I wanted to do Moroccan ribs originally but found that I didn’t have all the pieces. So back to the drawing board. Instead of going super complicated I decided to draw inspiration from Ashkenazi traditions with meat. First there are the basics—kosher powdered bullion and coarsely ground black pepper followed by that southeastern European staple, paprika and a spiking of cinnamon—which is central European and Lithuanian Jewish. I cut the salt in half in favor of Then for the standard tastes—onion, garlic, etc. I even added a little ginger which sometimes makes an appearance in German Jewish cuisine. For the kick I added oil, a splash of vinegar, and a little bit of brown deli mustard and horseradish and a bit of brown sugar. So basically the kind of stuff that makes soups, roasts, briskets, pastrami, corned beef and chickens taste so good all rolled into one recipe.
I know for a lot of readers it’s really not their way to do the cinnamon, ginger, paprika thing. However, one of the things I found out a long time ago in researching Ashkenazi food traditions was the relative high flavor content even in small or isolated communities. Fresh herbs like marjoram, dill, oregano, parsley and the like enjoyed regional popularity. The same spice trade that brought cinnamon and ginger to the silver havdalah tower set brought them to desserts, soups and meats. Cinnamon might be tucked inside with meat in a matzah ball or used to spice a fish. Ginger was for baked goods and occasionally goose or other meats. So there is very little interpolation going on here. I just decided to put it all together in small amounts that don’t overpower to see what would happen in one dish.
These are not cooked long and slow, rather they are grilled to doneness and allowed to mellow in foil to relative tenderness garnished with fresh herbs like parsley, marjoram, and chives.
2 lbs of short ribs, flaken style
1 teaspoon of kosher beef or chicken bullion
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ginger
2 teaspoons of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of oil
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
1-2 tablespoon of prepared white horseradish
1-2 tablespoon of brown deli mustard
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
—You know the deal—wash the meat, pat it dry, rub in the dry spices, mix in the savories and liquids and marinate for 4-6 hours.
—Grill over medium heat–4-5 minutes per side. Allow to rest for ten minutes loosely in foil, check for doneness.
—If you want–use the sprigs of fresh parsley, marjoram, and chives to garnish or to mellow with the flanken ribs as they rest in the foil.
—Sprinkle with flake salt to finish–use sparingly.
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