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From the Chronicle Kitchen
Art of the Slow Cooker

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Thai Short Ribs

Short ribs, the tough, flavorful, fatty cuts from the ends of the ribs bones, come two ways: short sections of individual ribs (English-cut) or long strips cut across several ribs (flanken-cut). For this recipe you will need the more compact English-cut ribs. The sauce is classic Thai, a combination of hot (jalapeño), sour (balsamic vinegar), salty (soy sauce and fish sauce), and sweet (honey).

Precook: 10 minutes
Slow cook: 3 to 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
At the end: 5 minutes

Makes 4 servings

3 to 4 pounds beef short ribs, preferably English-cut (see above)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Nonstick oil spray
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced gingerroot
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat a broiler on high. Season the meaty parts of the short ribs with salt and pepper, and set, bone side down, on a broiler tray. Spray with oil and broil until the meaty parts are browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

Mix together the garlic, ginger, hoisin, balsamic, fish sauce, honey, soy sauce, and lime juice and zest in a small bowl, and pour over the short ribs. Cover the cooker and cook until the ribs are tender, 3 to 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low.

Transfer the short ribs to a platter (you can remove the bones and discard, if you want). Skim the fat from the liquid and discard. Add the jalapeño, scallions, and cilantro and cook on high for 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve.

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Peter Perez
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