This is an incredibly popular dish and definitely one to serve as part of a feast. We served ours with lotus leaf buns. Note that this recipe is best started a day or two before serving.
⅓ cup oyster sauce
½ cup light soy sauce
1 cup Chinese Shaoxing rice wine
½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 large chillis, roughly sliced
2 large thumbs ginger, finely sliced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
4 whole star anise
4 stalks lemongrass (outer leaves removed, bashed with a rolling pin)
3 kilograms beef short ribs
3 teaspoons cornflour
⅓ cup microgreens
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Mix all of the ingredients (except the ribs and cornflour) in a large roasting dish. Cut the ribs apart and place flesh-side down in the marinade, in a single layer. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 6 hours). Remove the meat from the fridge half an hour before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Roast (still covered with the foil) for 4 hours.
Remove the foil and very gently turn the ribs flesh-side up and cook a further ½ hour. Allow to cool on the bench for ½ an hour, then gently remove the ribs from the sauce and place on a baking paper-lined tray.
Strain the marinade sauce into a saucepan and refrigerate the ribs and sauce separately for 3 hours (or overnight).
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Use a spoon to lift the fat off the chilled sauce and discard it. Bring the sauce to a simmer over a gentle heat. Whisk the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water and whisk into the sauce. Heat a further 3–4 minutes until slightly thickened and glossy. Gently put the ribs flesh-side up in a large roasting dish and cover with half of the sauce.
Cover with tinfoil and cook 45 minutes, remove the foil and cook a further 15 minutes. Serve drizzled with the remaining sauce, garnished with spring onions and microgreens. Serves 8.