, and finally, its time to eat!

I plated a mound of jasmine rice with some steamed sugarsnaps and julienned red peppers. Top with a rib or two, ladle on some sauce, and enjoy!

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23 Responses to “Braised Short Ribs with Plum Sauce”

  1. Y Says:

    The mere mention of ribs instantly brings to mind an image of Homer Simpson with his head flung back, drool trickling from the corner of his mouth. I’m surprised I don’t cook ribs that often actually, considering I’m quite the fan too.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Bring out your braises…bring out your braises….

    God I love this time of year. Awesome job!

  3. Lynn Says:

    That looks amazing! Your step by step instructions are terrific.

  4. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    That’s quite an ingredient list — looks like the inventory of my pantry! The nice thing about ribs is that they really cook themselves. And there is nothing more comforting on a cold winter night.

  5. brilynn Says:

    I love ribs too! Those look fantastic!

  6. heather Says:

    i’ve never made short ribs. this looks delicious – all of the spices sound amazing, especially when you’re braising! i’ll bet this smelled heavenly. and i love fruit sauces, of course – so the plum… mmm!!

  7. Toni Says:

    I absolutely adore braised short ribs, and this recipe looks golden!

  8. linda Says:

    Look at that list of ingredients, so impressively long!
    Never had beef ribs before, they must be delicious cooked this way.

  9. joanne at frutto della passione Says:

    I’m always looking for new ways to do ribs because we love having them and I love the sweet/savory combination.

  10. grace Says:

    what a unique sauce! my brother was just asking me if i’d come across any short rib recipes, and i’ll definitely be passing this one on. :)

  11. pam Says:

    I’ve got to come up with something other than…WOW..that is all I can say!

  12. mikky Says:

    that’s a great recipe… with all the lovely ingredients you put there, i guess the aroma that comes out from your kitchen is just amazing… :)

  13. Sandie Says:

    That’s a lot of flavor in one dish…the end result must have been fabulous! Serving these short ribs with the jasmine rice & sugarsnaps is a nice touch—love the contrast!

  14. Heather Says:

    Aw, gah. Braised short ribs. Any meat falling of a bone, actually, is what gets my motor runnin’. Love this.

  15. shayne Says:

    First of all WOW on the contrasting color in the photo, it got my attention.

    I have never had beef short ribs before and now I think I may be missing something. I too like braised beats this time of year (nice in warm for the Michigan cold) and have been doing one braised dish about once a week almos all port, however.

    I am having a hard time imagining plums with it but I have not yet been brave enough to try braising any meat with fruit and I guess it is time i tried that too.

    Thank you for sharing.


  16. Kevin Says:

    Those look so tasty! Nice way to use some fresh plums.

  17. nina Says:

    I love braising meat, because all the hard work is done for you and there is nothing as inviting as walking into a kitchen, knowing that there is something awfully good lurking in the kitchen!

  18. Taris J Says:

    Wicked recepie!! I’m going to let my readers know about this delicious way to cookup some ribs as well as your website on my blog!! Looking forward to seeing the next ones! :)

  19. Peter Says:

    Whoa, that’s a big ingredient list but I have a few reds that would hold up well to this. Great fusion flare here, Mike!

  20. Braised Short Ribs with Plum Sauce » Power Maxx Blog Says:

    […] If you’re anything like me, you’ll love a good ribs recipe. I found this one at a blog called Mike’s Table and … […]

  21. [eatingclub] vancouver || js Says:

    Plum sauce is an interesting choice for braised beef ribs — and I’m sure it was delicious! Lovely, lovely dish.

  22. Manju Says:

    charcoal rules / Her ya go.Cut them into 3 bone pieces. Sprinkle with a liltte course ground black pepper. Put in the crock pot and cover with 1/2 can sauerkraut (big or small depending on how many ribs), and juice.May need 1/3 cup water if Kraut is too dry.Cook about 4-5 hours at medium until fork tender.Add the rest of the sauerkraut for the last 1 hour.Some potatoes go good tossed in until done, removed, and re added with final 1/2 can Kraut.Enjoy

  23. Ahmed Says:

    tl_rood / Give the ribs a good dry rub with your favorite bbq spice mix and let sit as long as you can (preferrably ovenright) then put them in the crockpot on low for 4 hours or until they’re done. (Crockpot cook time can vary.) Add sauce when you get them to the table or put them under the broiler or on the grill if you want them to have a little bit of a glaze.

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