I’ve talked about comfort food before. Sometimes it’s a gluten-laden bowl of Mac ‘n’ cheese or pizza, but it can also be a totally different kind of belly warmer that makes you smile at dinner time. Thai is one of those foods for me, particularly when there’s red curry and coconut milk involved. This is one of my favorite recipes, and extra delicious if you have 6 hours to let it cook, but is just as satisfying with 2 hours simmering time.
While I’ve made this dish many times before, this was my first attempt at using pork ribs rather than beef. The consensus: beef is better. Try it out and let me know what you think.
Curried Beef Short Ribs
Adapted from MyRecipes.com, 6 servings
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed (for this recipe I used pork spare ribs, but the short ribs are definitely better)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1/3 cup minced shallots
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup water
- 2+ tablespoons red curry paste
- 1/4 cup light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1+ tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 4 cups hot cooked basmati rice
- cilantro for garnish
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle ribs with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add half of ribs to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place ribs in an electric slow cooker. Repeat procedure with remaining ribs.
2. Add shallots, garlic, and ginger to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water and curry paste; cook 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce. I personally prefer a stronger curry and fish sauce flavor in my Thai dishes, so I would reserve the right to add a little extra – particularly since the flavors will meld together that much more while in the slow cooker.
3. Add coconut milk mixture to cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours. Remove the lid and move meat around periodically to cook evenly.
4. Remove ribs from cooker; keep warm. Strain cooking liquid through a colander over a bowl; discard solids. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, rind, and juice. Shred rib meat with 2 forks; discard bones. Serve sauce over ribs and rice.
For the rice, you can easily prepare it the traditional way, but I would recommend adding coconut milk to replace some of the water, then toss in cilantro and a little lime juice right at the end. Le yum.
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