Sunday Suppers: Slow Fire Peppercorn-Crusted Beef Ribs

The 'Slow Fires' book cover; by Justin Simillie.

Created by Justin Simillie, author of our new favorite grilling cookbook Slow Fires, we're serving these short ribs this Memorial Day. Make the brine and peppercorn mixture and let marinate overnight. The next day (or Monday Memorial Day), slow cook in your oven for perfect, fall apart short ribs.

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

1 bone-in beef short ribs rack

2 tbsp. plus 3⁄4 cup whole black peppercorns

2 tbsp. coriander seeds

2 tbsp. fennel seeds

2 1⁄2 cups olive oil

1 large red onion, halved

1 cup kosher salt

1⁄4 cup sugar

3 fresh or dried bay leaves

2 lemons, preferably Meyer (1 halved, 1 thinly sliced)

1⁄2 cup green peppercorns

2 tbsp. pink peppercorns

2 tbsp. white peppercorns

3-5 assorted radishes, such as Bordeaux, French breakfast, lime, or watermelon

1⁄2 cup pitted Gaeta or kalamata olives

1⁄4 cup minutina, mustard greens, or parsley leaves

3 tbsp. colatura (Italian anchovy sauce)

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Fennel buds (optional) and Maldon flake sea salt, for garnish

Instructions

Heat a 12" skillet over medium-high. Toast 2 tbsp. black peppercorns, the coriander, and fennel until fragrant, 1–2 minutes; transfer to a large plastic container. Add 1 tbsp. oil to skillet and cook onion, cut side down, until blackened, 5–7 minutes; transfer to plastic container. Stir in kosher salt, sugar, bay leaves, halved lemon, and 1 gallon water; add ribs, cover, and chill.

Toast remaining black and green, pink, and white peppercorns in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high, 1–2 minutes. Add 2 cups oil; simmer over medium-low until peppercorns are tender, 40–45 minutes. Let cool.

After ribs have brined and peppercorns have chilled for a 2-3 hours, remove ribs from brine and pat dry using paper towels. Strain peppercorns, reserving oil for another use, if you like. Using a mortar and pestle, grind peppercorns into a wet, gravel-like consistency. Coat ribs in peppercorn mixture and place on a roasting pan. Cover tightly with foil and let ribs rest in the fridge overnight.

Heat oven to 350°. Make sure pan is covered tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 3 hours. Remove from oven and let ribs rest in pan for 1 hour; discard bones.

Increase oven to 400°. Working in 2 batches, heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high. Sear ribs, turning as needed, until peppercorn crust is browned, 8–10 minutes. Meanwhile, use a mandoline  to thinly shave radishes; place radish slices in a bowl of ice water and let sit 30 minutes. Transfer ribs to a baking sheet fitted with a rack; roast until crust has hardened, about 15 minutes. Let ribs rest 10 minutes; cut crosswise into 2" pieces and arrange on a serving platter. Drain radishes and sprinkle over ribs with sliced lemon, olives, and minutina; drizzle with remaining oil, the anchovy sauce, and vinegar. Garnish with fennel buds, if you like, and flake sea salt.