chinese braised boneless short rib

3 lbs boneless beef short ribs
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tbsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp molasses
3 whole scallions
white and green parts separated
2 inches ginger
peeled, halved lengthwise, then crushed
4 cloves garlic
peeled and smashed
1 1/2 tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1 tbsp water
blanched veggies
When we first made this recipe, we liked how easy it was to start and we loved the end result ... morsels of tender meat coated in delicious sauce. We ran into some problems towards the middle of the original recipe because we didn't own a defatter. We didn't want to buy one just to make this recipe, so we modified it to work with the equipment that we have.
brown and defat
Preheat the pot of the pressure cooker over medium-low heat.
Trim excess fat from the boneless short ribs and cut them into 4-inch pieces. Pat the meat dry with paper towels to maximize browning.
Working in batches if needed, brown the meat in a single layer on all sides over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes per batch.
Transfer the meat to a rimmed plate and tent. Defat by pouring the rendered fat out of the pot into a heat proof container.
cook with pressure
Combine the water and the gelatin in the now-empty pressure cooker. Soften the gelatin for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the rest of the sauce components in a measuring glass. Combine the sherry, soy sauce, hoisin, molasses, scallion whites, ginger, garlic, give-spice powder, and red pepper flake.
Warm the water and gelatin over medium-high heat. Stir until the gelatin is melted, then pour in the sauce mixture. Add the browned beef and bring to a simmer. (Keep the empty measuring glass handy for step 12. Keep the plate handy for step 9.)
Cook the contents under high pressure for 45 minutes.
reduce the sauce
Set a mesh strainer over the saucier. Release the pressure and transfer the meat to the rimmed plate. Strain the sauce into the saucier. Dispose of the solids in the strainer.
Reduce the sauce over medium high heat for 20-25 minutes. Whisk from time to time.
While the sauce reduces, use 2 forks to pull apart the beef into bite-sized pieces, about 1 1/2 inches each.
As the sauce finishes reducing, whisk the water and arrowroot together in a small cup. Whisk this slurry into the sauce, and cook the sauce for about 1 minute until it thickens.
Transfer the beef into the sauce. Stir to coat, then cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the meat is heated through.
Cut the green tops of the scallions into thin slices. Plate with a side of blanched veggies; garnish with the sliced scallions. Serve and enjoy immediately.
source: adapted from the May-June 2014 issue of Cook's Illustrated