I created this recipe as an ode to a delicious meal I enjoyed recently in a little hole in the wall called South China Dim Sum Bar with a special friend (click here to read about the experience in the words of my crazy BFF - I simply cannot compete with the description of the dinner we had!). Tucked into a tiny space on seedy Long Street in the Cape Town CBD, the dim sum bar is one of those dodgy-looking restaurants that you shrug off as the last place you’d expect to find yumminess. But I found it in the form of sticky beef short ribs, which fell off the bone and were soaked in a rich, lick-your-fingers kind of sauce. It was heaven straight out of a disposable cardboard cup, with steamed rice to soak up the sweet sauce. The best part of this recipe is that it uses short ribs, which are so affordable. It’s a cut that few have the patience to fuss with, but simmer it slow and steady and it’ll make you weak at the knees.
Sticky star anise beef short ribs
2kg beef short ribs
6 sticks cinnamon
6 whole star anise
5cm piece ginger, peeled and sliced
¼ cup brown sugar
¾ cup oyster sauce
¾ cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
Rice and fresh coriander, to serve
Place the beef, cinnamon, star anise, ginger, garlic, sugar, oyster sauce, vinegar and water in a baking dish and cover tightly with aluminium foil. Roast for 2 hours at 180 degrees celcius. Remove foil and roast for a further 30 minutes or until tender and sticky. Squeeze the lemon juice over and serve with a mixture of brown and wild rice and fresh coriander on the side.