Hello Everyone! Week 3 of Cooking with Alcohol is here and I’ve got a recipe that is sure to knock your socks off! Beef Ribs are without a doubt a favourite of mine – especially is they are Bourbon and Coke braised! I first had a similar dish back when I was still studying in Australia at a Café, or maybe it was a Restaurant – I honestly cannot remember, and I think the place was called New Orleans… Something. Wow, I cannot believe I actually forgot the name of the place! It was actually one of my favourite fix of Southern American food whenever I craved it! I guess the reason why I forgot the name was because I had only been there a couple of times when I lived in the Lower North shore for about a year and a half. My then housemate and I would always walk over to Crows Nest from Cammeray to grab a plate of spicy Buffalo Wings, or this delicious Bourbon & Coke braised Beef Ribs for dins. When I moved out of the Lower North Shore area and to the Eastern Suburbs, I almost never visited Crows Nest after that. Then one day, after a kayaking trip that started in the Lower North Shore. all the way down to the Harbour, and then back up, I wanted to take my friends to that Restaurant and then later found out that it had closed down and another café took over! I was really sad at that time because I was really looking forward to visiting an old favourite. Oh well… Life goes on.
Wow, I didn’t realise my introduction was going to be that long – and I am going to apologise now because I’m about to take a short tangent before moving on to tonight’s recipe. Now that I think about it, it may not be as short as I think it will be. Oops! Anyway, I was reading through old posts from about a year ago, and I remember mentioning in some that I had been going through a lot of stress, but I could not say the reason why. I don’t know if I officially told everyone what the reason was behind that when it was all clear to actually say it on social media, and on my blog for that matter. If I haven’t, then I’m definitely going to say it tonight as today marked my 1-year worksary! Haha, yes, worksary as my colleagues would say it. On this day last year I started my unofficial first day of work at D’Sunlit Sdn Bhd, Brunei’s leading advertising agency. I say unofficial because at that time, I was under my 3-month probation, and didn’t get my official permit to legally work at D’Sunlit until just a few months ago when I arrived back from the Philippines in August. Don’t get me wrong, I passed my 3-month probation – it was just that the company was excruciatingly sluggish in getting all the paperwork done so I could be official and legal. Anyway, the past is the past! My colleagues tries to surprise me with a worksary cupcake… I mean… I wouldn’t say that they failed miserably – only just a little bit. Let’s just say when something doesn’t seem right, I get a bit nosy haha! So I kinda figured out that they were up to something before they could surprise me because of a few tiny hints. But thank you anyway to Laurence, Wendy, and Tifah for trying *cheeky grin*
Again, I apologise for the short (but long) tangent, so let’s not waste anymore characters and let’s head on to tonight’s recipe! The original recipe can be found over on The Hopeless Housewife. Just a little note: these ribs were packed with intense and bold flavours that really made my family and I go whoa. Pairing it with a smooth cauliflower purée really helped cut the intensity back a bit. Okay, another small (I promise) tangent – my Mom would always see contestants on Masterchef Australia make a cauliflower purée to add to their overall dish; and every time that they did, she would always ask me, “what does it taste like” to which I would always respond, “I don’t know” because I sincerely don’t! I’ve never made it before – not until today that was. When I was thinking of what to pair the ribs with I thought of trying out a cauliflower purée as I recalled this memory.
PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 3-4 HOURS | SERVES 6
For the bourbon and Coke ribs
- 3 kg beef ribs
- 3 & 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1 & 3/4 cups bourbon (or a little more if you’d like!)
- 1 & 1/2 cups Coke
- 7 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 onions, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium-sized carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 4 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
For the cauliflower purée (original recipe from Once Upon a Chef)
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (don’t worry about keeping florets intact)
- 40g unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 140C (275F or gas mark 1). Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. In a heavy oven-proof dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high and sear each side of the ribs until they’ve turned to a nice caramelised brown colour, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from the dutch oven and set aside.
- In the same dutch oven (do not clean out), add the garlic, sautéing until lightly golden and fragrant. Follow with the onions, carrots, and celery, cooking over medium heat until tender, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, about 4-5 minutes in total.
- Add the bourbon to deglaze the pan, making sure to incorporate any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Follow with the Coke, bay leaves, and beef stock, stirring well, cooking until it starts to bubble.
- Lay the seared short ribs on top of the vegetables and cover the dutch oven. Place in the oven and cook for about 3-4 hours, until the short ribs are very tender and fall off the bone. If there is a lot of fat on top, use a baster to remove the excess fats. If there is too much liquid, place on range over medium-medium high to reduce the liquid. When it’s reduced, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, when the ribs are nearly almost done (give it about half an hour to go), bring the chicken broth and salt in a large pot to a boil over high medium-high heat. Add in the cauliflower and bring back to a boil.
- Cover, and reduce the heat to low and steam for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower to a food processor.
- Add 3 tablespoons of chicken broth from the pot, along with the unsalted butter. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add thyme and process until just combined.
- Serve the beef ribs on a bed of smooth cauliflower purée with blanched green beans. Enjoy!
– Ally xx
ps: just before I end things (yes, I saved this for last because the introduction was getting a tad bit too long than usual – I mean, sorry if my life got a little bit more interesting this week hehe), I wanted to say that on Sunday our beloved President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited the Sultanate for 3 days, and his first stop when he landed was to meet the Filipino Community in Brunei. The event, which was held at the National Indoor Stadium housed more than 6,500 Filipinos, out of the 23,000 residing in the Sultanate, greeted President Duterte that night. My Mom, my sister, and myself we’re among the 6,500: