What’s cooking today: Beef short rib strips with BBQ sauce

What’s cooking today: Beef short rib strips with BBQ sauce
Tony Jackman’s beef short ribs with a barbecue sauce, cooked in the air fryer. Served with chips. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Barbecue sauce is a delicious old South African tradition, and it can come to your air fryer as a baste for beef short rib strips such as these. You can brush some more on them as a relish when serving.

One of my local supermarkets (Shoprite) occasionally sells packs of beef short rib sliced thinly into rashers. This turns out to be a favourite cut in Korea, where it is known as kalbi or galbi. They are marinated and then grilled.

Note that I wrote “Korea”, not South Korea. On a trip to Finland last year one of the international journalists in our group was from there, and when she heard me refer to it as “South Korea” she quickly (and courteously) corrected me. “No no, Tony, it is North Korea and Korea. We do not say South Korea.” Only people from other countries call it that, she added. I love learning lessons like these; it goes with the territory of being a seasoned subeditor.

I don’t know how my smalltown Shoprite in the Karoo got to cutting beef short rib in this way (they mark the packs having been sliced “for your convenience”) but they appear to have been cut in the correct Korean way, with three small bones visible along one side of the meat once sliced. The meat for kalbi is cut into thin slices across the bones “or by making an accordion cut parallel to the rib bone”, to quote website.

The barbecue (or BBQ) sauce is made of store cupboard staples including soy sauce, tomato sauce and chutney, as well as a touch of Banhoek Chilli Oil for some fire. There are garlic flakes, although fresh garlic could be substituted, finely chopped.

You can read more of my thoughts on barbecue sauce here. Also see my take on air fryer beef short ribs with a sticky sauce here.

If you can’t find beef short rib cut in this way, ask your butcher.

I advise serving four strips in a portion, as there is not a lot of meat on them.

(Serves 2)


8 beef short rib strips

Cooking oil spray

Barbecue sauce:

1 T soy sauce

2 T tomato sauce

2 T chutney

1 T chilli oil

1 tsp garlic flakes

Salt and white pepper to taste


Lightly season the beef strips with salt and white pepper. Spray them on both sides with olive oil spray.

Mix the sauce/baste ingredients and use two thirds of it to baste the meat on both sides. Keep the remainder for use as a relish when serving. Or, baste with a third of the sauce, so that you can baste again when turning the meat in the air fryer.

Spray the basket of the air fryer. Air fry at 200℃ for 4 minutes, then turn the meat over and air fry at the same temperature for another 4 minutes. Baste again halfway through if you like.

Serve with a little more of the BBQ sauce. A crisp salad and a side of potato chips would be a fair match for them. DM

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

The ribs are photographed on a blue platter by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.


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