Soy-Braised Short Ribs

Serves 6 to 8

5 pounds meaty short ribs on the bone, 2-3 inches thick

Salt

Neutral tasting oil, such as canola or grapeseed

¼ cup (60 grams) soy sauce

¼ cup (55 grams) dark brown sugar

¼ cup (58 grams) mirin (rice wine)

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

4 garlic cloves, finely grated or pounded with a pinch of salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne

About 1 cup (228 grams) dashi

1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems

4 scallions, green and white parts slivered

Prep the ribs the day before you want to cook. Season the meat lightly with salt and let it sit for 30 minutes. Keep in mind that the marinade consists mostly of soy sauce, which is salty, so use only about half as much salt as you otherwise would.

In the meantime, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and cayenne. Place the meat in a resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and squish the marinade around so all the meat is evenly coated. Refrigerate overnight.

A few hours before you want to cook the ribs, pull them out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 400°F.

Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat to preheat. When pan is hot, drop the temperature to medium-low, add just enough oil to coat the bottom. Working in batches so as not to crowd pan, brown a few short ribs at a time on all three meaty sides, adding more oil if necessary before each batch. Reduce heat as necessary to achieve browning gradually; it may take 4 to 5 minutes per side for well-browned ribs.

Transfer the ribs, bone-side down, to a large Dutch oven or a large, deep ceramic or pyrex roasting dish, then pour the marinade over the meat.  It’s fine if the ribs are snug, but they should all fit in a single layer. Add enough dashi to go about ¾-inch up the sides of the ribs, then cover with lid or parchment and aluminum foil. Slide into the oven and cook until the liquid simmers, about 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 325°F and cook until meat is very tender and falling off the bone, 3 to 4 hours more.

Uncover pot or dish and crank oven to 450°F. Brush ribs with the braising juices and cook for about until shiny and brown, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Serve warm, garnished with cilantro and slivered scallions.

Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days

 
 Make sure to read the label before you purchase   mirin     — lots of common, cheap brands are chock full of glucose and corn syrup. Try to stay away from those if possible — they're sickeningly sweet.

Make sure to read the label before you purchase mirin — lots of common, cheap brands are chock full of glucose and corn syrup. Try to stay away from those if possible — they're sickeningly sweet.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 Approximately 8-by-2-by-13 inches

Approximately 8-by-2-by-13 inches

 It's fine if it's a little more or a little less as long as the meat isn't completely submerged.

It's fine if it's a little more or a little less as long as the meat isn't completely submerged.

 Gently nestle the parchment over the meat and then seal the pan tightly with foil. The parchment is just there to keep the metal from sticking to the meat.

Gently nestle the parchment over the meat and then seal the pan tightly with foil. The parchment is just there to keep the metal from sticking to the meat.

 If your baking dish doesn't have handles, set it on a baking sheet before sliding it into the oven. That way, it'll be easier to handle when it's hot.

If your baking dish doesn't have handles, set it on a baking sheet before sliding it into the oven. That way, it'll be easier to handle when it's hot.

 Steamed jasmine rice and boiled green beans complement this dish perfectly.

Steamed jasmine rice and boiled green beans complement this dish perfectly.