I first tried Short ribs in America. They were a revelation, it was one of those ‘Stop, what the hell is this?’  moments. I realized that their by far had been no slow braised beef dish in my life that had come close to the tenderness and or deliciousness  of  this particular cut of beef. 

This ah-ha moment was five years ago in LA and since then I have eaten rather my fair share of short ribs, as my waistline and cholesterol I am sure increased..  

UK Short ribs are a lot smaller than the ones that I cooked in the US but equal in flavour. If you can’t get hold of these (try your local butcher), you can substitute for brisket, oxtail or veal bone. On a separate note with this recipe, this is Vietnamese inspired and lends itself being served with Asian flavours. Patience in this recipe is the success of amazing results. 


  • 1.7kg Short Ribs
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 Large onions
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, small dice
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 Small chilies
  • 3 Sticks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 Tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 1/2 Bottle of Red Wine
  • 200 ml Passata
  • 300ml Water
  • 3 Tbsp Kecap manis, (Sweet dark soy sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Sauce (Maggie Brand suggested)
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Tbsp Honey


Place your Short ribs in a large plastic bag,  add in the flour, salt and pepper. Close the top of the bag and shake till the ribs are evenly coated in the flour.

Place a casserole or large stock pot over a high heat. Add in about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and allow the oil to heat up, Now carefully place half of your short-ribs in the pan and start browning on each side. When the first batch is ready, repeat the process until all the short-ribs are browned.

Turn your heat down and immediately add the rice wine vinegar, with a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to release any meat residue.

Add in the onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, carrots, celery  and tomatoes, allow the vegetables to soften and start browning. This will take 5-10 minutes. Next add the tomato puree and mix through the vegetables. Cook the puree out to remove the acidity.

Next add the red wine and allow the wine to reduce by 2/3 rds. Add all the remaining ingredients and then place the short ribs back in the pot. Mix well. Cover tightly with a lid and turn the heat down low,  simmer for 2.45 – 3 hours. Check and stir hourly to make sure that all times all the ribs are submerged.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Carefully remove the ribs from the sauce and, if the bones come easily out, pull out of the meat and discard.

Sieve the sauce, discard the star anise, and the vegetables through the sieve to help thicken the sauce.  Discard the vegetables. Place the sauce back on the heat and reduce by around a third, until it has thickened. Place the ribs back in the sauce and either serve immediately or allow to cool. Re-heat when needed. You can also freeze up to three months.

I served this with Chinese Five Spice, roast potatoes and broccoli. But it could be served with rice as well.

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