Low & Slow Beef Short Ribs with Cerveza Caramelised Onions & Ancient Grain Salad

Short ribs are gaining popularity, mostly I feel, due to farmers markets where real 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 a pit barbecue! You can get favourable results in a Weber-type barbecue but someone’s got to tend the fire. You could also cook 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; dark Mexican beers are excellent for this dish too.
Low & Slow Beef Short Ribs with Cerveza Caramelised Onions & Ancient Grain Salad

Ingredients and Methods

5 - 6 hours
<strong>Paul’s Tip</strong> 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.


  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Ancient Grain Salad

Beer Marinade

  • 2 kg Rack Beef Short Ribs
  • 2 Unpeeled red onions cut in half
  • 2 Purple carrots, peeled
  • 1lt Dark Mexican beer, plus a splash for glazing
  • 100 ml Honey or Agave syrup
  • 1 Small handful sage leaves
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp Black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Bay leaf


  • 2 lt Beef stock or 1 litre red mole, see building blocks & essential sauces


  • 50 ml Sherry Vinegar
  • 50 ml Agave Syrup

Ancient Grain seven vegetable super food salad

  • ⅓ Cup (65g) Faro, rinsed
  • ½ cup (100g) Mixed quinoa (red, black, white), soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, drained & rinsed
  • 1 ¼ Cups (310 ml) Water
  • 100g (approx ½ bunch) Broccolini
  • 100g (approx ½ bunch) Kale tripped from the stem
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 100g Butternut Pumpkin, finely diced
  • ½ cup Fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • ½ cup Fresh or frozen peas
  • ¼ Cup (30g) Pumpkin Seeds
  • ¼ Cup (30g) Sunflower Seeds
  • ¼ Cup (30g) Chia seeds
  • 150g Salted ricotta, finely chopped
  • Seeds From ½ Pomegranate
  • ½ cup (90g) Tinned chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • ½ Medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Large handful oregano leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 Small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 Jalapeño, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 150ml Latin vinaigrette
  • Pinch Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


To prepare the marinade, place the beef ribs, onion and carrots in a large roasting tray. Cut the ribs into four 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.

Preheat a wood or coal barbecue until the coals have a thin coating of grey ash. Add pre soaked aromatic wood such as iron bark, mesquite or apple. Alternatively if using a gas barbeque soak smaller wood chips and place in a smoking box on your bbq. If you don’t have a bbq you can seal the meat in a large pan.

Preheat the oven to 120 ° C.

Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry using paper towel. Remove the onion and carrots from the marinade dry in same way. Pour the marinade into a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat, until reduced to make a syrupy glaze.

Seal the ribs on the barbeque 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 agave.

Place the ribs in a large ovenproof 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 of water also. 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.

Heat the oil and sugar in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Arrange the onions, cut side down into the pan and cook until richly caramelised. Add a splash of beer and simmer until evaporated. Add 1/2 cup (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.

Pour the braising liquid into a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat, until reduced to a rich sauce.

Combine the vinegar and agave in a small pan and simmer over low heat, until reduced to syrup. Add to the sauce and taste for balance e.g. not too bitter not to sweet, smooth tasting to the palette.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a vessel suitable to reheat the beef.

Cut the beef into single bone portions, return to the sauce and gently reheat.

Cut the carrots into attractive pieces, peel the caramelised onions and allow them to fall apart naturally. Add to the sauce and gently reheat.

To serve, arrange the ribs, carrot and onion attractively onto serving plates with ancient grain salad to accompany.

Ancient Grain Salad - Method

Cook the faro in a saucepan of boil water for 15–20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse.

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and place in a small saucepan. Add the water and bring to the boil. Decrease the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Cover and cook on low for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside with the lid on for 5 minutes, to finish cooking. Fluff the grains with a fork and spread out onto a tray to cool.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the broccolini and kale for 1–2 minutes, until tender. Drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water, to retain their colour. Chop to roughly the same size as the other vegetables.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pumpkin and cook for 5–7 minutes, until just tender and beginning to colour. Add the corn and peas and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Combine the pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds in dry medium frying pan and cook over low-medium heat, tossing frequently, for 3–4 minutes, until lightly toasted.

Combine the faro, quinoa, broccolini, kale, pumpkin, corn, peas, and toasted seeds in a large bowl. Add the salted ricotta, pomegranate seeds, chickpeas, onion, chopped herbs and jalapeño and stir to combine. Pour in the dressing and toss to combine, season with salt and pepper

Transfer into a decorative serving bowl.

Chef Paul Wilson

Credited with serving some of Australia’s most exciting food, Paul Wilson has been described as one of the most extraordinary culinary talents in the Commonwealth & continues to receive critical acclaim for crafting inspiring dishes that take an innovative approach to cuisine traditions. (more)

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Paul Wilson

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