Sunday, March 23, 2014

Asian Style Boneless Beef Short Ribs - Pressure Cooker Style (or slow cooker)

These last few weeks, my pressure cooker has been quite the workhorse. I want to cook dinner, most every night, for my family. But, I want speed and simplicity, and I don't want to skimp on flavor.  That's not asking much, is it?

I did a little stocking up in the meat department at my local Whole Foods. These are grass-fed short ribs.  I love slow-braising them, and serving them over polenta. Delish! The only problem is, you need 2 hours-- or more-- to yield tender and flavor ribs.  This doesn't work, when you get home at 5pm.

I bookmarked a recipe for Asian-Style short ribs from Cook's Illustrated's "Pressure Cooker Perfection", and this seemed like a good time to make the recipe. It sure seemed simple enough.
The braising liquid/sauce has hoison sauce (yep, I keep a jar in my pantry), garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce, dry sherry, scallions and cayenne pepper.  I took less than 15 minutes to make the braising sauce.

NOTE: For those of you who don't own a pressure cooker, or still can't overcome an unnecessary fear of them, you can adapt this recipe for your oven or a slow cooker.  The only difference is that the pressure cooking time is 35 minutes. In the oven, factor in two hours, or with a slow cooker, factor in 4-6 hours.

I have an electric pressure cooker, with a non-stick insert.  Using the browning cycle (which is the same as heating a stove top pressure cooker on medium-high heat), fresh minced garlic and ginger is cooked for about a minute. Then the hoison sauce and the rest of the ingredients are added (a printable recipe card is at the very end of the post).

NOTE: Don't make my mistake, please. I bought bone-in short ribs, instead of boneless (I'll explain that at the end of the post, under my TASTING NOTES.
The short ribs are placed on top of the sauce, the pressure cooker lid is clicked on and locked in place and brought to high pressure. Its cooked at medium-low for 35 minutes.  As you can see, the ribs have broken down and there is fat on the surface, and the meat is breaking away from the bone.

I removed the short ribs, and covered them with foil to rest a bit. The sauce was strained into a fat separator to settle a bit.  

I ended up washing out the pressure cooker insert, and made sticky rice in 6 minutes!  I'm telling you, a pressure cooker can be your "bestest" kitchen helper.  

From start to finish, I had this dinner ready in under an hour.  Once again, please forgive my less than stellar food styling.  Food blogging, at night, after a long day at the office-- well, hopefully this photo looks enticing enough that you'll want to try this.

TASTING NOTES:  The short ribs: they were a bit on the tough side, and I blame it on buying the wrong cut of short ribs.  I had to spend a bit more time separating the meat from the bone, so I will definitely make sure to buy boneless short ribs, next time. Or, I might substitute buying chuck eye roast, cut into large chunks. I've used chuck eye roast, often, for braising which is also a very tender cut of meat for just this kind of cooking technique.  However, the sauce was so flavorful that I overlooked the slightly tough texture of these ribs.  I would actually double the sauce, to be honest!  The balance of the ginger and garlic ratio was perfect.  The cayenne pepper wasn't overpowering at all. 

You will find a printable recipe card at the end of the post.   More pressure cooking recipes to come!

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Barbara Bakes said...

I love short ribs. These look great. I'll have to give them a try.

Joanne said...

Your blog is singlehandedly making me wish for a pressure cooker!! Everything you make in it looks great!

Big Dude said...

Sounds like you're making good use of the pressure cooker and this meal looks yummy.

Liane said...

These shortribs look great, I usually fix mine in the crockpot. Many years ago my Pressure Cooker exploded and I am afraid to use one since then :-)

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

No question we are going to love this recipe, Debby. Those Asian flavors are some of my favorites. I have seen boneless shortribs at Costco. Have you ever tried them? Not quite as spendy as WF.

Anne @ Webicurean said...

These look awesome! I don't have a pressure cooker, but I'll definitely give this a whirl in the slow cooker!

AdriBarr said...

I have never used a pressure cooker - I think it's a fifties hangover. Remember those dreadful stories of them exploding? I understand the technology has improved greatly. I ought to get started!

Anonymous said...

I have an electric pressure cooker in the box non used for over 2 years! Scared! Anyone ever use?

Anonymous said...

Hi Deb,
I made an 'edition' of this almost as soon as I saw it. Second 'edition' is late this evening. Oh, it is good! I agree that boneless vs. bone-in rib is better, but... What I've done is to substitute medium chunks of "Tri-Tip Steak, (A cut from Tri-Tip roasts, probably unique to Costco) for the standard short ribs. I don't bother with browning, cook 38-40 minutes and per your suggestion, increase the sauce/fluid volume by at least half. The is a wonderful meal and a great excuse to use ginger, gr. onions garlic and 'sticky rice' in abundance. With veggies elsewhere, this is a grand meal and thanks.
Of note: I use an very old (maintained) rattle-top PC, one that does lose some moisture, so I add a little more.
I've sent this method to three others and two of us are cooking it this evening. Thanks again for the fun, the great pix and the creative ideas. Like you, I wish that I could spend the day cooking. For one and with a forest to run, it won't happen and I appreciate your notes toward semi-fast cooking. Please consider me a hugh fan. -C.

Debby Foodiewife said...

What a wonderful comment! Tri-tip sounds like a great substitute. I would definitely double the sauce! It's delicious over rice!
As for the stove top pressure cooker question... yes, it's safe. I used a stove top for years, before buying an electric one. Heaven forbid that anyone tries to take away my PC. Lightning would hit them!

Anonymous said...

I'm trying these today after seeing the recipe on the Cook's Illustrated website. Just wanted to note that the recipe I found there notes that if you substitute bone-in beef ribs for the boneless ribs called for in the recipe, that you should increase pressurized cooking time to 1.5 hours. That may account for the ribs not being as tender as you had hoped in your initial trial of this recipe.

Anonymous said...

i should also note that in addition to increasing the cooking time to 1.5 hours when using bone-in ribs, you also add 3/4 cup of water to the pot with the rest of the ingredients and simmer the sauce after de-fatting it to thicken it.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Dear Anonymous,
There are some times in the CI pressure cooking cookbook that I don't totally agree with (as do other reviewers). 1.5 hours in a pressure sounds like way too long! I made this recipe, again, with boneless short ribs and the recipe turned out great! That reminds me, that I should update that fact.

Tami Kawamoto said...

I make these often. They are wonderful! I had trouble finding boneless short ribs but Costco carries them so I usually get them there. Thank you, love this recipe!