There’s just no beating the flavour combination of sweet and sour; it’s simple, inexpensive, rustic, and delicious. Sweet and Sour Braised Beef Short Ribs are easy to prepare and delightfully indulgent!
I’m a huge fan of sweet and sour. That’s probably why we order Chinese food at least once a month. Chinese food has such a wonderful selection of sweet and sour dishes. I’m no stranger to creating my own sweet and sour recipes, or adapting sweet and sour recipes I find on the internet to suit my own personal tastes.
Sweet and Sour Braised Beef Short Ribs is my first kick at preparing a sweet and sour ribs recipe, but I’ve already posted recipes for my Easy Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chickpeas with Peppers, and my very own sweet and sour sauce which can be found in at the bottom of my Vegetarian Spring Rolls recipe.
So, a few weeks ago, we were shopping at one of our local Asian supermarkets. It’s become a thing for us to do. McKenna has developed quite the flair for everything Asian, which seems to be the result of her new-found love for K-Pop music. Anyway, I’ve always been a fan of Asian markets, because there’s just so much awe-inspiring foods. I love the diversity and I love the idea of trying new foods.
We had driven to the store on a Saturday afternoon to satisfy McKenna’s need/desire/craving/want for those chocolate covered sticks, which I think are called Pocky? And, she absolutely loves ramen. Now, I do not cook ramen from scratch at home. Maybe some day I will try to do so, but for now, I know the art of ramen is complex. I’m quite happy to satisfy McKenna’s ramen fetish with a visit to an Asian market where she can stock up on a large variety of instant ramen noodle packets.
While she spends most of her time (and enthusiasm) in the ramen section, I head off to look at the various cuts of meat, fish, poultry, etc., at the back of the store where the butcher is none to shy of his cutting, slicing, and carving skills. That’s where I happened to find that beef short ribs were the special of the day. I bought as many as I could carry. Ok, well not that many, but it was a solid ten pounds of beefy goodness.
Where’s John.e in this episode of Lord Byron’s Parables, you might might asking yourself. Well, the vegetarian John.e, the same one who doesn’t like the ramen section, because it’s too close to the butcher, is usually near the front of the store where they keep cookies, crackers, and canned goods. Sometimes he
patiently hangs out with McKenna in the ramen or Pocky section while waiting for me to peruse the meat section.
Back home, I started thinking about ways to prepare my abundance of beef short ribs. I knew that slow roasting was a must and I wanted to prepare a recipe for me this time. Much of the cooking I do is not only for the purpose of the blog, but also for our everyday meals. Many bloggers prepare recipes with the purpose of posting to their blog – which is absolutely fine! But, I don’t have the luxury of working as a full time blogger who can prepare more than one meal a day, I can’t justify photographing dishes and then discarding the food, or buying food for recipes that will not fit into John.e and McKenna’s dietary limitations, or that can be given to our friends or neighbours.
Today though, these Sweet and Sour Braised Beef Short Ribs were for me – all for me! I wasn’t going to share them with anyone. I ate all of them without any sides so that I could fill up on just the beef. Shameful? I think not! Genius and deserved? Bingo!
I really couldn’t help myself. The photographs were finished around ten at night. I ate the short ribs you see on the little plate in the pictures and proceeded to clean up. Then, the next day, I finished the rest. I refused to get on the scale the next morning, because I could feel the weight gain! As McKenna always says, “You only live once!”
When all is said and done, Sweet and Sour Braised Beef Short Ribs are exactly what the name suggests. They are sweet, they are sour, they are fall-off-the-bone tender. They are moist, they are flavourful, they are dripping with sauce. They are everything you want in a short rib, so go ahead, eat them all just like a did. Sharing is overrated anyway!
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Sweet and Sour Braised Beef Short Ribs
- 4 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 2 inch lengths
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- Lightly salt and pepper all sides of the short ribs. Set aside.
- Add the vegetable oil to a heavy-bottomed pot, much like a Le Creuset or Staub. (You'll want to use a pot with a tight-fitting lid.) Turn the heat to medium and allow the oil to heat up. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Fry the short ribs for 3-4 minutes on each side. You're not cooking the beef all the way though, but just browning the outside and searing the meat. Do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. A good rule of thumb is to prevent the short ribs from touching each other or the sides of the pan. Place the cooked meat on a plate while the next batch is cooking.
- Next, whisk together the brown sugar, vinegar, water, mustard, ketchup, and soy sauce. Stir in the onions. Set aside.
- Pile the cooked short ribs back into the pot. Pour the sauce mixture over top. Move the short ribs around so that they are covered by the sauce as much as possible. Place a lid on the pot and bake for two hours, checking and gently stirring every 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Bake for 15 more minutes with the lid off. This will thicken the sauce. Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, remove from oven and serve.
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