Udon with Braised Sweet and Spicy Beef Short Ribs

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Beef short ribs are rich, and they make for great winter dishes. Here the short ribs are braised in a caramel sauce spiced with chilies, star anise, and five-spice powder until fork-tender. Green beans are added to the stew and cooked until just tender. The succulent meat and green beans are served over the noodles with some of the braising liquids. If you like, serve Japanese pickled ginger on the side for a delicious counterpoint to the sweet and spicy flavor notes.

The longer it rests, the tastier this dish will be, so braise the ribs the day before you plan to serve them, if possible. I tend to serve less noodles than normal with this hearty dish. The pork butt (shoulder) makes for an equally delicious variation.


3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar
4 12-ounce bottles amber ale
3/4 cup thin soy sauce
3 ounces ginger, thinly sliced
6 dried whole red chilies or fresh red Thai chilies
8 scallions, trimmed and lightly crushed
1 garlic head, cloves peeled and lightly crushed
6 whole star anise
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
4 pounds beef short ribs, or 4 pounds pork butt, cut into large chunks
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 pound fresh or 8 to 10 ounces dried udon, or 12 ounces fresh Chinese wheat noodles


In a large pot, heat the sugar and vinegar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts and turns into a rich golden color, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the ale and soy sauce and stir to melt the hardened caramel. Add the ginger, chilies, scallions, garlic, star anise, and five-spice powder and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the meat, and simmer partially covered, until the meat is fork-tender or falls off the bones about 4 hours for short ribs and 2 hours for pork butt.

Before you’re ready to serve, scatter the green beans on top of the meat and cook, covered, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a medium to large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the noodles in the boiling water until tender yet firm, about 5 minutes for dried udon, 10 seconds for fresh udon, or 2 minutes for fresh Chinese wheat noodles. Drain. To serve, divide the noodles among individual shallow bowls, and top with the tender braised beef or pork, green beans, and juices.

Cola-marinated Beef Brisket

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Rick Browne, Ph.B., host of the PBS show “Barbecue America” and the author of The Best Barbecue on Earth and nine other books, is supplying articles and recipes to the Fiery Foods& Barbecue SuperSite.



Perfectly cooked beef brisket is a joy to behold

Cola Marinade:
2 cans favorite cola soft drink
2 beef bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 oz. water
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
12 ounces Cattlemen’s Authentic Smoke House Barbecue Sauce
Seasoned salt
Fresh ground pepper

Red River Rub:
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
dash of nutmeg
French’s mustard
1 10-12 pound beef brisket, trimmed to 1/4 inch of fat remaining


Combine all marinade ingredients. Marinate the brisket for 2 days in refrigerator. Combine all rub ingredients and store in a sealed container.

Drain the marinade and set aside.

Squirt mustard liberally over both sides of the meat and rub it in with you hands. Sprinkle generously with the rub and pat into the meat. Let dry-marinate for 3-4 hrs. if possible, or at least one hour.

Place brisket in a smoker, fat side up, and cook for about 1/ 1/2 hrs. per pound (this usually turns out to be about 16-18 hours) at 225-250 degrees F.

While meat is cooking boil the marinade for 12 minutes then cool and put it into a spray bottle.

After 3 hours of cooking time spray the meat and turn, and repeat every three hours.

When the meat reaches an internal temperature of 185-190 degrees F remove it from the grill, wrap in plastic wrap, and then wrap in aluminum foil and place it in an empty ice chest for 1-2 hrs.

Serve thinly sliced with BBQ sauce on the side.

Beef Groundnut Chop

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“Chop” is an Afican Slang word for food or meal, and this recipe fits that term because it is a big meal!  It contains some of the most basic ingredients of West Africa with garnishes similar to curry dishes–another food influence in Africa.  In West Africa, the beef would probably be substituted with wild game, buffalo, antelope, etc.  Use your imagination here in North America–elk, venison, antelope, or lamb.  Serve the huge pot of stew and incredible condiments buffet style.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 pounds of beef or game, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chile caribe (crushed dried red chile)
  • * Hot water
  • 1/2 pound peanut butter
  • 28 0r 32 ounce can stewed tomatoes
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • Hot cooked rice
  • * Condiments – see below


Heat the oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven or stockpot, add the meat in batches to brown and when almost all of the meat is browned, add 2 cups of the onions and saute until the onion are wilted, about 2 mintues.  Stir in the salt, black peppe, and red chile caribe.  Add 2 cups of hot water and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a medium heat, and, stirring a few times, allowing the water to reduce by half.

Add the remaining onions, and enough hot water to cover the meat over 1/2 inch and simmer for 25 minutes, covered.  Scoop out about 2 cups of the broth and place it in a smaller bowl; add the peanut butter and whisk the mixture until it is smooth.  Gradually add this mixture to the simmering meat, strring to keep the sauce smooth, adding more hot water if the mixture is too thick.

Then add the tomatoes and chopped eggs, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer for 45 minutes, or until the meat is tender.  Stir the mixture occasionlly and add more hot water if it starts getting too thick.

* Serve the dish with hot, cooked rice, and any or all of the suggested condiments: fried plantain pieces, chopped tomatoes, chpped bell pepper, chopped oranges, toasted coconut, fried onion rings, chopped roasted peanuts, mango chutney, crushed pepper, diced papaya, grated ginger root, fried okra, chopped boiled eggplant.

Curry Beef Soup

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This soup recipe originated in South Africa, and the curry flavor is thought to have come from the influence of the many East Indians brought into South Africa to work on the railroads.  Where there are groups of people with specific food tastes, ther are bound to be crossovers into the existing cuisine of a place.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 pound beef, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 7 cups beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons Malawi Curry Powder
  • 2 whole bay (laurel) leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups 3/4 inch cubed potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • * Garnish: chopped cilantro or chopped scallions


Heat the oil in a large, heavy casserole; add the onion and the beef and saute until the beef is browned, about 2 minutes.  Add the stock, curry powder, bay leaves, salt, and pepper; bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.

Stir in the potatoes and vinegar, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the beef is tender.  Serve hot and add garnish.

Smoked Prime Rib of Beef with Three-Chile Rub

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Serve the prime rib slices with the Creamy Horseradish Sauce in the sandwich recipe, below. I also recommend garlic mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and steamed asparagus in a lemon aioli sauce.



  • The Three-Chile Rub
  • 3 tablespoons ground ancho chile
  • 2 teaspoons ground chile de arbol
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle chile
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, Mexican preferred
  • 2 teaspoons onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon powdered garlic




The Roast:

1 (8-10 pound) prime rib of beef, tied

To make the rub, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Store any unused rub in a sealed container in the freezer. (The yield is approximately 2/3 cup.)

Follow the directions for rubbing and smoking as described in the text, above.