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Soften bison ribs with long, slow cooking

Red Curry Bison Short Ribs are slow cooked in a broth flavored with Thai red curry paste.
Red Curry Bison Short Ribs are slow cooked in a broth flavored with Thai red curry paste.
Larry Crowe, Associated Press

A tough cut of meat, the short ribs become meltingly tender when cooked slowly over low heat. In this recipe, bison short ribs, which are leaner than beef, are simmered in a broth flavored with Thai red curry paste, garlic, ginger, cilantro and fish sauce.

Bison short ribs can be found at specialty meat markets and online. For bone-in short ribs, both English-style (a single bone with a chunk of meat attached) and flanken-style (thinner cut with three to four ribs per strip) will work for this recipe. Remove any silver skin — the tough, silvery-looking membrane lining the meat-side of the ribs — before cooking.

RED CURRY BISON SHORT RIBS WITH BABY BOK CHOY

Start to finish: 3 hours (45 minutes active)

Servings: 6

11/2 to 2 teaspoons red curry paste (more or less to taste)

3 cloves garlic

Three 1?8-inch-thick slices peeled fresh ginger

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro stems plus 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves, divided

6 scallions, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons canola oil

3 pounds bone-in bison short ribs or 2 pounds boneless, trimmed

2 cups thinly sliced red onion

11/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice, or more to taste

3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 cup light coconut milk

6 baby bok choy, cut in half, or 3 regular bok choy, quartered

Ground black pepper, to taste

In a blender or food processor, combine the curry paste, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, scallions and water. Blend until they form a loose paste. Add more water if the mixture is too dense to blend. Set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil. Add the ribs and brown on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes total.

Stir in the red curry mixture, onion, broth, fish sauce and lime juice. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, turning the ribs every 30 minutes, until the meat is very tender when pierced with a fork, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer the ribs to a plate, then cover to keep warm.

Add the tomatoes and coconut milk to the broth in the pot. Bring to a simmer. Add bok choy, then cover and cook until the thick ends of the bok choy can be easily pierced with a fork, about 10 to 20 minutes. Season with pepper and more lime juice, if desired. Serve topped with cilantro leaves.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 211 calories; 4 g fat (1 g saturated); 79 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 3 g fiber; 759 mg sodium.

Recipe from the March-April 2009 issue of EatingWell magazine