Monday, January 19, 2009

Asian Short Ribs & Past is Prologue

Tomorrow the new guy starts.

The King is Dead, Long Live The King!!

Rather than attempting to wax poetic about change and hope, I thought it wiser to revisit another inauguration address. As much as things change...

I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.

More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.

Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

-- Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

For the full text visit

Nearly seventy-six years and nothing's changed. Amazing.

In honor of the new multi-cultural President, today I give you Asian Short Ribs. This is a tasty and frugal meal, perfect for the slow cooker. It's also a great idea for a Super Bowl party. So, enjoy...

Asian Slow Cooker Short Ribs
from Slow Cooker Cooking by Lora Brody

1 TBSP vegetable oil
4 - 5 pounds meaty beef short ribs
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 TBSP peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 TBSP Chinese fermented black beans (rinsed)
1 TBSP chile powder
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 whole star anise
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Get out your slow cooker/crock pot.

In a heavy saute pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 TBSP of the vegetable oil. When hot, add the short ribs, working in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Brown the ribs on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. When browned, transfer the ribs to the slow cooker insert.

Pour off excess fat from the saute pan.

Add the onion, celery and carrot to the pan, cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until they have softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the ginger, black beans and chile powder, cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

Add the garlic, soy sauce, red wine, broth, thyme, bay leaf, star anise and black pepper. Bring to a boil and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Pour the stock mixture into the slow cooker insert.

Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours.

After six hours, remove bay leaf, and gently transfer ribs to a serving platter (the meat should be falling off the bone tender).

Skim as much of the fat from the remaining juices as possible. Using a stick blender lightly puree the sauce to your desired consistency. Serve over cooked egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

That's it. This is a very tasty and very inexpensive meal. What's more, you can start it early in the day and have it waiting for you at dinner time. One quick note, the fermented black beans can be difficult to find, if you can't get your hands on any I'd add 2 TBSP of additional soy sauce to the recipe.

Well crablings, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. So until next time, remember, you can do it, you can cook.


WineWizardBob said...

Have they no bread? Let them eat cake.

A chicken in every pot.

Serve American Pinot Noir. Good cheap ones for this dish are Red Truck and Mark West.

Follow the yellow brick road.

Dawn0fTime said...

That sounds great! I'm not sure I'll be able to find the Chinese fermented black beans around here. Do you have any recommendations for a substitute? said...


I would add 2 TBSP of additional soy sauce to the recipe. It will replace the saltiness of the beans, though not that Asian flavor.

flutterbyblue said...

This recipe sounds delicious! Short ribs on pasta are one of my favorite dishes - and I love those asian flavors! Looking forward to the inaugural address today!!!

Anonymous said...

I am just listening to the warm up for the ceremony now & look forward to the good things to follow!