Must say, I have mixed results when trying to smoke beef ribs. They are occasionally a bit dry, and rarely consistently soft and melt in the mouth. More practice probably required, and I guess controlling the temperature of the smoker is all important.
However, Tom Kerridge has the below recipe, which I have adapted to be half in the oven and half in the smoker. These bad boys are much easier to nail because we really only use the smoker for a couple of ours to get a bit of flavour going, we then transfer to the nice, electronically controlled safe-haven of the oven.
However, they do take 3 days!!! This is when you know that a really high quality bit of meat is going to be worth investing in – little point in doing this with whatever you find on the shelves of your local supermarket. Visit a farm shop, or mail order some quality in.
I prefer to use a good quality, pre-made specialist rub, there’s a lot of fantastic choices online, just make sure you find one made for beef, it will ideally not contain sugar, which is better with pork than beef. You can also make your own…
For the rub
Tom’s BBQ glaze is insane…
For the sauce
- For the dry cured ribs, stir together all of the dry ingredients and rub them all into the rib of beef. Place the beef into a large plastic container and cover with any remaining cure mix. Put the lid on and place into a fridge overnight or for 24 hours.
- For the barbecue glaze, place the chopped dates and pickled onions into a bowl. Bring the stout up to the boil in a saucepan and pour it onto the dates and onions. Cover with cling film and leave to cool at room temperature.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the remaining BBQ glaze ingredients.
- When the date and onion mixture has cooked and the dates have softened, blend the mixture until smooth and pour it into the rest of the BBQ glaze ingredients.
- Set up your smoker for 120C and add some strong wood such as hickory
- When the ribs have cured, dust excess cure mixture off the short ribs and place them into the smoker. Smoke for 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 130C.
- Transfer the ribs to a large casserole pan with a lid. Pour over the glaze and put a lid on.
- Place into the preheated oven and cook very slowly for a further 3 hours, or until the beef is very tender. Make sure the glaze doesn’t evaporate – if it is reducing down too much, add some water.
- When the beef is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool at room temperature. When cool, place in the fridge to chill overnight. When cold the fat will have set on the top and can easily be removed.
- When ready to reheat, place the whole pan, with the lid on, back into the smoker on a low heat. Let the ribs warm through for about 2-3 hours.
- When warm, remove the lid and slowly reduce the glaze with the beef still in the pan, basting the ribs every 10 minutes. When the glaze is reduced and coats the beef, remove the ribs from the pan and serve.
- For this last phase you can add wood in order to get a bit more smoke flavour into the sauce – but use a subtle wood such as apple because sauces can be prone to taking on smoke at a much faster rate than dry meat.