Beef short ribs with five spice and Chinese greens

Serves 4-6

  • 1-1.5kg beef short ribs, cut to 8cm in length
  • 1tbsp flour plus extra for dusting
  • Vegetable oil for roasting
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 30g root ginger, scraped and roughly chopped
  • 2tsp Chinese five spice
  • 100ml rice wine
  • 1.5 litres beef stock
  • 100ml light soy sauce
  • 250g pak choi, bok choi or choi sum
  • 1tbsp sesame oil
  • Approx 1tbsp cornflour
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF
  2. Separate the ribs into pairs. If you have any odd ones, don’t worry, just cook them with the others.
  3. Season and lightly dust the ribs with flour and roast in a little vegetable oil for 25-30 minutes until nicely coloured.
  4. Meanwhile, in a heavy based saucepan, fry the onion, carrots, garlic, ginger and five spice in the sesame oil for 3-4 minutes until lightly coloured.
  5. Add the tablespoon of flour, stir well and gradually add the rice wine, beef stock and soy.
  6. Bring to the boil, add the beef ribs, cover and simmer gently for 2-21/2 hours or until the meat is soft and tender.
  7. Remove the ribs from the pan, remove any fat with a ladle and simmer the sauce until it has reduced to about half its volume, giving it an occasional skim.
  8. Taste the sauce occasionally and if it becomes too salty add a little water.
  9. Dilute the cornflour in a little water and stir it into the simmering sauce a little at a time until it’s of a good consistency for coating the ribs.
  10. Simmer for another 10 minutes to cook out the cornflour.
  11. Strain into a clean pan through a fine-meshed sieve and return the ribs to the sauce.
  12. Half or quarter the Chinese greens lengthways if they are large and steam or cook them in boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes, so they still have a crunch.
  13. Serve the ribs and sauce in a serving dish, or in individual bowls with the greens.


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