Chinese Five-Spice Braised Short Ribs – Pressure Cooker or Oven

Five Spice Asian Shortribs

Five-Spice Braised Shortribs

These Asian flavored short ribs may look to have a laundry list of ingredients but there are very few steps.  The key is cooking them in a pressure cooker to tenderize the meat in a short time frame.  In less than an hour you’ll have amazingly delicious tender shortribs.  If you don’t have a pressure cooker, they can be braised in the oven but will need to cook about 2 hours in a tightly covered pan at 350 degrees.

There are two cuts for beef shortribs, English and flanken-style.  English shortribs have a long length of bone with a large meaty piece at one end.  Flanken-style ribs have been cut across the ribcage and have a small cross-section of several ribs on each one.  Flanken-style short ribs will require less braising time and have a greater meat to bone ratio.

Yield:  4 Servings

2 ½ lbs. Flanken-style short ribs

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Chinese Five-Spice powder

1 tablespoon vegetable or oil

1 cup chicken stock

½ cup dry sherry

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon fish sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 ½ teaspoons Chili-Garlic sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1 yellow onion, diced ¼”

1/3 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice powder

Cornstarch and cold water, for thickening

4 green onions, sliced crosswise

Lay shortribs out on a plate or baking sheet and season both sides with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder.  Rub seasonings into meat.  Place a pressure cooker pot on the stove over high heat until heat can be felt radiating from the surface of the pan with your hand is held about 6-inches above the bottom.  Add the  oil and tilt to coat the bottom of the pan evenly.  Using tongs, place ribs in the pan, cover the bottom evenly but leaving a little space between them to aid in browning.  Turn down heat slightly to prevent burning, if necessary.  Cook on each side until nicely browned, working in batches if necessary.

While meat is browning, in a 2-cup liquid measure or in a bowl, combine together the chicken stock, sherry, soy sauce, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili-garlic sauce, brown sugar, and ginger.

After browning the ribs, add the diced onions to the pan and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to season and help soften the onions.  Cook until onions begin to sweat and soften, stirring periodically.  When onions have begun to wilt and soften, deglaze the bottom of the pan with orange juice, scraping up any cooked-on bits from the bottom.  Return the ribs to the pan, placing them in even layers to keep them as compact as possible in order to maximize their coverage by the liquid.  Pour the chicken stock mixture over the top and place lid on the pressure cooker, sealing according to the directions of your cooker.  Following the directions of your cooker, cook at high pressure for 20-25 minutes.  Thinner ribs should be fine for 20 minutes, thicker ribs can use 25 minutes.  When cooking time is up, use natural pressure release before opening the cooker.

When pressure has been released, remove the lid and remove ribs from the pan to a plate.  Tilt the pan to one side to concentrate the cooking liquid and using a spoon, skim the grease from the top and discard.  Add the remaining teaspoon of Five-spice to the sauce and return the pan to medium heat and bring cooking liquid to a simmer.  Stir a small amount of cornstarch into some cold water to make a consistency similar to white glue.  Add a small amount at a time to thicken the sauce to your desired consistency.  Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.  Serve ribs and sauce with steamed rice.  Sprinkle the green onions on top to garnish before serving.

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