Chefs' Recipes

Monique Fiso's barbecue short ribs

It may take time, but the results are worth it.

By Monique Fiso
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 5 hrs cooking (plus marinating, infusing)
  • Serves 8
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"This is one of those things that takes a long time to cook and, in the day-to-day, you don't have time to make it. But when you do, it's really satisfying," says Fiso. "Sometimes, when I'm thinking about food from the US that I miss the most, it's usually barbecue. On my days off in New York, I'd go to barbecue places, and spent quite a bit of time travelling in the south and going to Memphis and Nashville. This is important to me and it's something I love. It's something I make because it's my way of saying I care about you and I'm going to put in this effort to make this thing." Start this recipe a day ahead to dry-marinate the ribs.


  • 8 beef short ribs (about 300gm each), trimmed
Spice rub
  • 50 gm brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp mesquite powder (see note)
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2½ tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1¼ tbsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp onion powder
  • 2½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
Short-rib vinaigrette
  • 240 ml cider vinegar
  • 45 ml tomato sauce
  • 25 gm soft brown sugar
  • 1¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ golden shallot, finely chopped
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper


  • 1
    For spice rub, sift ingredients into a bowl and stir well. Liberally coat short ribs with spice rub, then place on a tray and refrigerate, uncovered, until spice rub has formed a crust (overnight).
  • 2
    Bring short ribs to room temperature (1 hour). Preheat a covered barbecue (preferably charcoal) to 150°C. Barbecue short ribs, turning occasionally, until nicely charred and very tender (4-5 hours).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for vinaigrette, whisk ingredients and 150ml water in a bowl to combine. Set aside to infuse before serving (30 minutes).
  • 4
    Serve short ribs with dressing drizzled over.


Mesquite powder is available from select health food stores, such as The Source Bulk Foods suggestion 2018 Misha's Vineyard Cantata Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand. Wine suggestion bu Monique Fiso