Beer-braised short ribs

Beer-braised short ribs

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 6 hrs plus overnight marinating

More effort

Serves 6

Sticky, tender beef ribs with a subtle oak-smoked flavour are sure to be a hit at your next barbecue

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal774
  • fat57g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs30g
  • sugars25g
  • fibre3g
  • protein28g
  • salt9.7g
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  • 6 meaty beef short ribs (about 3kg/6lb 8oz), see tips
  • 75ml sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 3 onions, thickly sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 450ml hoppy American-style craft lager (try Point Amber, available from, or Samuel Adams Boston lager, widely available)
  • 700ml good-quality chicken stock
  • 140g black treacle
  • small bunch thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 50g burnt oak wood chips, tied in a muslin bag (optional, see tip)
  • 100g ketchup
  • 100g American mustard
  • 75g brown sauce

For the marinade

  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…


  1. First, make the marinade. Mix the spices and 3 tbsp salt in a bowl, then stir in the oil to make a paste. Use a knife to make a deep hole in each short rib, then rub the spice mix all over and into the hole, working the flavour into the meat. Place on a tray, cover and chill overnight.

  2. The next day, heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan, tip in the onions and fry until you start to get a deep, rich colour – about 20 mins. Don’t be scared of the colour, this will add amazing savoury sweetness to the dish. Pour in the beer and boil to reduce by half, then add the stock, treacle, thyme and oak chips, if using. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Place the marinated short ribs in your largest roasting tin. Pour over the onion and beer braising liquid, then cover tightly with foil. Transfer to the oven and cook the short ribs for 5 hrs or until really tender.

  3. Once the ribs are cooked, remove and put on a plate to rest and cool. Strain the braising liquid into a saucepan. Once settled, use a ladle to remove the top layer of fat, then set over a high heat. Simmer the sauce until it becomes rich and glossy, then whisk in the ketchup, mustard and brown sauce.

  4. To barbecue the ribs, heat your coals until ashen or set a gas barbecue to medium. Cook the ribs until nicely charred and hot all the way through, then baste with the sauce to finish and cook until sticky. To cook them indoors, heat the grill. Set a wire rack over an oven tray and place the ribs on top. Baste well with the sauce and grill, basting with the sauce a few times, until it forms a charred, sticky crust. Set aside to rest before serving with the onion rings and slaw (see Goes well with).

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Comments, questions and tips

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Mr Muffin's picture
Mr Muffin
9th May, 2020
Outrageous amount of salt - absolutely not needed in this quantity. Try using one tablespoon of salt - not 3 as Kerridge suggests. In fact, I'm not sure if Kerridge actually came up with this recipe? It looks like a straight lift from an American recipe because only American's would be irresponsible enough to load a recipe with so much salt. Also, the "barbecue" sauce made with bottled ketchup, brown sauce and mustard is loaded with salt as well, on top of the 3 tablespoons that you've already shocked your arteries with. Again, this is exactly the type of stuff that American's come up with - it's quick and lazy and very bad for your health. A pity really, because this is otherwise a very good recipe and makes for a delicious meal - but to be advocating this amount of salt and mixing three different types of bottled sauce together to make a barbecue finishing sauce...come on! I think Kerridge is better than that and that's why I ponder whether he's ever seen this recipe that he's put his name to?
11th Jul, 2020
There is no salt at all in this recipe dear
13th May, 2020
Salt what salt, no salt in this recipe
basound's picture
2nd Jun, 2019
Deep, complex flavours. The initial rub really pays off. Toasting the cumin seeds gave the finished dish a gentle spicyness without overwhelming the beef flavour. Barbecued the ribs over wood coals, it only took about 6 minutes to warm them through, and about a minute on each face to start to caramelise the final basting sauce. Didn’t use the burnt oak chips, and only had normal paprika, so had no overriding smokiness. Would perhaps use smoked paprika next time, but as it’s not a favourite of mine I might just stick to the unsmoked variety. A really good recipe that’s worth the time spent.
31st Mar, 2018
This recipe is great, we smoked our ribs instead of using the oven try 110C/225F for 5-6 hours. Came out amazing! For other tips about smokers have a look
1st Oct, 2017
Fantastic recipe. Will cook again!!!! Highly recommend finishing on the BBQ. Rather than a grill. I cut the salt down to 1 tbsp and was plenty, even for a salt lover. Also, note it will take some time to reduce the liquid to a thick sauce consistency.
19th Sep, 2017
Great recipe. I'm a big fan of short ribs now I've found a local butcher who advises me on quantity for 2 people and cooking advice. It's a 2 day job really but worth the effort.
31st Jul, 2017
Truly magnificent and we're definitely eating them again. Magnificent barbecue sauce comes from the cooking liquor which had already cooked the ribs beautifully and it was so easy to make as well. Thanks Tom magnificent as always from you
10th Jun, 2017
These were a must do again! Followed the recipe to the letter, with exception of reducing the salt content significantly! 3tbs seems a huge amount? I let the ribs go cold before we BBQ'd to finish, I think if they'd been bbqd when just out of oven they might have disintegrated, and they really were fabulous, worth the planning ( not difficult at all, just need to start the day before), also made sure I skimmed the fat off thoroughly before finishing the sauce off. Great recipe.
Purple Eeyore
10th Dec, 2016
Another gorgeous Tom Kerridge recipe.


James Neill's picture
James Neill
9th Dec, 2018
Tbsp = tablespoon which seems far too much. Teaspoon surely? (Except for the oil.)
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Dec, 2018
Hi James, These are the correct quantities but you can reduce them for a milder flavour.
6th Jan, 2017
Hi, if I was to do this in the slow cooker would I just reduce the amount of liquid, if so by how much please? Thanks
spindoctor's picture
28th Apr, 2018
I bought my Samuel Adams Boston Lager from ASDA it was on their craft beer shelf.
spindoctor's picture
28th Apr, 2018
If you want to speed up the time it takes to reduce the sauce place the sauce in a wide shallow frying pan then bring to a boil. The larger service area speeds up the evaporation of the liquid (physics 101)
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