Friday, February 17, 2012

Whole Foods Friday: Flanken Ribs

Flanken-style short ribs are cut across the grain into relatively thin strips. Because of the way they're sliced, they are tender enough to be grilled quickly, and that's a pretty common way they're cooked.

But that doesn't mean you can't braise them. The result of braising is melt-in-your-mouth slices of beef that you can cut with a fork.

Meanwhile the sauce will be rich, meaty, and flavorful.

Braised Flanken-Style Beef Ribs

1 pound flanken-style ribs
1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 onion, diced
Water, as needed

Heat an oven-safe heavy bottomed-pan on medium-high heat. A cast iron Dutch oven is perfect. Brown the ribs on both sides. Add the onions and cook, stirring as needed, until the onions have softened a bit. Add the rest of the ingredients, along with about a can of water.

Cover the pot an cook on the stovetop on very low heat, or in the oven at 325 degrees, until the meat is very tender, about 3 hours. If you're cooking on the stove top, stir it occasionally to keep it from sticking and burning. Add water, as needed, if the sauce seems too be getting too thick.

If there's a lot of visible fat, skim it off before serving.

Serve hot with mashed potatoes or noodles.

For something different, I served this with a mashed combination of potatoes and celery root. If you haven't tried it celery root, give it a chance. Cook the celery root separately from the potatoes, since they will cook at a different rate. Then, mash then together.

For more information about Whole Foods Friday, see the tab at the top.