It can be a bit intimidating to work with a large slab of beef ribs, which is why we are presenting this short rib recipe. Begin by using a sweet and gently spiced rub to add flavor to your ribs and then let them marinate for the best flavor. Roast them in the oven and then finish them off on the barbeque, and use plenty of barbeque sauce to add flavor. The sauce will also char and become caramelized on the barbeque, so pick your favorite brand or make your own to be sure of a lovely taste. This recipe will serve 4 to 6 people, and it is lovely with all kinds of side dishes, but especially herbed new potatoes and a fresh corn salad.
What Kind of Ribs to Use
To make this recipe you will need flanken-cut beef short ribs. These have been sliced through the bones so you can see a few oval-shaped cross sections. Choose ones that are about 6 inches long and 2 or 2½ inches thick. Another option is English-cut short ribs which are cut parallel to the rib, but these might be thinner so you can expect a shorter cooking time if you do use those. The flanken-cut ones are the best to use in this dish. You can prepare the ribs up to 48 hours in advance and then just roast them and refrigerate them in a covered container. Then just let them reach room temperature before barbequing them.
Preparing the Short Ribs
The spice mix you are going to slather over the ribs includes paprika, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic, brown sugar, and salt. It is better to massage this into the ribs and then let them sit in the refrigerator overnight, or for as many hours as you can, just so all these different flavors have the opportunity to soak into the meat and add a stronger flavor. This is a nice balance of ingredients because you have the spicy kick of the cayenne and chili, the earthy sweetness of the sugar, and the exotic spice of the paprika, cumin and garlic.
All of these flavors come together to make a hearty spice rub, one which does well on beef ribs, but would also do well on pork or even chicken if you are into a hearty flavor with your chicken. Some people like their chicken dishes milder but with beef or pork you can really go to town with the spices because these meats are wonderful when spiced up. The ribs are first cooked in the oven, and the dry oven heat will cook them and get them tender, and you can leave them to cook without having to keep checking on them. About 2 hours will be sufficient roasting time for these.
Then it is time to pop them on the barbeque, so get your barbeque ready during the final 30 minutes of oven-roasting time, so it has the chance to get hot enough. The ribs are then cooked over the smoky coals, basted often with barbeque sauce. When the ribs are done, the meat will be really juicy and tender, and the barbeque sauce will be crisp and caramelized. Do not be shy when basting the ribs. Use plenty of sauce.
- 5 lbs beef short ribs, 2 – 2½ inch thick
- ¼ cup paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Barbeque sauce, as needed
- Stir together all the ingredients except the ribs and barbeque sauce in a bowl.
- Put the ribs in a 13 x 9 baking dish in one layer.
- Rub the spice mix over them and cover the dish with foil.
- Marinate them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours (optional but recommended).
- Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F if you want to cook them right away.
- Put a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Let the ribs reach room temperature if they are not already there.
- Put the ribs in the oven and roast for 2 hours or until fork-tender.
- Preheat the barbeque to medium, or about 400 degrees F.
- Arrange the ribs on the barbeque and brush barbeque sauce over them.
- Cover the barbeque and keep cooking for 5 minutes or until you can see grill marks.
- Flip them over, then brush more barbeque sauce on them.
- Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Flip and brush again with the sauce, and keep repeating this.
- The ribs will need about 20 minutes in total to cook to perfection on the barbeque.
- Serve any remaining barbeque sauce with the ribs.
Beef short ribs can be roasted, baked, or cooked in another way. Here, we choose to roast them in the oven and then finish them off on the barbeque, so you get the best of both worlds. In the photo you can see some of the garlic still on the meat, and you can also see how the barbeque sauce baste has charred in places, which looks really appetizing. The mushrooms are a possible side dish, or you could consider asparagus, a tossed green salad, balsamic tomatoes, mashed potato or anything else you fancy. Serve these ribs with napkins and let people chew the juicy meat off the bone so they get every last delicious morsel.
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