cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Cocoa and Chinese Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Sesame Grits

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Honestly, this is probably one of my top 5 favorite recipes of all time. The flavors are deep and complex – you taste something different with every bite. The cocoa doesn’t make this taste like chocolate at all, but instead lends a deep, smoky, earthy flavor. The star anise and cinnamon in the Chinese five spice powder adds warmth and usually ends up with a reaction along the lines of  “what is that flavor? I can’t place it, but it’s delicious!”

Waiting for this dish to finish cooking is agony. 3 hours of cooking. 2o minutes of resting.

AGONY.

The smell will make you want to pop open the pot and eat it before it’s ready, but don’t! Patience is key.  I’m working on a slow cooker version of this – stay tuned!

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

You’ll need soy sauce, chicken stock (I used concentrate) white wine, brown sugar, cocoa powder, short ribs, bacon, onions, garlic, shallots, one orange, Chinese five spice powder, celery, bay leaves and thyme.

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Dice up the celery, onion and shallots.

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Dice the bacon and begin to render it down in the dutch oven you plan on braising the meat in. Remove the bacon and save for garnish. Or eat it all like I did. Whatevs.

 

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Season with salt and pepper, then dredge the short ribs in flour.

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Add the olive oil to the bacon fat left in the pan, turn the heat up to high and brown the short ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Do this in batches. Set the ribs aside.

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Add the onions, shallot, celery and garlic to the pot. You see all those delicious brown bits stuck to the bottom? That’s where all the flavor is!

 

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Add the wine to the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all that deliciousness. This is called “delgazing the pan”. Mmmm…

 

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Add in the soy sauce, 1 cup of broth, bay leaves, thyme, brown sugar, cocoa powder and Chinese five spice. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Add the ribs back into the pot. If they are not completely covered in liquid, add additional chicken or beef stock.

 

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

And now… the longest 3 hours of your life. Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours at 350F. Reduce the heat to 325F and cook an additional 30-45 minutes.

3 hours later….

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

boop!

While the short ribs are resting, let’s make some grits to go with it!

 

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

You’ll need quick cooking grits, milk, butter, sea salt (I used truffle salt) and sesame oil.

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Bring the milk to a boil and add in grits, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Stir in a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper. I like a lot :X

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

Once the grits have cooked through, drizzle a bit of sesame oil in to taste. I used about 1 tsp.

 

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

ta-da!

cocoa and chinese five spice braised short ribs

You could eat these ribs with the dullest spoon in the house. They just fall apart!

 

Cocoa and Chinese Five Spice Braised Short Ribs

makes 4 servings in ~3 hours
adapted from wsj

Ingredients

8 beef short ribs (about 4-5 lbs, bone-in)
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 slices bacon, diced
2 tbsp olive oil

1 whole medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups white wine
1/4 cup soy sauce

1 1/2 – 2 cups beef or chicken broth (enough to cover ribs)
1 orange, juice and zest
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
3 tsp Chinese five spice powder
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F.

Season ribs with salt and pepper then dredge in flour. Set aside.

In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy and all fat is rendered out. Remove bacon and set aside.  Add olive oil to the bacon grease left in the pot and raise the heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium and add onions, celery, shallots and garlic to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and scrape all those little flavor bombs of brown bits at the bottom of the pan (look at you, deglazing things!). Bring to a boil and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add in the soy sauce, 1 cup of broth,  freshly ground black pepper and 1/4 tsp salt. Add in the orange juice and zest, bay leaves, thyme, Chinese five spice powder, brown sugar and cocoa powder and stir to combine. Taste the broth and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add the ribs back into the pot – they should be completely covered in liquid. Add additional broth if needed.

Put on the lid and place pot in the oven. Cook at 350F for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325F and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. The ribs should be fork-tender and pretty much falling off of the bone.

Remove the pot from oven and allow to sit, lid on,  for at least 20 minutes before serving.  Right before serving, At the last minute, skim the fat off the top of the liquid.  Serve with rice, potatoes or the sesame grits recipe below.

Sesame Grits

makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups milk
1 cup quick-cooking grits (not instant)
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp sesame oil, to taste

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, bring milk to a boil. Slowly whisk in grits, stirring constantly until all the grits have been incorporated.

Simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more milk if grits become too thick.

Stir in butter until melted. Stir in sesame oil. Add additional salt, pepper or sesame oil to taste.

#sorry #notsorry

#sorry #notsorry

Cocoa and Chinese Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Sesame Grits
Cocoa and Chinese Five Spice Braised Short Ribs with Sesame Grits
by

Prep Time:30 minutes

Cook Time:3 hours

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6 replies
  1. Christina
    Christina says:

    I tried this and I agree, instant favorite! It came out looking exactly like this, was meltingly tender, and just so delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply
      • Christina
        Christina says:

        I actually found this recipe while looking for a way to make grits, so grits it was, and they were great together. I saved the braising liquid and plan to stretch it out into some risottos/braised vegetable or mushroom dishes.

        Reply
  2. jdotwu
    jdotwu says:

    Ed surprised me with a home cooked meal and used this recipe. He doesn’t eat onions but he did used them for this! He just made sure they were sliced big enough for him to pick out. It was delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

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