grass fed red angus ribs

(november 2010)

Animal Welfare League South Australia took over the Kitchen Door at Penny's Hill Winery for an event in November 2010.beef ribs pennys hill AWL I got to share the menu for the night with resident Chef Ben Sommariva, to knock out a five course menu of shared plates.

These guys really get it, great produce sourced predominantly from the McLaren Vale region ( they even have their own chooks to provide eggs for the kitchen), simple relaxed food with amazing flavours and above all a spirit of generosity in helping out to raise funds for the Animal Welfare League.

This beef dish was the main course and is one of my favourites. Bob Heath raises Red Angus on grass (and only grass!) up in the Adelaide Hills. This means no feed lots, and just full flavoured beef that has its feet firmly on pasture where cows are meant be. Hit your local farmers market, as there are still farmers out there raising cattle on pasture; the meat tastes better and the cows are happier.

grass fed red angus ribs, braised in coconut and organic palm sugar

serves 8

8 grass fed beef ribs, cap fat on
4 coriander roots
3 cm piece galangal, roughly sliced
4 cm piece ginger, roughly sliced
4 garlic cloves
3 star anise
2 cassia sticks
4 Thai scud chili (or use bird's eyes if you can't get scuds)
1 red chilli
50 g Beach Organics hand tapped fair trade small batch palm sugar
30 ml fish sauce
1 lime, juice and zest
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
2 x 440 ml tins good quality coconut cream

Separate the ribs with a boning knife and place in a snug fitting ovenproof dish. Smash the washed coriander roots, galangal, ginger, garlic, star anise, and cassia in a mortar and place the mixture over the ribs. Bruise the chilli and add, then the palm sugar, lime zest and juice, fish sauce and finally pour the coconut cream over the top. Top with broken, bruised lemongrass stalks.

Bake at 180°C for about 2 to 3 hours, basting with juices. You may need to add half a tin more of coconut cream if the sauce cooks away and the meat dries. The ribs should be falling apart and the sugars and coconut cream should be a deep caramel. There should be rendered beef fat floating in the coconut cream; pour these juices and the sediment from the ovenproof dish over the beef and serve with steamed jasmine rice.