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Sticky barbecue beef ribs with coleslaw and soft onion rolls

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for sticky barbecue beef ribs with coleslaw and soft onion rolls.

By Emma Knowles, Lisa Featherby & Alice Storey
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 4 hrs cooking plus marinating, proving
  • Serves 4
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Sticky barbecue beef ribs with coleslaw and soft onion rolls
You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 150 gm canned chipotle chillies in adobo
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely choppe
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400 gm canned chopped tomatoes
  • 80 ml each tomato sauce and barbecue sauce (1/3 cup)
  • 125 ml cider vinegar (½ cup)
  • 125 ml Bourbon
  • 1.5 kg beef short ribs
Soft onion rolls
  • 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 450 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting (3 cups)
  • 15 gm caster sugar
  • 10 gm dried yeast (3½ tsp)
  • 220 ml lukewarm milk, plus extra for brushing
  • 50 ml pouring cream
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 100 gm whole-egg mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, cut into julienne
  • 200 gm each red cabbage and white cabbage, thinly shaved
  • ½ cup each torn mint and flat-leaf parsley


  • 1
    Process onion, chilli, garlic and bay leaf in a food processor until finely chopped, add tomato and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, whisk in remaining ingredients and season to taste. Place ribs in a non-reactive container, pour sauce over, turn to coat and refrigerate overnight.
  • 2
    For soft onion rolls, heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until foaming, add onion and stir occasionally until caramelised (5-6 minutes). Add garlic, stir until fragrant (1 minute), then set aside. Combine flour, sugar, yeast and 2 tsp sea salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and gradually add milk, kneading until a soft, smooth dough forms (4-5 minutes), then mix in onion mixture. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand until doubled in size (40 minutes). Preheat oven to 180C. Form dough into 9 even balls and arrange, evenly spaced, in a 22cm square cake tin brushed with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, stand until rolls touch each other (30 minutes), brush with milk, scatter with extra flour and bake, turning tin occasionally, until golden and cooked through (30-40 minutes). Cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
  • 3
    Reduce oven to 150C. Divide ribs and marinade between 2 baking trays and roast until very tender (3 hours).
  • 4
    For coleslaw, combine cream, lemon rind and juice in a bowl, stand until cream curdles (5 minutes). Whisk in mayonnaise, vinegar and garlic, and season to taste. Add onion, carrot and cabbage, toss to combine and refrigerate (1 hour). Just before serving, toss in herbs.
  • 5
    Transfer marinade to a saucepan, simmer until sticky (10-20 minutes) and set aside.
  • 6
    Heat a char-grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill ribs in batches, turning occasionally and basting with marinade, until sticky and charred (4-5 minutes). Serve hot with coleslaw, soft onion rolls and any remaining glaze.


This recipe is from the February 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Drink Suggestion: Aromatic pale ale. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Emma Knowles, Lisa Featherby & Alice Storey