Posted by: CJW | February 22, 2011

Short Rib Lettuce Cups

Right now, it’s sunny outside, but rain and/or snow along with cold temps are allegedly on their way. When it’s damp and cold, I long for three things in a meal: 1) Comfort, 2) ease, and 3) color. Here’s a meal that meets all three criteria.

This meal couldn’t be easier: slather some seasoned short ribs in a marinade over night, then toss them with chunks of yam into a slow cooker. Let the slow cooker do the work for you while you enjoy the delicious aromas and cuddle under a blanket with a good book (and maybe a cooperating purring cat and dog that enjoys snuggles if you live in my house.)

The color comes from the spring green cucumbers and bright orange carrots which flavor themselves from sitting in a bath of rice vinegar, water, sugar, and a little salt for a couple of hours. They add crunch and a delicious tang of acid to the soft, yet spicy rib meat that falls off the bone.

Last, but most importantly, comes the comfort from a mix of textures: you’ve got tender, tasty meat cupped in a crunchy bowl of butter leaf lettuce, bright with flavors of mixed cilantro and mint. Additional comfort comes from the sweet, warm, five spice spiked yams. And if those reasons aren’t enough, then make these short ribs for the sole reason that Rush Limbaugh is an idiot.

  • 1.6 lbs short ribs
  • 1/4 cup low sodium tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian Five Spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 inch peeled ginger, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 medium yam, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon steak seasoning

Garnishes

  • Butter leaf lettuce leaves
  • Chopped mint and cilantro, about 1 tablespoon each
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced on a bias, about 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • water

Combine short ribs with marinade ingredients (tamari soy sauce through ginger) in a large plastic bag and let sit for at least 8 hours or over night. Remove short ribs and sprinkle both sides with steak seasoning. Place ribs, marinade, and yam in slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hours.

While ribs cook in slow cooker, combine rice vinegar, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl and stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add the carrot and cucumber and add enough water to cover vegetables completely. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours.

To serve, shred meat off of bone. Place shredded meat in lettuce leaf and top with pickled vegetables and minced cilantro and mint. Serve yam on the side, on a bed of warm rice if you wish.

Makes 6-8 lettuce cups.

CSA Count: 4

Butter leaf lettuce, carrot, cilantro, cucumber

 

 

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