These braised short ribs with mint sauce are my family's favorite springtime meal — a lighter take on the traditional Korean galbi tang (or "short rib soup"). You could just as easily skip all the aromatics (garlic, chili, herbs) because the true star of this dish, really, is the fresh mint sauce. Its vinegary herbaceousness picks up the deeper unctuousness of the beef and keeps things clean and light. This way, too, you still taste the meat in all its brawny glory, a nice alternative to the gamy, inaccessible lamb everyone keeps harping about these days.
4 pounds bone-in short ribs
1 cup water
Handful garlic cloves, crushed
Dried herbs, like herbes de Provence, optional
Dried chili flakes, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 fat handfuls fresh mint
1/4 cup hot water
2–3 tablespoons rice vinegar, to taste
Fat pinch salt
Skinny pinch sugar
In a large oven-safe braiser or Dutch oven, bung the short ribs, water, garlic, herbs, chili flakes, salt, and pepper (all seasonings to taste and according to what you like: spicy, herby, salty, garlicky). Bake at 300 degrees F for 2–3 hours (the longer the meat cooks, the softer it gets).
For the mint sauce, process the mint, hot water, vinegar, salt, and sugar (all to taste, again) in a food processor. Taste for seasoning: Does it need more acid (vinegar), more sweetness (sugar)? Add accordingly until it's just right. Refrigerate until ready to eat with the short ribs.
Serve with white rice.