I was always a bit unsure of beef ribs. In my head real ribs are pork ribs. Then I was mysteriously converted; I don't even remember where or how lol.
Anyway, my mum always complains that pork is fatty and she does not do justice to pork ribs because she doesn't eat the 'fatty bits', so I decided to make her beef ribs. A bit less fatty and still flavourful. I sourced mine from Morendat Farm in Naivasha (shout out to Caesar for always hooking it up!!). Beef ribs for me spell out comfort food although if you have a good grill or smoker it can make a wonderful BBQ item. I hope to one day have an ah-mazing bbq and smoker (Santa I hope you heard....)
So for this recipe, I did a lightly spicy comfort recipe that gave me tender, fall off the bone beef which I served with kale and sweet potato....
1kg beef short ribs
1 tablespoon Suya powder (Optional, or you can substitute with: 1tbs Cayenne pepper ( adjust as to you palette), 1/2 tsp nutmeg , 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tbs peanut powder (optional), 1tbs salt)
1 Guinness stout
3 medium onions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 garlic head cut in half
1 small bunch thyme
3 springs fresh rosemary
2 table spoons tomato paste
1litre beef stock (optional, you can use water)
1 small celery, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, chopped
Salt and pepper
Tip* I'd recommend using a large saucepan if you have one. That way the ribs will cook evenly and wont be fighting for space.
We start by marinating the ribs for at least 10 hours. Combine all your dry spices and add about 4 tablespoons of oil to make it into a paste. Rub the paste into the ribs and place the ribs in a covered container and into the fridge overnight or at least 6 hours.
After marination, we start by browning our ribs in the saucepan using olive oil. You can do this on a high heat as all we want to do is seal the meat. Once all the meat has been browned, take it out of the pan and set it aside.
Next you will add your onion, thyme and rosemary into the same pan and cook over a medium heat until its softened. Then you can add the tomatoes, celery, carrot, tomato paste, garlic, salt and pepper. Sweat these out for about 5 minutes then add the Guinness and mix through well. It should form a light soup....to this, add your short ribs one by one and top up with the beef stock. Cover and place in the oven at 180°C for 2 hours.
Keep checking the stock levels to make sure the sauce doesn't dry out and you can add water or stock to it.
If you don't have an oven, you can just as well use the stove top on medium heat and use a pressure cooker to reduce on your cooking time by about half an hour.
Once the meat is ready, you can serve with your choice of sides. Ugali, rice, mash potato... I served mine up with sweet potato and some kale.