Let’s talk about a seriously underrated cut of beef: the beef back rib. You’re probably familiar with the ribeye steak which is super expensive and tender. That’s the cut of beef right on top of these. Beef back ribs have meat between them that’s downright steak worthy and tender. The best way to cook them is for a long time with liquid and they’re incredibly tender and rich.
Originally, I built this recipe to be for short-ribs, and this concept will still be perfect if that’s what you have! But because of recent events, everyone has had to be flexible with ingredient choices. Use what you have. The best lesson to take away from this is that cuts of meat that need a long time are great with sous vide.
So how do you cook them for a long time and make them very flavorful? Sous vide. As a house that has been sous vide cooking for years, it’s our automatic go-to. We sous vide our meat a lot because it produces a perfect outcome every time. Nothing is overcooked. It’s a fantastic texture all the way through.
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And for a recipe that’s a 24-hour cook-time, you can put your sous vide on any heatproof countertop and let it be. Is the 24 hour period worth it? As someone who went into this skeptical, I promise you it is. 10/10 would make again. The fat remaining on the meat is melty and beautiful, not tough and chewy. It’s a very rewarding eating experience with intensely comforting flavors.
Anova’s Precision Vacuum Sealer is something we couldn’t wait to add to our kitchen. While we were using water displacement and zip-top bags before, the vacuum seal function really moves extra air to force flavors throughout what you’re cooking, and truly seals the top (no leaking worries over a long period of time).
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The vacuum sealer is super tiny, slim, and easy to use. There’s definitely a slight learning curve with adding small amounts of liquid and not making a mess, but after one to two uses, you’ll get it perfect. A vacuum sealer is also a great opportunity to bulk buy meat and cut to portion to fit your needs all while avoiding freezer burn. It’s a convenience food for food lovers.
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These beef back ribs have an Asian flavor profile that uses soy sauce, mirin, ginger, and sesame oil. They’re pretty much ‘self-saucing’ in that after cooking, you’ll reduce the liquid from the bags to make a downright delicious sauce to go over udon noodles, rice, or whatever calls to you. Actually, my baby bok choy recipe is a perfect companion.
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On top of the ribs is a topping that adds a little zing and texture to the final dish. A mix of sesame seeds, bread crumbs, herbs, and panko make a beautiful aromatic meal.
- 3.25 lb beef back ribs (shorties)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 small apple (Gala or Fuji)
- 1.5 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1.5 tbsp ginger, minced
- .5 cups brown sugar, packed
- .33 cups low sodium soy sauce
- .25 cups water
- .25 cups mirin
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- .25 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp panko
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- .5 tsp red pepper flakes
- a few leaves fresh cilantro
- a few leaves fresh basil
- udon noodles for serving
- Set up your Anova sous vide machine in a water bath and heat to 158º. Make sure you’ve covered the top of the container with a lid to avoid evaporation over the 24 hour cook time.
- As the water is coming to temperature, add the onion, apple, garlic, and ginger to a food processor. Pulse until everything appears grated then place in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add brown sugar, soy sauce, water, mirin, sesame oil, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Cut the beef back ribs into sections of 2-3 ribs each. Add to the Anova vacuum bags (about 4-5 sets per bag, 3 bags) and ladle in the marinade evenly into each. Seal the bags with the vacuum sealer (it’s okay if a little liquid is pulled out).
- Drop the bags into the water bath and re-cover. Cook for 24 hours.
- Once the cooking is complete, remove the bags from the water bath, cut open, and pour the liquid into a small pan. Set aside ribs. Heat the liquid to medium-high, whisking occasionally and reduce liquid by half.
- Cook udon noodles to package specifications. Mix panko, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and herbs in a small bowl.
- Plate ribs over udon and sprinkles with herb seasoning mix. If desired, pull meat from bones and chop, or serve on the bone.