Sumatran Red Short Ribs of Beef

Total Time
3hrs 10mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 3 hrs

This is the Winning Recipe for 1988, in the San Francisco Chronicle. This curry-like dish has a wonderful balance of seasonings and a flavor that's addictive: The more you eat, the more you want, and the better it gets. The meat should be fork-tender, so be sure to simmer it long enough. If it threatens to dry out as it cooks, just add a little more water. The stew is even better reheated, so it may be made a day ahead. Serve with plain steamed rice or a pilaf cooked with a pinch of turmeric and studded with currants. This recipe is from Copeland Marks.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Process the shallots, garlic, ginger, chiles, coriander, turmeric, salt and 1/2 cup of the water to a smooth sauce. Marinate beef in this mixture for 1/2 hour.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok; add the beef and its marinade, the bay leaves, galangal, lemongrass and lemon. Stir-fry over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups water, cover and simmer until the beef is tender, 1-3 hours depending on cut of beef used. If the sauce evaporates too quickly, add another 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer. Degrease the sauce before serving.
Most Helpful

A delicious change of pace for beef. I had about 1 1/2 lbs of boneless chuck but used full amounts of the other ingredients. Could only find green chilis, and the color would have been nicer with the red, but it did not impact the delicious flavor of this dish. Served over rice.

duonyte May 06, 2012

We really liked the flavors in this. I made it ahead and allowed it to sit overnight in the frig and then I was able to scrape off the additional fat that rose to the top. Had to use ginger as I was never able to find gangel here where we live. Seemed to work just fine tho. Made it with Basmati rice and braised baby bok choy. Thank you!!!!

Shae Lin May 31, 2007