A lazy Sunday and an early rise following an unspectacular Saturday night resulted in the perfect opportunity for some slow cooking. Short ribs usually lend themselves to a long braise in red wine and being served up with mash, BUT, a strange golden ball in the sky suggested something less wintery and so a smoky,sweet barbecue rub seemed the way to go. It’s actually a great Saturday night meal- eat it with your fingers whilst watching some Hollywood blockbuster. We had watched White House Down – yeah, anyway…
The recipe is adapted from one by Amy Wisniewski on Chow.com. If you haven’t decided on whim to make the ribs or indeed haven’t awoken at 6am with plenty of time for the dry rub to do its thing, you might want to start the process the day before you want to eat. Beef ribs, as you can imagine are big, don’t think pork ribs because, well, pigs are much smaller than cows. If you’ve got a nice butcher ask him to cut you ribs in half, though that can be an arduous task. For this recipe, ours were long, but the meat is so tender it falls easily off the bone anyway. We had a kilo of ribs, which was plenty for 2 – remember the bone weighs something too. There are 2 cuts of rib – English or Flanken is what you’ll mostly see on the internet, probably a bit American – try here for a pic of the difference. In the UK you might hear the term ‘Jacobs ladder’, but essentially any butcher worth his salt will know what you are asking for if you say for short rib. We had an English cut which worked fine.
FOR THE DRY RUB
- 1/8 cup paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Put all the dry rub ingredients together into a bowl and mix them up.
– Coat the ribs in rub and leave them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. 24 hrs is great, we did about 9 hrs.
– Remember to take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to put them in the oven.
– When you are ready pop them in a roasting pan, not too big, drop in a little water, just a glug, cover the pan with foil and put them in the oven for a low, long cook- we left these for 3 hours at about 160C (Fan).
Take them out occasionally and give them a poke. When the meat is soft, you’ll know because it’ll yield to your touch rather than springing back.
Towards the end of the cooking time you can make up the BBQ sauce or if you want to cheat buy one. When time is short we sometimes add some bits and bobs to a Jerk BBQ sauce made by Grace. You can occasionally find it in the world food isles of supermarkets. Jamie O has a great BBQ sauce recipe. It takes some prep but is totally worth the effort and would work brilliantly with these ribs , find it here – Jamie’s Epic BBQ sauce.
The BBQ sauce with this recipe
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 chipotles finely chopped ( you can find them dried in the supermarket, just rehydrate them in some arm water for 10mins)
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a saucepan until it’s shimmering, add the onions and then the garlic and cook then until they are soft, they don’t need to colour. Start again if the garlic burns because it will affect the flavours of everything. Put everything else in the pan and on a slightly lower heat let it plip away for about 20 -30 mins, the sauce will reduce to a nice shiny thick consistency. When your ribs are soft and falling apart, remove the foil, brush some sauce over them and put them back in the oven for 7-10 mins at a higher heat of about 200 c, they will glaze, look amazing and be ready to eat! Serve the rest of the sauce on the side, plate it up with maybe some coleslaw and corn bread and Bob’s your Texas drawling uncle.
This recipe has reminded of the Lockhart in London which is a great Texan restaurant- check our visit here –
If you want to check out what Stonewall is all about just click on the link here or at the top of the post.