Low & slow beef short ribs with cerveza-caramelised onions & ancient grain salad

Low & slow beef short ribs with cerveza-caramelised onions & ancient grain salad

By
From
Cantina
Serves
6
Photographer
Chris Middleton

Short ribs are gaining popularity mainly, I think, due to farmers’ markets where foodies get the chance to buy like a chef! Chefs love short ribs because they generate so much flavour. A rack of beef short ribs should take up to 14 hours to cook in a pit barbecue. You can get favourable results in a kettle-type barbecue but someone’s got to tend the fire. You could also cook them in the oven in a fragrant beer sauce for 6–8 hours. I suggest you serve this dish with a dark beer, like an ale or malty red ale, but dark Mexican beers are excellent for this dish too.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
50ml sherry vinegar
50ml agave syrup
Ancient grain seven vegetable super-food salad

Beer marinade

Quantity Ingredient
2kg free-range rack beef short ribs
2 unpeeled red onions, halved
1 purple carrot, peeled
1 yellow carrot, peeled
1 litre dark mexican beer, plus an extra splash for glazing
100ml honey or agave syrup
1 small handful sage leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 star anise
1 bay leaf

Braise

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre Red mole
or 2 litres beef stock

Method

  1. To prepare the marinade, place the beef ribs, onion and carrots in a large roasting tray. Cut the ribs into 6 individual portions, if necessary, to fit in the tray. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine and coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight.
  2. Preheat a wood-fired or coal barbecue until the coals have a thin coating of grey ash. Add presoaked aromatic wood such as ironbark, mesquite or apple. Alternatively, if using a gas barbecue, soak smaller wood chips and place them in a smoking box on your barbecue. If you don’t have a barbecue you can seal the meat in a large pan.
  3. Preheat the oven to 120°C.
  4. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry using paper towel. Remove the onion and carrots from the marinade and dry in the same way. Pour the marinade into a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced to make a syrupy glaze.
  5. Seal the ribs on the barbecue or in a large frying pan over medium heat, turning frequently, until coloured all over. Take care as the ribs will colour very quickly due to the honey.
  6. Place the ribs in a large casserole dish. Add the glaze and carrots. Pour in the beef stock or the mole. If using mole, it will be concentrated, so add 300 ml water. Cover the beef and braise in the oven for 5–6 hours until extremely soft. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes.
  7. Heat the oil and sugar in a medium ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Arrange the onions, cut side down, in the pan and cook until richly caramelised. Add a splash of beer and simmer until evaporated. Add 125 ml of the beef braising juices and cook in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  8. Pour the braising liquid into a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to a rich sauce.
  9. Combine the vinegar and agave in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced to a syrup. Add to the sauce and taste for balance – not too bitter, not too sweet and smooth-tasting to the palate. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pan large enough to fit the beef.
  10. Cut the beef into single-bone portions, return to the sauce and gently reheat.
  11. Cut the carrots into decorative pieces, peel the caramelised onions and allow them to fall apart naturally. Add to the sauce and gently reheat.
  12. To serve, arrange the ribs, carrot and onion decoratively on serving plates with the ancient grain salad to accompany.

Paul’s tip

  • The beef can be added to the finished sauce and stored (marinating further) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Tags:
Latin
Mexican
Mexico
Cantina
Paul Wilson
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