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Smokey Beef Rib Tacos

Jason Hartley - Founder of Cultisan

Watch Jason make this dish

This is a recipe that can go in so many directions, its about using whats to hand to create a combination of smokiness, acidity, spiced depth, sweetness, and that umami depth that we all love.

Around 2 kilos native breed Swaledale Foods beef short ribs

Any spiced seasoning mix in the cupboard (bbq, jerk, harissa, it’ll be fine. If you want to make your own mix use smoked paprika, garlic salt, ground cumin, dried thyme, pepper)

0.5L Orange Juice
0.5L Good quality beef stock
2 x dried Ancho chillies soaked in hot water (reserve the water)
100g Demerara sugar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp onion granules
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp oregano
1 tin chopped tomatoes (rinse the tin with a little water and add) 
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp chipotle paste
1 red chilli chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 small or half a large cinnamon stick
10 pepper corns
1 star anise

To finish

50ml good bourbon (or as much as you want)
1 lime
50g Dark chocolate (at least 70%, even pure 100% cacao if you fancy) plus 10g for garnish
Quick Pickled Radishes
100ml cider vinegar
1 tbsp salt 
1 tbsp Demerara sugar
1 bay leaf
4 peppercorns 
Radishes thinly sliced

Brown beans

1 tin of black beans
Bay leaf



To cook the Beef Ribs

  • Rub the beef and leave for a few hours or over night
  • Brown the beef in a Dutch oven / heavy bottomed pan with a splash of Yorkshire rapeseed oil
  • (if using a slow cooker transfer meat to the bowl now and deglaze the pan you fried it in with a splash of water and add that with the meat)
  • Add all of the other ingredients up to the star anise
  • Cover and cook low a slow minimum 4 hours (very low on a gentle simmer on the hob or in a 160 Celsius oven / 140 Celsius if fan oven)
  • The beef should be ready to fall off the bone when done
  • Take off the heat / out of the oven and let rest
  • Take the beef out of the cooking liquor and pull off the bones, cover and reserve 
  • Add the bourbon to the cooking liquor
  • Reduce the liquor to a thick sticky sauce, at least 3/4 of the volume should be gone
  • Take out star anise, bay leaves and cinnamon 
  • Blitz with a stick blender or food processor (be careful with hot liquids)
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add juice of 1 lime
  • Add the beef and stir


Note at this point you can use what is effectively a spiced beef ragu on pasta, polenta, rice, baked potatoes / sweet potatoes or even in quick quesadillas with cheese in a fried tortilla so if you make a batch freeze some. I’ve even served this in a Yorkshire pudding, and it was a winner. 


To make the quick pickled radishes

  • Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaf and pepper corns to a small pan
  • Heat until the salt and sugar has dissolved
  • Take off the heat, add the radishes and let the liquid cool
  • When cool they are done


To make the black beans

  • Add the beans and water from the tin to a pan
  • Add the bay leaf and seasoning
  • Heat gently, adding more water if needed and cook slowly for approximately 30 mins stirring frequently until the beans break down, you can mash them down if you prefer a smoother texture.


To construct the dish

  • Place a warmed tortilla on a plate
  • Add the beef and sauce
  • Add the black beans
  • Top with the pickled radishes
  • Add chopped coriander (optional)
  • Add a dollop of sour cream (optional)
  • Add a lime wedge
  • Finish by grating the 10g chocolate over the top