Beef short ribs slowly braised in a soy, sherry, star anise liquid. The ribs are meltingly tender and delicious. I served the ribs with Israeli couscous to absorb the tasty sauce and sauteed greens. The ribs are best when made a day or two before you plan to serve them. Modified from a recipe by Leslie Revsin
3 small leeks, cut in half and then into 1-inch pieces
1-inch piece fresh ginger, about the diameter of a quarter, cut into 8 slices)
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced scallions, cut on the diagonal, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and set a rack in the middle level.
Stir the soy sauce, sherry (or wine or vermouth), brown sugar, tomatoes, water and star anise together in a bowl. Set aside.
Dry the ribs with paper towels and season very lightly with salt and generously with pepper. Heat the heavy flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the ribs in batches (do not crowd) and brown on all sides. Remove them as theyâre browned, adding more oil, if necessary.
When all the ribs are browned, pour off the fat (if any) and reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic, scallion pieces, and ginger, alternately tossing and pressing them against the pot for 1 minute to bring out their flavors. Return the ribs to the pot and pour the soy sauce mixture over them. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cover. Transfer the pot to the oven and braise the ribs, turning occasionally, until extremely tender when pierced with a fork, 2 - 2Â½ hours. Check the liquid after two hours and add a bit more water if braising liquid is reduced too much.
Transfer the ribs to a serving platter. Discard the ginger and star anise and pour braising liquid over the ribs. If not using grass-fed beef, degrease braising liquid before pouring over the ribs. To make ahead, cool ribs, then transfer to a storage container. Pour braising liquid over ribs and refrigerate for up to 5 days. When ready to serve remove any solidified fat and reheat ribs in moderate oven. Garnish with the thinly sliced scallions and serve hot.