Braised Short Ribs with Hoisin Sauce
Serves 6 to 8
Adapted from the real Dave Lieberman The best way to fry the ribs is to use moderately-high heat and resist the urge turn them incessantly. They should be as dark as possible, almost burnt. If you have a good hood fan, you’ll put it to good use. I tweaked his recipe and couldn’t resist adding some chocolate to the braising liquid, which gives it some extra body, and some chili, for a bit of heat. Making them a day in advance and storing them in a refrigerator is a great do-ahead tip and allows you to skim off the fat. If so, just cook them through step #5, the chill, and the following day, skim, then finish with the hoisin sauce.
10 short ribs (rib pieces cut into 3 to 4-inch, 10 to 12 cm, chunks)
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups (375ml) dark beer
10 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1- inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons Chinese or Japanese rice vinegar
1 1/2 ounces (50g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Xocopili)
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 cup (250ml) hoisin sauce
1. Toss the ribs in salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large roasting pan and fry the short ribs until each side is very dark and well-caramelized. Don’t skimp and it may take up to an hour to get them all done. If your pan isn’t big enough, you can brown them in batches, or do some in a separate pan.
2. Remove the ribs from the pan, then turn off the heat and deglaze the pan with the beer. Scrape up the browned bits stuck to the pan with a firm spatula, then add the garlic and ginger, stirring to cook them in a residual heat of the pan.
3. Preheat the oven to 325F. (160C)
4. Add the ribs back to the pan and mix in the vinegar, chocolate, and chili powder.
5. Cover and let simmer for 3 hours, turning the short ribs a few times while they’re cooking. The ribs are done when they’re fork-tender and falling off the bone. (During cooking, you may need to add a bit of water to the pan if the liquid evaporates too much.)
6. Remove the cover, stir in the hoisin sauce, reduce the heat to 300C (150C) and cook for another 30 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes and sautéed greens. I mix up freshly-grated horseradish with crème fraîche, with a squeeze of lemon juice and chives. Or you can make Elise’s Horseradish Sauce. Notes: In France, I used what the butchers call paleron de boeuf and have the butcher cut them for me as the bones are too dense to do so at home.