So one Friday I get a call from Mick the Butcher… “Jez” (Yeah, I know it’s Jerome or ‘Ome, I’ve never been a Jez but then Mick is Mike so I guess we’re even!) “I’ve got some Highland short ribs in d’ya want ’em?”
It turns out that a restaurant had ordered them but then decided at the last minute to change their mind, more fool them… what a treat!
The beast that the ribs hailed from came from a very well looked after herd of Highland Cross (Cross as in crossed with another breed not a bit ticked off… although if they knew what was coming I’m sure they’d be pretty livid!) cattle that reside about ten minutes walk from our house. Well you can’t get much more local than that!
If you have never cooked short ribs at first glance they seem particularly fatty. However you have to remember that these tasty hunks of meat need slow cooking at a temperature that allows the fat to render down and flavour the rest of the meat before being given a blast on a high heat to crisp up the remaining fat.
When it comes to cooking big chunks of meat I have to admit that the Americans seem to have it right. So, dry rub of spices, seasoning, sugar and herbs it is before a last minute glaze of something slightly sweet and spicy… I just know that the kids are going to get messy for this tea time!
The best thing to have with these ribs is a nice side of chips… or fries if you want to be really Americanised, salad and a nice vinegary ‘slaw’ to cut through the richness of the meat. We even had a squirt of tomato ketchup to finish it off, to be fair it went really well!
BBQ Short Rib Of Beef
I used 4.5 Kilo of ribs which would feed 8 hungry people. They do heat up quite well so if you have any left over you could always freeze until needed or you could halve the amount if you wanted to do less.
2 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoon smoked paprika (If you have it)
2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoon Muscavado sugar (or dark brown or molasses)
2 teaspoons of salt
a good grind of black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Mix all the ingredients together and then rub into the ribs using your hands. The ribs can then be left to marinate up to 24 hours.
To cook preheat the oven to 220°C/428°F (slightly less if using a fan oven).
Place the ribs on a rack in a large roasting dish. Cover with a double layer of foil and then place in the oven. Turn the temperature down to165°C/330°F (145°C/290°F if using fan assisted oven).
The ribs can now be left to cook for 6 hours.
Sweet Chilli Glaze
50ml of vinegar (white wine or cider)
2 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon chilli powder (or more if you like a real kick!)
dash of ‘Ome Made Chilli Sauce (or your favourite hot sauce)
1 tablespoon Tomato Ketchup
pinch of salt/pepper
1 teaspoon (about 1 clove) of crushed garlic
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes
Once the ribs have finished their slow cooking take out of the oven and turn the oven temperature up to a high heat (alternatively the ribs can be finished on a BBQ or can be left to cool and finished off another day)
Take the foil off the ribs and using a pastry brush give the ribs a good coating of glaze all over.
Put back in the oven (or on a BBQ) for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes take out of the oven again, give another coating of glaze and cook for a further 20 minutes after which the ribs should look shiny, sticky and slightly charred, if not cook for a little longer.
Once finished leave the ribs for ten minutes or so before serving, you don’t want to take the roof of your mouth off while eating… the ribs can be like the food equivalent to Napalm!
Oh… and make sure you have a hose ready to clean the kids down with afterwards!