Photo by Jun Pang
Secondary cuts of meat are trendy these days. Whether it be lamb, pork or beef, secondaries have come around from the past to be trendy once again. In the past, it was almost a necessity to use secondary cuts of meat and offal for survival. The harsh financial times of the past forced a lot of people to be creative with cheaper cuts of meat. Stories told by grandmothers, telling us about cooking pigs head, ox tails and trotters; ribs, shins and belly seemed so unreal when we were younger. We could never imagine eating such things because our generation is so used to juicy, primal cuts of meat. These days, chefs have trended towards creating dishes with secondaries more and more not to make more money (because they are cheaper) but because punters are taking to liking the wonderful creations that chefs come up with using bits of meat that would other wise be used for mince perhaps. The cooking methods for these secondary cuts is usually long, this is to extract as much flavour from the cut and to break down the tougher muscles. Cooking methods like braising, slow roasting, confit and these days, sous vide (where it is becoming a regular cooking method for chefs). As a result of slow cooking, I believe that it produces a tender, tastier, juicier end product.
In America, beef short ribs have been around for years and in my eyes, they are the best at creating some pretty tasty BBQ dishes. A dream of mine is to one day visit America’s South where barbecuing or “cook outs” (as they would call it) is an art. So much to learn because barbecuing is not a one day, last minute event in America. Barbecuing is whole day process, with a couple of days worth of preparation before hand. Most BBQ enthusiast prepare their own meat, rubs and even wood chips and some even come up with their own contraption for a BBQ, now thats dedication!
As a result of their dedication to the BBQ culture, they have come up with some sensational wet and dry rubs, basting liquids, sauces and glazes. The art of barbecuing is almost a life long passion or in some cases an obsession. If you think about it, to be really good at some thing, you have to spend a hell of a lot of time trialing, practicing and testing flavours and techniques. The ingredients are important but also their equipment and “fuel” adds to the final product. Gallon tanks cut in half using Argentinean wood coal chips or hickory adds smokiness and the gallon tank acts much like an oversized Webber BBQ – brilliant really!
I love using beef short ribs mainly for their flavour. I have talked so much about them in past blogs so I won’t harp on at why I love them so much but in short they are tasty, versatile and if prepared correctly, coupled with Australia’s love of the great outdoors and the trusty BBQ grill, I think more and more as time goes by, we will start to see more short ribs been “chucked” on the barbie – hopefully!
This recipe instructs you to bake the ribs once it has been braised but try finishing it on a charcoal BBQ or a Webber to intensify the glaze a bit more and to also get that smokey flavour. You end up with the meat slightly crispy on some edges with intense flavours of sweet, spicy and tangy and at the “meaty” bits of the ribs, you get a super juicy, tender cut of meat with sticky, sweet, smoky, chili flavour that people will just devour, leaving them sucking the bone clean.
This will not go down as a normal backyard BBQ, it will become legendary with your mates. Stories will be told about your BBQ’s!
Baked Chilli Beef Ribs
3 ½ Kg Beef Ribs – meat & rib bone weight
½ Cup Siracha Chili Sauce
½ Cup Korean Chili Paste
½ Cup Light Soy
¼ Cup Honey
½ Cup Ketcup Manis
½ Cup Shaoxing – Chinese cooking wine
1 Cup Apple Cider
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
4 tblsp Garlic – peeled & pureed
1 Onion – peeled & finely chopped
2 Litres Chicken Stock
- Make a marinade of Siracha chili sauce, Korean chilli paste, light soy, honey, ketcup manis, Shoaxing, apple cider, brown sugar and garlic then marinate the beef ribs over night
- The next day, pre heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius
- Place the ribs along with the marinade into a baking tray
- In a pot, place onions and chicken stock into a large pot and bring to boil
- Cover the ribs with boiled chicken stock, then cover the baking tray with tin foil
- Bake at pre heated oven for 1 hour or until the meat falls off the bone
- Carefully place the liquid in a pot and bring it to boil then to a simmer, reduce until the consistency of warm honey
- Baste the ribs with reduced liquid and bake for another 5 minutes to finish