Port-braised Short Ribs with Ginger and Star Anise
Makes 4 servings
4 pounds beef short ribs, cut through the bone into 2 1/2- to 3-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 whole star anise or 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
1 cinnamon stick (1 1/2 to 2 in. long)
5 sprigs (about 4 in. long) fresh rosemary, rinsed
3 cups fat-skimmed beef broth
1 cup tangerine or orange juice
3/4 cup ruby port
1 tangerine (about 5 oz.) or orange, rinsed and thinly sliced crosswise
How to Make It
Rinse ribs and pat dry; trim off and discard excess fat. Sprinkle ribs lightly all over with salt and pepper, and place in a single layer, bones down, in a 12-by 17-inch roasting pan. Bake in a 450° regular or convection oven until meat is beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. With tongs, turn ribs. Add onion, carrots, celery, and ginger to pan around ribs, then mix to coat with fat in pan, and spread level. Bake until ribs are well browned and vegetables are beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, wrap peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon stick, and 2 rosemary sprigs in a double layer of cheesecloth, 10 inches square; tie closed with heavy cotton string. To pan, add broth, tangerine juice, port, and spice bundle. Stir gently to mix and scrape browned bits free. Cover pan tightly with foil.
Bake in a 325° regular or convection oven until meat is very tender when pierced, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Uncover pan and discard spice bundle. With tongs, transfer ribs to a rimmed platter; cover and keep warm in a 200° oven. Skim and discard fat from pan juices. Boil over high heat, stirring often, until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Add tangerine slices and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute.
Pour sauce over ribs on platter. Garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Delicious! Made easy by browning the meat in the oven in the same pan before braising. I had to increase the cooking time to 3.5 hours to get the tenderness one expects from braised meat, but it was worth the extra wait.
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