The Happy Home Cook: Beef Shortribs Adobo

 Beef Shortribs Adobo (Photo courtesy of Amy Besa)

Beef Shortribs Adobo (Photo courtesy of Amy Besa)

Chef Romy Dorotan and culinary historian Amy Besa, owners of the acclaimed Purple Yam restaurants in Brooklyn and Malate, will be on a five-city North American tour starting Friday, September 22 in Seattle. The “Hidden Flavors of the Philippines” food tour is sponsored by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

For more information or to get tickets, check out these sites: https://hiddenflavorsofthephilippinekitchen.com/
https://ti.to/filipino-kitchen/PYDinner
http://www.pelagophilly.com/new-blog

According to Besa, Beef Shortribs Adobo will be Dorotan’s signature dish, which he will serve in all the tour stops. Below is the standard recipe from the duo’s book, Memories of Philippine Kitchens (Abrams, 2006 & 2012).

For the tour, Dorotan plans to do some tweaking of the original, to experiment on new ingredients and to accommodate the large crowds for the tasting. Read Besa’s note below.

Beef Shortribs Adobo by Chef Romy Dorotan of Purple Yam

This thick, rich, dark brown, almost chocolaty sauce becomes even richer if you replace half the stock with coconut milk.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 4 equal pieces

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (Tellicherry or Lampong)

2 cups chicken stock of 1 cup chicken stock plus 1 cup coconut milk

1 cup sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 head garlic cloves, separated and peeled

3 bay leaves

3 whole birdseye chiles, optional

Procedure

1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until very hot, but not smoking. Season the ribs with the salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the ribs to the pan, in batches if necessary, and brown well on all sides, about 3 minutes total.

2. Transfer the ribs to a plate, pour off the oil, and return the ribs to the pan.

3. Add the chicken stock (and coconut milk, if using), vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper and whole chiles, if using.

4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the meat is tender and falling off the bone, about 1 hour and 20 minutes, skimming off excess fat as you cook.

5. Transfer the ribs to a plate, increase the heat, and reduce the sauce until thickened,10 to 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and chiles. Return the ribs to the sauce or arrange the ribs on a platter and pour the sauce on top.

NOTE from Amy Besa: For the tour, we will skip the coconut milk. We are still going to experiment with this recipe using the vinegar and the MOV (mother of vinegar) we will be bringing in from the Philippines. [Substitute 2 cups Sukang Iloko or sugarcane vinegar of the sherry or apple cider vinegar.] We will also adjust the amounts of beef to small tasting portions for 50 people. We have also decided to remove the chicken stock. Just add more vinegar.