Short ribs skewers? (finger food appetizer)

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Joined Sep 5, 2008
I used to go to this steak house (Arroyo Chop House) where they served short ribs skewers as an appetizer. The skewer was 2 or 3 1" cubed short rib meat, melt in your mouth, amazingly tasting.

I'm wondering how I would go about doing that myself? Buy boneless short rib meat, cube it, and braise them? If I braise 1" cubes, is the cooking time shortened? What should I braise them in?

I've never braised short ribs before.
 
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I marinate mine in ponzu flavored kikomin and garlic ,ginger , hoi sen sauce, and smoked paprika, then I saute real fast in a wok then finish in the oven til tender. whatever drippings left I add water to it and pour over it when going into oven.
 
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Ohhhhhhh That sounds amazing! I might just do that, or at least something inspired by that. If I may ask, what temp do you set your oven to? I suppose low, like 300? And about how long? I know you said "till tender" but I'm trying to see if it's going to be 15mn or 3 hours. Thanks!!!
 
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Rather than cubes you might try a variant of the traditional Korean method. It requires some handy knife work to accomplish, though. Basically, you cut the meat in a continuous sheet about 1/4 inch thick, by rotating the meat away from the knife as you cut. Then marinate the meat and grill it.

In the traditional version the bone is left on. But you might discard it, and skewer the strips to turn them into finger food. Here's one version of Korean Barbecued Short Ribs. The recipe is adapted from one by Myung Sook Lee, and appears in the CIA's The Flavors of Asia.

2 lbs beef ribs, bones cut 3 inches wide

marinade:

1 Asain pear
6 green onions
1/2 cup soy sauce
12 peeled cloves garlic
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Prepare the ribs as outlined above, removing the bone. Soak the meat in cold water for 30-60 minutes to remove any impurities. Remove from water and dry on paper towels.

Combine the marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse until just combined. If you process too much the mixture will become too liquidy, which you don't want. Add the beef to the marinade, making sure it coats all the meat. Marinate overnight.

Preheat the grill on high (or build a hot charcoal fire). Skewer the beef (two skewers per strip makes handling easier) and cook on the grill, about 3-4 minutes each side.

Obviously, the meat can be cooked in a pre-heated broiler as well as on a grill.

There's another recipe, and drawings of an althernative cutting method, in Bruce Aidel's The Complete Meat Cookbook. You can find it on pgs 217-219 if you have a copy. Basically, instead of rolling the meat to make the continuous sheet, Aidel makes accordian type cuts to lay the meat out flat. Just image in a hunk of meat. Butterfly it. Then butterfly each half in the opposite direction, keeping the "slices" the same thickness.

It's a lot less complicated than it sounds.
 
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Thank you so much! Great idea - I love the marinade, I might do the cubes still... Don't want to grill in the rain here... But next time I grill I'll try it!
 
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No reason not to make them under the broiler, FrenchFries. The whole trick with short ribs, when not braising them, is to be sure to not overcook them.

Frankly, I'm not a big fan of asian pears, finding them all but tasteless. So I substitute others for them.

If you decide to try this, it's actually easier to prep the meat off the bone. Trim it away, and you'll have a squarish lump. Come in from one side about a quarter inch and cut to almost a quarter inch from the bottom. Then, while still cutting, turn the knife in the cut as you roll the lump away from you.

Once started, continuing that quarter-inch continuous cut is fairly simple; and there's no bone to get in the way.

To do them with the bone attached, start by standing the rib with the bone vertically. Start your cut a quarter-inch away from the bone, then just continue as above.
 
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Thanks. Unfortunately my (very old) oven doesn't have a broiler.

In any case I'm bent on trying to do cubes, about 1 inch per side. The only thing that scares me is the oven cooking, I don't know how long and I don't know how to plan so that we have the cubes ready just before the meal, not 2 hours before and not for desert. I just have no idea how long I'll have to leave them in the oven. But I'm guessing since they're small, and I'll first brown them in a skillet, maybe 30-45mn in a 300 oven should do the trick? Maybe I should do a test tonight!

As for the marinade, I'm going to improvise with all the ideas in this thread and my concept of a teryaki sauce. Right now I'm thinking:

Soy sauce
Mirin
Sake
Tangerine
Lime
Sugar
Ginger
Garlic
Cayenne

We'll see!!! :roll:

If anyone has any advice on the oven cooking length and temperature, I'm all ears. Thanks!
 
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Well, one thing to consider: you really can't overcook a braise. So, let's say you allow 3 hours (with 1" cubes it shouldn't take nearly that long). Monitor as they cook. Let's assume they are tender in just an hour. Take them off the heat and let cool. Then, a few minutes before serving, reheat them.

What I'd probably do is remove them from the liquid. Put them on skewers and then stand them in the reheateding liquid for just a few minutes to warm through.

Anything braised actually improves in flavor by sitting overnight. So you might think about that as well.
 
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Ok... but actually after Ed's reply I kinda gave up on braising: I was under the impression that he suggest I just brown the rib cubes in a skillet, then place in the oven to bake them without any liquid - I guess I'm running the risk of the ribs drying out, but since it's small pieces I'm thinking this might work at a low temperature for under an hour?

Or am I just insane and will it be tough, chewy inedible s....tuff?

Right now they're marinating in tangerine+lime+soy+mirin+sake+garlic+ginger+palm sugar.

Thanks again!
 
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If it is the same flavor you are craving, why not contact the "Chop House" and ask how they do it. All they can say is no.
 
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I have to say.. maybe I'm just shy but I can't picture myself calling a restaurant, asking to speak to the chef, and ask him to take his time to reveal one of his recipe to a complete stranger on the phone... do people do that? Does it work? Maybe if I go back there I'll ask... I'd feel more confident asking if I'm already there...
 
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Awesome. Thank you so much for the info. I'll try that tonight!!! Thanks Ed.

On the other hand the only kikkoman ponzu they had at the store I went to was lime and soy sauce, and sugar salt etc... so in the end I decided to use my soy sauce and mix lime and tangerine.
 
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Ed, I read your post again... By drippings do you mean deglazing the wok? Or mixing the marinade itself with water? And about how much liquid do you need? Thanks!
 
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FYI: The Feb/March 2010 issue of Fine Cooking magazine has a terrific piece on braised short ribs as their "Cooking Without Recipes" feature. The article gives basic directions and a whole mix-and-match approach to ingredients. And oh, the mouthwatering pictures!
 
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You are right...I didn't actually mean to call during the dinner run. A better idea is a polite email to the resturant as a whole. You never know...
 
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Maybe if I go back there I'll ask... I'd feel more confident asking if I'm already there...

French Fries, if you mean go back there to eat, then don't do it. The very worst time to ask a chef extraneous questions is during service. Try asking for a recipe then and it's almost a guarantee you won't get it.

But an email, polite note, or phone call during non-rush periods is likely to get a good response.
 
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You're right, I didn't think about the service. Of course. I'll try an email.

BTW this was a total disaster. I'm not sure if I f*@#('ed up or if the meat quality wasn't what I'd hoped... the taste was ok but the meat was tough, when I tasted it I immediately put it in a container and in the fridge, didn't want to serve people something so tough. Rest of the meal was ok though.

Next time I'll try to improvise new recipes when there are no guests around, probably better. :rolleyes:
 
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