Hearty stews are always excellent for bulk cooking, as they reheat very well and often improve in flavour. Beef short ribs are one of the most flavoursome and unctuous meat cuts you can buy. Slow cooked for hours, they give you lusciously melting meat, falling away from the bone, and a rich sauce packed with savoury flavour. They’re often very good value, too.
This dish sees beef ribs cooked to the point of collapse in a dark, rich sauce, fragrant with lemongrass, zesty kaffir lime leaves, the fresh bite of star anise and the salty tang of soy sauce. The aromatic Asian ingredients prevent the sauce from cloying, but it’s still gloriously rich and sticky, coating the melting meat and begging for a blanket of sticky rice to soak it up. I like to serve it with lots of rice, some stir-fried greens, and a scattering of Thai basil or coriander leaves for colour and freshness. Lime wedges to squeeze over are essential.
The great thing about this dish is its versatility and practicality. After a little prep, it sits in the oven for hours leaving you to get on with other things. You can even start it in the morning and leave it in there all day, to be ready by dinnertime. It can easily be doubled or even trebled to make larger quantities. The meat can be taken off the bone and shredded, and then you have another meal possibility: try stuffing the leftover shredded meat with a little sauce into steamed buns or even brioche burger buns, to serve with a zesty Asian-style slaw. The meat and sauce freeze very well, so you can make this in bulk for an almost-instant dinner that will outshine anything you can get at the supermarket.
here's what you'll need...
- 400g banana shallots
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1kg beef short ribs
- 3 garlic cloves
- 30g fresh ginger
- 2 star anise
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 500ml beef or chicken stock
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 mild red chilli, deseeded and sliced
- Lime wedges, to serve
- Fresh Thai basil or coriander, to serve