This is a Thai-basil inspired dish…made with short ribs.
Hardly a super healthy stir fry, I know. But, whatever.
It’s one of my favorite ways to make short ribs in the warmer weather.
This is a slow cooker type of deal. Either in your crockpot, or in a big heavy pot on top of the stove. You could even rock it in the oven if you like.
Short ribs are among the toughest of the tough when it comes to beef, so it takes a lot of low, slow heat to coax them into tenderness. I got mine at my favorite local spot, Tendercrop Farm.
For this dish, I seared meaty short ribs in olive oil until they were nice and brown (there’s flavor in that thar crust!).
Then, I simmered them for hours in ea tangy combo of orange juice and beef stock, with a generous amount of fresh basil, onion, ginger, garlic, and orange slices studded with whole cloves.
The result? Meltingly tender meat that’s fragrant with citrus and Asian flavors. This is seriously a new house fav.
Let’s get to it!
Chili Orange Glazed Short Ribs
3.5 lbs. short ribs
1 cup orange juice, no pulp
1 cup beef broth
1 cup water
1 large orange, cut into about 8 wedges
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3-4 red chilis (adjust up or down depending on how hot you like it)
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup basil, cut into ribbons
1 large knob ginger, sliced
2-3 scallions, cut into rings
1-2 red chilis, sliced into sticks
1 large orange, cut into about 8 slices
1/4 cup basil, cut into ribbons
Serves about 4
Sear the short ribs to develop flavor
Drizzle a little olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot and set it on the stove over medium-high heat.
I used my trusty 7-quart enameled cast iron pot. Sprinkle the ribs with a little salt, and toss them in the pot when the oil is hot.
Don’t crowd the pot!
If your pot isn’t big enough to sear all the ribs at once, do them in batches. If you crowd the pot, it’s hard to get a good sear (the meat releases moisture, so your ribs will more steam than sear).
When they are nice and brown on one side, flip them over. Get all the sides, even the ends. Brown now = flavor later.
While the ribs are searing, cut up your orange and stick the cloves into the rind like little nails. (You’ll get all that great clove flavor, but won’t risk biting into a clove in the finished dish.)
Simmer the short ribs
Give the pot a stir as much as you can (there’s a lot of stuff in there, I know). Bring the liquid up to a boil over high heat. Knock the heat down so that the liquid just holds a simmer.
Cover and simmer for 3 – 3.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
They’re done when the meat comes away from the bone easily with a fork.
When they’re done, the ribs will have released a fair amount of fat into the pot. That’s just fine. We’re gonna ditch it.
Strain the broth
Remove the ribs from the pot with tongs and tuck them away on a plate for a minute.
Strain the cooking liquid, discarding the solids. (After 3+ hours, trust me, they’ve done their job.)
Push the solids down a little in the strainer to smoosh out any remaining liquid.
Skim the fat off the broth
I told you there’s a lot of fat, right? Skim all of that fat off with a spoon and discard.
You’ll be left with all that super fragrant, flavorful broth.
Reduce the broth
Toss the broth back in your pot, and boil, uncovered, over high heat until it’s reduced by about a half. Taste as you go, toss in a little salt, etc., to suit your taste.
You’re concentrating all that flavor. If you want a soupier dish, you can totally skip this step.
If you wanted to go the other way and make a thicker, velvety sauce, you could thicken it with a little cornstarch/water mixture. (Whisk equal parts cornstarch and water together in a bowl, and add a tablespoon or two to the broth as it boils, whisking frequently. If you overthicken it by accident, thin it out with a little water or beef stock.)
Serve and enjoy!
When you’re happy with your broth, it’s time to plate up! Arrange your short ribs on a serving platter. I used a big, low pasta bowl. Add the reduced broth.
Sprinkle with scallions, basil, and cut hot peppers. Nestle the orange slices around the bowl.
And, voila! Serve and enjoy! I like to serve over steamed Basmati rice or rice noodles.
Want more short rib action?
Check out this other house fav. These Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine are heartier fare that make a great dinner for a cooler night.
Want to learn more about braising?
Want to learn more about cooking meat low and slow? Check out my primer on braising and get my recipe for Guinness Braised Short Ribs.