Aji-beef short ribs with golden herbed quinoa (nuevo Latino beef dishes)

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time180 mins
  • DifficultyEasy

For the beef

1.3kg well-trimmed bone-in beef short ribs, cut into 10 by 5 by 6cm pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsps olive oil
1 large spanish onion, chopped
30g aji amarillo paste
5g minced garlic
240ml dry red wine
1 large unripe papaya
5g coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves

For the annatto oil (if desired)

2 tbsp annatto seeds
4 tbsp olive oil

For the quinoia

240g uncooked quinoa
415ml water
1 tbsp annatto oil, optional
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
5g coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
For the beef:

1) Preheat griller.

2) Place beef short ribs on rack in griller pan so surface of beef is 10 to 12cm from heat.

3) Grill 18 to 20 mins or until browned, turning once. Season with salt and pepper.

4) Reduce oven temperature to 160C.

5) Meanwhile heat olive oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Add onion and cook for 2 to 3 mins or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in aji paste and garlic; cook and stir for 1 min. Add ribs and wine and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and braise in the 160C oven for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hrs or until beef is fork-tender.

6) Thirty mins before beef is done, peel papaya and cut into 2cm pieces, reserving 1 heaping tbsp of seeds. Add papaya, reserved seeds and 1 tbsp parsley to stockpot; continue braising, covered, 18 to 20 mins or until papaya is tender.

For the annatto oil:

1) Heat annatto seeds in 4 tbsp olive oil in a 1L saucepan over low heat 8 to 9 mins. Oil will become deep orange. Cool and strain.

2) Meanwhile prepare quinoa. Place quinoa in a lightly oiled 2 1/2L saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat 2 mins or until toasted and just starting to change color. Add water, annatto oil, if desired, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 12 to 15 mins or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand 5 mins. Fluff with a fork; stir in parsley.

3) Skim fat from cooking liquid. Serve short ribs and papaya with sauce over quinoa. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

*Cook's Tip: Aji amarillo paste is available in Hispanic markets. One finely minced frozen aji amarillo, yellow mirasol or 1/2 habanero pepper may be substituted for aji paste. For less heat, remove seeds and ribs from peppers.

Annatto seeds, also called achiote, are small, hard, dark red seeds from the annatto tree and are available in Hispanic markets. They are ground and used in spice pastes or dry rubs and impart a mild earthy flavor and golden to orange color to foods. If unavailable, 1/4 tsp turmeric may be substituted for the annatto oil to add golden color to the quinoa.

Short ribs may be cooked on the stovetop. Cooking times for beef and papaya remain the same.

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