Slow cooked in the oven and finished on the BBQ, Beef short ribs are a very tasty meal. if you haven’t tried them we have some helpful cooking tips for a perfect result.

Beef Short ribs  are often known in UK as ‘Jacob’s Ladder’. Beef short ribs are larger and can be more tender and meatier than pork spare ribs.

What Beef short ribs do have in common with pork ribs, is that they are best cooked at low temps so the connective tissue and fat can melt away basting the meat from the inside and imparting a truly deep meaty flavour.

Lots of fat marbling in these beef short ribs will add flavour depth and keep the meat juicy when cooking

Lots of fat marbling in these beef short ribs will add flavour depth and keep the meat juicy when cooking

Our Beef is a premium quality range of Scottish beef bred, raised and selected to produce the finest flavour. Our supplier is John Scott Meat a family business based in Paisley Scotland. Top quality meat has always been the key focus of their business since 1968. See more about John Scott meat here >>

Preparing your beef short ribs

Beef ribs usually come in a slab (we can cut them across the bone for you which makes them easy to carve after cooking). The first stage is to give them a good rub of seasoning and spices. Oil the beef lightly before you start and the flavours will stick to it more readily. Use plenty of salt and coarse ground black pepper. Mustard powder is good also other spices such as  cayenne pepper will add some kick for more depth and variety you can try other chili varieties such as Ancho or Chipotle – no set rules on this so experiment according to your own taste. A rub with crushed or grated garlic can work well as does a good sprinkling of Oregano.

Note: there is no sugar or sweetness being added at this point. It you put sugar on too soon it will just char in the cooking process. As a rule of thumb pork loves sweetness, but beef does not.

You can add your rub any time and if you like leave it overnight. Of all the flavours it is the salt that sinks into the meat to any depth other spices will remain more on the outside adding to the flavour of the final crust.

Cooking tips for Beef short ribs

The aim here is to cook the short beef ribs “low and slow”. This will melt away the fat releasing lots of flavour whilst at the same time breaking down the collagen and connective tissue to leave very soft and tender meat.

Heat your oven to 110 c.

Allow the ribs to warm to room temperature before cooking  if you have been keeping them in the fridge.

Use a roasting dish that will allow you too lay the ribs flat, in the base place some roughly sliced onion carrot, and celery add some water (this will keep things moist during cooking) Ribs go on top of the pile bone side down. The sauce in the bottom of the pan at the end of the oven cooking will be perfect for making a BBQ sauce.

Something with a close-fitting lid is perfect otherwise you will need to make a well sealed cover using foil.

Cook in the oven for about 4 hours – times will vary according to your oven and the thickness of the meat. So check after 2 hours, you  will see the meat has pulled away from the bone, make regular inspections thereafter. Prod with a fork and you will see when the meat is done as it will flake easily. Don’t let it get too soft as it will dry out and be hard to BBQ

When meat is cooked place to one side and drain the juice into a saucepan and reduce. Use this to make a BBQ sauce. Try adding tomato ketchup, soy sauce, black treacle (this adds real depth of flavour and a little sweetness but not too much) and any of the ingredients that were in your rub.

Cooking Beef short ribs on the BBQ

Light your coals early and if possible keep them to one side allowing space on the rack to place your ribs away from the direct heat. If you have a lid as well this will help keep the cooking slow and smoky.

Place the cooked slab on the grill bone side down and allow it to colour up slowly. Then start basting with the BBQ sauce. Once this is on keep a close eye as the sugar elements will quickly change from golden through dark brown to a less tasty black. Baste several times as this will have the added benefit of keeping the meat moist. Remove from the grill to rest the meat before carving – slice between the bones for generous portions.