I’ll admit it, sometimes I cook stuff other than soup. Like liver…or ribs. People like ribs. I think they like ribs more than liver? Weirdos. Anyways, here is a recipe I made with grass-fed beef ribs.
Normally you see pork rib recipes. And I’m like 97% certain this recipe would taste great with pork. But try to find beef spare ribs. Sometimes they are called beef back ribs. They can be tough, so you need to either cook them low and slow or pressure cook them and finish them up under the broiler or on the grill.
I’m pretty sure you know what method I used: pressure cooker.
Before we move on, you need to procure a few specialty ingredients. If you hang out with me long enough (I really hope you do), then you will eventually just have this stuff laying around. The goal here is to make them less specialty and more everyday. I’m talking fresh turmeric, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, Thai chile, fish sauce, and palm sugar.
All of this stuff stuff can be found at your local Asian grocery store. And sometimes little organic shops carry some of the items. And not so little organic shops. The perishable stuff can be stored in the freezer in-between uses. If you can’t find them or live in the middle of nowhere, I’ve included some links below.
One last item you need is my new favorite spice: Organic Penang Curry spice blend by Teeny Tiny Spice Co. This will be our rub. You definitely want to season the ribs with the rub and a spice paste (that we will make) the day before. Let the ribs get a chance to absorb all that flavor.
- Organic Penang Curry spice blend
- Fresh kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass & Thai chile (This pretty cool bundle also includes fresh galangal root, which we don’t need for this recipe, but which we will certainly use in the future, so freeze it and any other bits you don’t use up in this recipe.)
- Fresh organic turmeric root
- Fish sauce
- Coconut/palm sugar
- Organic gluten free soy sauce or Coconut Aminos (for those avoiding soy)
- Thai dried chile powder (optional)
For the spice paste, a mortar and pestle will be very handy. The best way to go about it is to start with the most fibrous bits and pound them down before adding in the next bit. If your mortar gets too full, you can scoop it out to make room and mix everything together at the end. I listed the ingredients in the recipe card in the order that I found the easiest to pound.
When testing this recipe, we went through a lot of ribs — about 25 lbs to be exact — which turned out well, because there was plenty for lunches and next day dinners. And my manfriend never got sick of them. He actually asked when I was going to make more. (OMG he just asked again!) So when it came down to writing the recipe I made it for 8.5 pounds. You will have plenty of leftovers or enough for a larger family. Since I have a 7.5 quart pressure cooker, I cooked the marinated ribs in 2 batches.
After cooking, you will be left with flavorful concentrated liquid. You will use that liquid to make the basting sauce. After that, any leftover liquid works well to cook rice or as a stir fry sauce. That’s how I made the coconut rice you see pictured with the ribs; part coconut milk and part Malaysian rib broth. It’s really delicious, so keep any leftover broth. Just be sure to strain it first.
This recipe goes really well with the aforementioned coconut rice and some simple freshly steamed greens. I served mine with choy sum.
Malaysian Style Grass-Fed Beef Ribs Recipe
For the spice paste
- 2 lemongrass stalks prepped*, then chopped into thin rounds
- 3 Thai chile cut into thin rounds
- 1 thumb length of fresh turmeric peeled and cut into thin rounds
- 1 shallot peeled and cut into thin rounds
- 4 kaffir lime leaves cut into thin shreds
- 6 cloves of peeled garlic
- 8.5 pounds of beef spare ribs
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 5 tablespoons of Teeny Tiny Organic Penang Spice Blend
For basting sauce
- 2 cups braising liquid (liquid from cooking ribs)
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 oz palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon thai dried chile, powdered (optional)
For spice paste
- In mortar and pestle, pound the lemongrass until broken down. Add each other ingredient until a rough paste forms. If you run out of room in the mortar, then remove contents and mix together at the end.
The day before season and marinate ribs
- Cut ribs into manageable portions and put into deep dishes large enough to marinate in.
- Season front and back of ribs with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Season with Penang Curry Spice Blend.
- Rub spice paste on ribs. Cover and allow to marinate overnight.
To cook ribs
- Add as many of the ribs as you can to your pressure cooker. I did mine in 2 batches. Add water to max fill line and heat until at high pressure. Cook for 15 mins. Do a quick release of the pressure and start next batch of ribs. Add any additional ribs to the same cooking liquid. Repeat.
- In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups of the strained pressure cooker basting liquid. Add soy sauce (or coconut aminos), fish sauce, palm sugar, and optional chile powder. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and allow the sauce to reduce by half.
To finish the ribs
- If finishing on ribs on the grill, periodically baste with marinade until desired crispiness is achieved.
- If finishing under the broiler, place ribs on an oven safe wire rack on top of a foil lined roasting pan. This allows the air to circulate around the ribs. Baste the ribs every so often and broil to desired crispiness.
- Use any leftover marinade to brush on ribs once done.
- Serve. Goes really well with coconut rice and some simple steamed veggies.
- *Lemongrass prep: We want the tender inner bulb of the lemongrass. Remove root portion and the upper 2/3 of the stalk (that can be saved for making broths). Then peel a few layers off and you are left with the good stuff. Ready to be bruised or thinly sliced.
There you have it. Pressure cookers make ribs tender and delicious in 15 minutes. The only real work is the making the spice paste, but I think your arm muscles can take it.
Please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments. And if you make my recipe and love it, take a pic and post it on Instagram or my Facebook Page. Tag me in it! Thanks everyone, hope you enjoy.
Oh!! Remember to save the rib bones for your next batch of broth.