Tea-Spiced Beef Short Ribs


Ming Tsai adds a bottle of Riesling to the ribs as they cook so that the slight sweetness of the wine will balance the smoky Lapsang Souchong tea and spicy chiles in the rub on the meat.Plus: More Beef Recipes and Tips

Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins



  • 1 tablespoon Lapsang Souchong tea (from 3 tea bags)

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  • 8 beef short ribs (about 5 pounds)

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 medium onions, chopped

  • 8 garlic cloves, minced

  • Four 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh ginger

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) Riesling, such as a Spätlese

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 bay leaf

  • About 1 quart of water

  • White rice, for serving


  1. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients.

  2. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and rub them all over with the spice rub. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add half of the ribs and cook over moderately high heat until deeply browned on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the casserole and sear the remaining ribs.

  3. Pour off the fat from the casserole and wipe it out. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the casserole and heat over moderate heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, bay leaf and the short ribs. Pour in just enough water to cover the ribs and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the ribs are very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

  4. Transfer the ribs to a large plate and discard the bay leaf and ginger. Boil the sauce over high heat, skimming a few times, until very flavorful, about 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce; season with salt and pepper. Return the short ribs to the casserole and simmer gently to reheat them. Place 2 short ribs on each plate, spoon the sauce on top and serve with white rice.

Suggested Pairing

Match the short ribs' subtle heat with a floral and slightly spicy Riesling from Germany.

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