What can I say about my latest recipe other than (and yes, I am totally biased) I have nailed it with this one!! Perfectly smoked beef ribs, silky smooth cauliflower puree, bright and flavoursome cilantro chimichurri. All of these flavours on your fork together and little crispy shallots and red chilli makes this dish WOW, DELICIOUS and most importantly SIMPLE too!
Why I Love Smoked Beef Ribs
If you know me, have been to my home then you will know I'm a HUGE fan of barbecuing. At this stage, I have 5 barbecues........ My wife described the garden as a scene from a Hitchcock movie except with barbecues!!
With that, if it's a fast sear, using it like an outdoor oven or low n slow cook like this one then I'm a fan of it! These beef ribs from Cape Grim are nothing short of delicious. Cooked for just under 6 hours using hickory wood they are soft, juicy with a lovely bark on the outside.
I think what it is that really does it for me is once you get the hang of smoking food it's WAY easier than you think. Set your BBQ to the right temperature, get your bottle for spritzing and sit back and enjoy the afternoon.
Smoking Beef Ribs
Here are my steps on the best way to smoke beef ribs.
Prepping the short ribs
To start you need to remove the membrane that runs along the bone side of the ribs. If you don't remove the membrane it won't allow as much smoke flavour into the meat, which will produce a tougher texture and less flavoursome meat.
Do this by using a sharp knife to knick the edge of the membrane and the easiest way to remove it is to use a paper towel and pull it back. If you are lucky you can remove the membrane in one pull.
Applying a Rub
This part is simples - pick your favourite rub. For these ones I used Barbecue Mafias 'steakout' rub but you can make a homemade one or head to any butcher/bbq store and they will point you in the right direction.
To apply the rub you need to either rub the ribs in oil or mustard. What this does is add a little extra flavour to the ribs but also helps to bind the rub to the beef ribs.
Smoking Beef Ribs
The next step is where the magic happens. Set up your BBQ for indirect cooking. If using a kettle BBQ then the snaked method is usually preferred, if you have a smoker then fill her with charcoal as you normally would and get going. Oh, and have a spray gun filled with water next to you!
Once the temperature is set (110-140c) and the wood chunks are burning then add the meat to the grill (away from the direct heat source). Cover the BBQ and let it do its a thing. After an hour spritz the meat with water. The purpose of this is to help the smoke bind to the meat giving you that beautiful red smoke ring once cooked. Beed ribs can take anywhere from 4-6 hours to cook but aim for about 5 hours and you should be good.
Once the internal temperature hits the late 70's it's time to wrap! Remove the smoked short ribs from the BBQ and wrap them in either butcher paper or tin foil. The purpose of this is to stop the meat from drying out over long cooks. Internally you are looking for a temperature of about 93c but the best way to test them is by using a probe. You are looking for a soft texture where the probe goes through like butter.
Homemade Cilantro (coriander) Chimichurri
One of our favourite sauce to have with grilled/barbecued meat. Whether it's grilled chicken skewers, reverse-seared rib fillet or smoked short ribs it just works! The basis of chimichurri is parsley, oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic & red chilli flakes. For my cilantro chimichurri version add cilantro (coriander) & jalapeno. Literally, just chuck all the ingredients in a mini food processor and the job is done.
Silky smooth and good for you too! High in fibre and B vitamins, this puree works magically with any protein. Fish, beef, chicken or pork it's so versatile!
Dice the onion, chop the garlic and cut the cauliflower into small florets. In a large(ish) saucepan cook the onion and garlic in butter. Add the cauliflower, top with vegetable stock and milk. Cook on low heat so the milk doesn't burn for 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid has gone and the cauliflower looks mushy.
Transfer to a food processer and blend until smooth. If you want to be extra fancy then you can run the puree through a sieve to remove any potential lumps. This puree can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Beef Rib FAQ's and Tips
Beef ribs should be cooked at 110-140c. The lower and slower the better but if you are I a pinch then dial up the temperature a little to speed up the cooking!
When cooking anything low n slow you are looking for an internal temperature of about 93c. However, this isn't gospel. Use the time and temperature as a guideline when cooking but it comes down to touch and feel. Some short ribs will cook faster than others and some will need to be cooked to a higher temperature. Use your probe to get internal temperature but feel how easily the probe slides in and out. If it's tough to push through then cook a little longer.
Ribs ALWAYS need to be cooked in advance! They aren't a pop on the BBQ 1 hour before dinner kinda meal. Aim for about 5 hours when cooking your ribs and if they are cooked quicker then wrap tightly in foil, wrap in a towel and pop them in a cooler. They will hold temperature for about 2 hours this way
The best way to hear short ribs is slowly. Place them in a covered pot or container, add a drop of water (or BBQ sauce)to stop them from drying out and cook at about 100-120c until internal temperature hits about 70-75c
One of my favourite vineyards in South Australia if not Australia. I have had the pleasure of drinking their wines for a number of years both in Ireland and here in Australia. But, best of all I started working with Heirloom (their sister winery) just over a year ago and Dandelion themselves about 7 months ago.
Recently, I met Berenice - the sales manager here in Brisbane and we had a lovely dinner (with a few glasses of wine!!) together. She brought me up to speed on all things going on in the company. In about 8 months time (all going to plan) they will be opening their first cellar door and restaurant in McLaren Vale and who knows maybe some of these recipes below (and this one) will feature so stay tuned..................
Smoked Short Ribs Wine Pairing
What do you eat with BBQ or more importantly perfectly cooked smoked short ribs? Well, for me it's one of two things. Beer and/or wine. A good bottle or can of beer during the cook and a GREAT glass of wine with the cook.
The Dandelion 'Moonrise Kingdom' Shiraz, Grenache & Petite Sirah is the PERFECT wine for this meal. Described as one that needs to be decanted at 10am for dinner there is no better drop for something that takes 6 or so hours to make! Crack the bottle as you prep - have a taste so you can see what it's like and chuck the rest in a decanter and let it breathe.
It's a newer wine to their portfolio so no doubt as it ages it will improve and most likely require less than 5+ hours to decant but boy if you have a bottle now and remember to be organised will you be rewarded! It's big, full of tannins (the acidity in the chimichurri helps soften them) with tons of black and blue fruits. The acidity levels are great, a nice kiss of oak and length for days. Literally days!
I have 3 more in the cellar and I can't wait to see how they evolve. It'll probably be another 3 years before I crack one again but I'm already excited!!
- 2 racks short ribs 4-5kg (5 ribs)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- BBQ rub see tips
- 700 g cauliflower (25oz) cut into bite sized florets
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 brown onion diced
- 30 g butter (2 tbsp)
- 225 ml milk (1 cup)
- 225 ml vegetable stock (1 cup)
- 1 handful coriander incl stalks
- 1 handful parsley ½ amount of coriander
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt & pepper
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ginger grated
- 1 jalapeno diced
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 spring onion sliced finely
- coriander handful
- 1 red chilli sliced finely
- crispy shallots
- Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs – the side where the bones are. To do this use a sharp knife to gently pierce the membrane and using a piece of kitchen towel you can just pull it off in one movement -hopefully!
- Rub the short ribs in the olive oil and cover with your favourite BBQ rub
- Set your smoker/BBQ for indirect cooking (130c) – if using an offset this is done for you! If using a kettle BBQ then use the snake method. I used hickory wood for this smoke but you can choose your preferred wood chunks
- Smoke the ribs on the BBQ for 4-6 hours (see tips) or until internal temp is 93c
- Once the ribs hit 80c, wrap them in foil for the remainder of the cook
- Cook the onion & garlic on medium heat with the butter in a medium sized saucepan
- Once soft (2-3 minutes), add cauliflower, milk, stock & salt
- Bring to a simmer on low heat and cover/cook for 5-6 minutes
- Remove the lid and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid as evaporated and cauliflower looks almost mushy
- Blend until smooth and
- Place all ingredients (EXCEPT spring onions) into a small food processor and blend together. You may want/need more oil but that’s personal preference if you want a runnier chimichurri
- Remove from blender and add chopped spring onions
- Store in fridge until ready to use
- chopping board
- chef knives
- measuring utensils
- it’s important to cook the ribs at 120-140c so that it cooks low n slow – this gives a chance for all the fat to melt and the meat to soften
- during the cooking process, you should spritz/spray the ribs after 1 hour and then every hour of the cook. This helps to keep it moist and for the exterior to soak up the smoke from the wood
- resting the meat is INCREDIBLY important – this allows all the juices to redistribute keeping the meat juicy and moist
- 93c is the internal temperature you are looking for but it’s about touch/feel. Your probe should be able to go through the ribs like butter – use the temperature as a guideline and your probe as gospel!
- on average short ribs will take 4-6 hours to cook but sometimes it can be quicker or slower. When cooking low n slow timing is never exact.
- if your cook finishes quicker than expected then wrap it tightly in a few layers of foil, wrap in a towel and leave it in a cooler or cooler bag. It will keep for 1- 2 hours at the desired temperature