Friday, June 18, 2010
Stick to your ribs.
Being raised in the South I never understood the concept of the "boneless" ribs. Ribs were meant to be eaten off the bone, to remind you that you are indeed snacking on an animal. They should be slow cooked and slathered with barbecue sauce. Served up with a side of potato salad or coleslaw and a nice cold glass of purple Cool-aid (or as we called it, purple drink) to wash it all down. After escaping my small Southern town trappings as a pre-teen, thankfully I've since seen a little more of the world and managed to be exposed to other cultures. Even though I was definitely a fish out of water being a Cuban, French Canadian, Chinese transgender girl in the middle of rural Georgia, I had a pretty okay childhood. I am glad that the good parts of the South (such as the food, the hospitality, and the appreciation of history) rubbed off on me. It's easy to get stuck, thinking you know what's what. The way things ought to be. It's a large world, look around and you just might change your mind about a thing or three.
The other day I purchased the most meaty, delicious Thundering Hooves boneless, beef short ribs from my favorite new butcher Rain Shadow Meats. I marinated them in some kecap manis, soy, garlic, ginger, Indonesian chili paste, and fresh coriander for a few hours. In the meantime I cleaned my kitchen, "window" shopped pretty dresses on the internet, breezed through a cookbook or two, drank a few cocktails, and oh yeah, cut up my mirepoix (that's French for, getting all your ingredients cut up and ready).
Soba noodles are probably one of my favorite noodles. There are made of buckwheat flour and have a bit of chewy texture to them. They are perfect when tossed with a little soy sauce and sesame oil. Sometimes when I go to Uwajimaya in the International District (Seattle's version of Chinatown) I will stand there and stare at the immense noodle selection for an hour while drooling on myself. I don't know what half of them are and I can't read any of the packages but I know I want to eat all of them. I am a sucker for Asian packaging. Put a cute character on the package and I will buy it. "Hey look, there's a giant laughing panda punching a dolphin in the head with a handful of noodles." "I bet they're delicious!" "Oh look at those! That Jet Jaguar robot is shooting udon noodles out of his ass into that happy kids mouth. Delicious!" Yes, I want them all.
Sesame Soba Noodles with Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs
For the beef:
1 lb. boneless beef short ribs
2 green onions, sliced on the bias
3 cloves garlic, minced
2" piece of ginger, minced
1/2 bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce)
2 tsp cap jempol (Indonesian chili sauce), you can sub chili garlic paste or Sriracha
Mix together all of the ingredients and marinate the ribs for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 250. Over medium heat in a saute pan sear the beef quickly (if you don't have proper ventilation you will choke so open a window). Add the marinade and cook 2 more minutes. Put the beef in the oven and braise for 2 hours or until meat is falling apart. When the beef is done remove from the oven and let it rest covered with foil.
For the noodles:
1 package (12.5 oz) of soba noodles
2 celery stalks, sliced on a bias
2 green onions, sliced on a bias
1/2 bunch or fresh coriander, chopped
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2-3 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles according to their package. In the meantime, saute the celery and green onions in a little peanut oil until soft. Set aside. Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Toss with the finished noodles. Thinly slice or shred the beef and toss with the celery, onion, fresh coriander and noodles. Plate and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.