One of the most popular desserts served in Filipino homes during the Christmas holiday is the fruit salad. Drained canned fruit cocktail mixed with cream and sweetened condensed milk. With my in-laws, it’s fruit cocktail and peaches.
Here at home, our fruit salad is made with fresh fruits but still with the cream and milk dressing. This year, we added canned lychees and canned peaches to the fresh bananas, melon, mangoes, strawberries and grapes. The syrups from the lychees and peaches have been in the freezer for days. We normally make juice drinks with them but I had a better idea earlier today. I used the syrups as braising liquid for my beef short ribs.
There are three steps in making this dish: browning the meat, braising it and stir frying the vegetables before adding the cooked meat with its liquid. The result is so, so, so very, very good.
- 1 kilogram beef short ribs cut into two-inch pieces
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 thumb-sized piece thumb-sized piece of ginger finely sliced
- syrup from a can of lychees
- syrup from a large can of peaches
- 2 large bell peppers cored, seeded and diced
- 12 12 shallots peeled
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- juice of one lime or lemon
- toasted sesame seeds to garnish
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Step one. Heat a non-stick frying pan. Brown the beef short ribs, in batches if necessary. The beef will render fat and you don’t need to add cooking oil. If using a regular pan, however, you will need to coat it with a little oil.
As each piece browns, transfer to wide ovenproof pan (wide enough to hold all the beef in a single layer).
Step two. Add garlic and ginger to the browned beef. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the lychee and peach syrups. Cover the pan and cook in the oven for about two hours.
By the time the beef is done, there should be very little liquid left. About one-fourth to one-third cup.
Step three. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan. Add the shallots and diced bell peppers. Cook over high heat, stirring often, until slightly softened. Pour in the beef with its cooking liquid. Add the lime (or lemon) juice. Stir. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Cook just until the sauce is bubbly and the beef is heated through.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving.
Note that you can cook this on the stovetop but liquid evaporates faster on the stovetop and you may have to add water to the beef as the liquid may dry up before the beef is done. I only braised my beef in the oven because I didn’t want to keep peeking and checking the liquid (I had work to do).