Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dinner In an Instant: Port-Braised Short Ribs with Star Anise

Okay, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and bought myself an Instant Pot.  How could I not, with all the fangirling I've been seeing on the cooking blogs and Pinterest?  I mean, this is a serious love affair for most people.  I needed to try it.  Well, I may be joining the fan club, because this is a pretty awesome little device, and I really like the fact that I can sauté and pressure cook in one pot without messing up my entire kitchen.  And this recipe makes the most amazing tender short ribs in only 40 minutes.  Something that would normally take four hours.  That's pretty special indeed.

Note: It took my Instant Pot about 30 minutes to release naturally, so factor that into your timing.

Port-Braised Short Ribs with Star Anise
From Dinner In an Instant

4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
3 bay leaves, torn in half
2½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 star anise pods, crumbled
5 garlic cloves: 3 grated on a Microplane, 2 minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
Thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick coins
½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (1-inch wide) strip orange zest
½ cup ruby or tawny port wine
½ cup beef or chicken stock
¼ cup chopped soft herbs (chives, tarragon, basil, parsley, or a combination), for serving

Put the short ribs in a bowl and rub them with the bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the pepper, star anise, and grated garlic. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight.

Using the sauté function, set to high if available, heat the oil in the pressure cooker. In batches, brown the ribs on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side, transferring them to a large bowl as they finish.

Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the leeks, carrots, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt into the pressure cooker. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 8 minutes; then stir in the minced garlic, ginger, and flour, and cook for 2 more minutes.

Stir in the orange zest, port, and stock. Then nestle the ribs back into the pot. Cover and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally.

Transfer the ribs to a large bowl, and turn on the sauté function to reduce the liquid left in the cooker until it is thickened and saucy, about 10 minutes. Pour it over the ribs and serve, garnished with the herbs.

Makes 6 servings

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