On Saturday mornings my favourite ritual is to head down to the Carriageworks Farmers Markets just off Wilson Street in Eveleigh, which is just at the back of Newtown, right here in Sydney. The market is within a short walking distance to Redfern and Macdonaldtown Stations and close enough to Newtown and Erskineville Stations as well.
The Carriageworks Farmers Markets really is the perfect place to grab what you need, become inspired by local (and not too far away) Australian products, small producers and generate some inspiration for a bit of creativity in your kitchen.
Earlier this morning while wandering through the markets, coffee in hand and cooler weather upon us here in Sydney, the beef short ribs from Linga Longa Farm Wingham were making it clear that they were longing for me to bring them home and get creative. I've followed them on Instagram (follow via: Linga Longa Farm) for some time, have always loved their beef and pork products but also the philosophy of their produce: paddock to plate, grass fed and pasture raised beef and pork.
Obviously I'm not a vegetarian, nor do I desire to be one. Do I appreciate vegetarian and vegan food? Absolutely. However, as a committed and obsessed foodie and lover of all food and cuisines, I do hold strong values about cattle and other farmed animals being fed and treated well while also being sourced from quality respectful farmers. I believe in supporting smaller meat producers and as such have a great love of the farmers who hold stalls at the Carriageworks. They take pride in their products and so they should. I know I will have a far better product to create a meal with every time too.
After grabbing a kilo of the beef short ribs flavour, dinner and flavour concepts began flowing and without much thought, the recipe for Sticky Chinese Beef Short Ribs had evolved in my mind. As I sit here I can smell the deliciously sweet and spicy flavours from the pot wafting through my house. It's driving my tastebuds mad and I know you're going to love this recipe!
If you're lucky enough to be able to get to the Carriageworks Farmers Markets on a Saturday, visit the lovely people from Linga Longa, along with the multitude of other stall holders, grab some beef short ribs and get cooking. Invite a group of friends around and wow them with these flavours. They'll be returning for sure... on second thoughts, maybe you should keep this meal all to yourselves!
STICKY CHINESE BEEF SHORT RIBS
1.5kg beef short ribs Peanut oil 1 brown onion, diced 4 cloves of garlic, bruised, peeled and roughly chopped 5cm piece of ginger, peeled (half cut into slices and half cut into thin matchsticks) 1-2 fresh long red chillies, finely sliced (reserve half for serving) 1 cinnamon stick 2-3 whole star anise 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes Chinese rice wine 1/2 cup kecap manis 1/3 cup oyster sauce 1/2 cup light soy sauce 1/4 cup, firmly packed brown sugar 1L chicken stock Black vinegar
Steam rice, shallots and fresh coriander Optional:
Asian Pickles - see note.
METHOD 1. Prepare all ingredients for the Sticky Chinese Beef Short Ribs. Mix the oyster sauce, kecap manis and light soy together in a bowl. Set everything aside ready to go.
2. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Season the Beef Short Ribs and heat a Dutch oven or other oven proof pot (I use a large enamel Le Creuset which is my absolute favourite piece in my kitchen) on the stove over a medium heat. Add peanut oil and when heated, sear the until they begin to go golden brown.
This will keep the meat tender and moist in the slow cooking process.
3. When the ribs are browned, remove to a plate and set aside quickly, keeping the pot on the heat and ensuring that there is still enough oil (approximately 2 tablespoons) in the bottom of the pot.
4. Add the diced onion, ginger slices and matchsticks, roughly chopped garlic and red chilli and stir until aromatic and the onions begin to soften.
Then add the dry spices (Chinese five spice, star anise, dried chilli flakes and cinnamon stick) and stir together until aromatic.
5. Next add a good swig of Chinese rice wine to deglaze the pot.
Pour in just enough to cover the base, stir to cook it off and until reduces by half. This will only take a minute.
6. When reduced add the oyster sauce, kecap manis and light soy sauce mixture and stir to combine.
Add the brown sugar, stir through the mixture until dissolved.
7. Next add the chicken stock and stir well.
Increase the heat to high and wait for the sauce to boil.
8. When it reaches the boil return the Beef Short Ribs to the pot, stir and bring to the boil once again.
Cover and place in the oven for 1.5 hours, setting your timer for an hour and a half.
9. After 1.5 hours, remove the pot from the oven and place back on the stove over a medium high heat.
The ribs will look like this after being removed from the oven. The
sauce will have reduced slightly and meat beginning to come
off the bone. Do not worry about the inside walls of the le creuset
(if you have one), this is just splatter from baking and washes off.
Bring the mixture to a boil and begin to reduce the liquid by half.
After 10 minutes, remove the ribs to a plate and increase heat to further reduce the liquid.
Continue to stir occasionally as the liquid bubbles away. This will take approximately another further 5-10 minutes.
NOTE: while this step is happening look for broken pieces of the star anise and remove it so it doesn't end up in someone's dinner!
10. When the liquid is reduced, remove from heat, return ribs and leave for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Just before serving add a dash or two of the black vinegar and stir to combine. Be careful not to add to much, you only need a small amount as it adds a beautiful hint of a tang and just "cuts through" the fattiness of the ribs. To serve: Serve the ribs over steamed rice and drizzle a ladle of the sauce over the meat. Top with freshly sliced shallots and chilli along with coriander and some Asian pickles to add something special (see note for this quick recipe).
NOTE ASIAN PICKLES Lebanese cucumber, radishes, caster sugar and rice wine vinegar Method
Finely deseed and dice a Lebanese cucumber and 2-3 radishes to make about 1 cup of diced vegetables. Sprinkle over a teaspoon of caster sugar and 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar. Stir to combine and set aside for 5-10 minutes prior to serving. To serve, drain liquid from the pickled vegetables and add a spoonful over the top of your Sticky Chinese Beef Short Ribs.
WINE SUGGESTION The rich asian spices and flavours in this sticky tangy and sweet dish is screaming out for a refreshing Pinot Gris. A white wine with Beef? Yes. Throw out the rules. They're there to be broken!
The light stone fruit undertones and slight acidity of a Pinot Gris is a great match to the fattiness of a rib dish and compliments this dish perfectly. If you can't possibly consider a white, the perfect red for this dish needs to be a light wine to keep with the focus of balancing the fatty nature of the dish. Go for a light Grenache, preferably one from or very similar to a French variety, to ensure you've got yourself a light red wine to devour with this flavoursome meal.
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