I won’t make ramen for a Japanese friend, nor will I cook pasta for an Italian chef. As a food enthusiast I know my place and know enough to not to make something for someone if they already make the exact same dish perfectly.
Except that I said yes when our friend Jessica told me about the adobo recipe she found in the New York Times. I wrinkled my forehead when I heard “coconut milk,” imagining Thai food or some kind of strange milky variation. I tried not to flinch when I saw shoyu (Japanese fermented soy sauce) as an ingredient. I didn’t butt in and say you can only use Filipino soy sauce! The meat of choice was short rib. It was hard to go wrong.
But I was wowed, no, floored with delight when the dish was done. The shoyu and chicken broth allowed for the saltiness while keeping the light color of the stew. The coconut milk added a subtle depth to the dish, the apple cider vinegar created a whole new dimension to the acid, and the searing and broiling process made the meat delectably golden and crispy. I was sufficiently and pleasantly impressed.
|Served over rice with a side of steamed bokchoy. Yes, those are whole cloves of garlic.
We soaked our rice with the sauce and ate more than we should. This is how one honors a chef (myself included). In the morning we turned the leftover sauce and rice into Adobo Fried Rice. During both meals we shared great conversation and an even greater love for life.
These whiteys can make me my cuisine anytime.
More on adobo here. My Crispy Pork Belly Adobo recipe here.
Short ribs are browned on all sides.
The rest of the ingredients are added: shoyu, vinegar, coconut oil, broth, bay leaf, garlic.
The Dutch oven is covered and made to simmer in the oven for two hours.
The meat is removed from the pot and transferred to a pan to broil until brown and crispy.
It is returned to the sauce before serving.
(Incidentally, this recipe comes from Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, owners of the Brooklyn joint Purple Yam.)
From The New York Times
Beef Short-Rib Adobo
Time: 2 1/2 hours
3 pounds short ribs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons oil
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
3 bay leaves.
1. Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, pour in the oil. When it is warm but not smoking, add the ribs to the pan, in batches if necessary, and brown well on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the ribs from the pan and pour out the oil.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and 1 teaspoon black pepper, stir well, and add the ribs back in one layer. Use two pans if necessary, distributing the liquid. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn off heat, cover the pan and put it into the oven. Cook until the meat is tender and falling off the bone, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The liquid should only simmer very gently. Skim off excess fat when you check on it.
3. Transfer ribs to a broiling pan. Put the braising liquid over high heat; boil for 10 to 15 minutes to thicken it. Meanwhile, put the ribs under the broiler until brown. (You can dispose of the bones if they become loosened.) Put ribs on a platter; pour sauce on them.
Yield: 4 servings.
Note: You can double the recipe, and cook the ribs in two layers. Cooking time will be a bit uneven, though, so it’s best to try to turn over the ribs halfway through the cooking.