An exotic bouquet of sense-sating spices brings this dish to life in an overnight marinade. This recipe also works with oxtail; likewise pork shoulder or chicken thigh with the bone in. Serve with steamed greens in oyster sauce and steamed rice.
1.5kg beef ribs
1/2 cup coriander leaves
10 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
4 long spring onions, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
90ml light soy sauce
60ml Shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine)
18 red dates
3/4 cup roasted peanuts, unsalted
3 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 large pieces of orange peel (using a peeler)
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 tbsp rock sugar, crushed (available from Asian supermarkets)
To make the marinade, mix the garlic and hoisin together to create a paste. Combine the ribs with the marinade and set aside overnight in the fridge.
For the braising stock, pound the shallots and ginger in a mortar and place in a heavy-based saucepan with remaining ingredients. Add the beef, ensuring the liquid just covers the beef.
Bring to the boil over high heat, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer very gently for about 2 hours or until meat is tender. If the sauce has not reduced to desired consistency, remove the lid and continue to simmer gently and allow sauce to reduce.
Check the balance of flavours, sprinkle with coriander and serve (in the pot in which it was cooked, if desired, or transferred to a large bowl).
Photography by William Meppem. Food styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.