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Berbere Short Ribs at

I visited family in Penticton, BC and their neighbour was a butcher. We went to his store, Tony’s Meats. He had an excellent selection of meat but I was immediately drawn to some wonderful short ribs. It is hard to get short ribs here in the mountains and I just had to have these.

I put them in a cooler bag and took them home. I fired up the Louisiana Grills pellet smoker and made Berbere Short Ribs. The dish can be done in a 210 F oven but it will not have the nice smoke taste.

I started by sprinkling a light dusting of Berbere Spice on the ribs. I would have liked to have used more of the spice but She Who Must Be Obeyed has a limit on how hot food is.

I cut the ribs into single ribs because I like the crust on smoked short ribs and cutting them gives more surface to develop crust.

I preheated the smoker to 210 F and put the ribs on.

Berbere Short Ribs 1

I smoked them over oak pellets for 3 hours.

I cut 1/2 onion, a carrot and a stalk of celery into chunks and put it in a roasting pan. I added 175 ml (3/4 cup) of beef stock and the short ribs. I covered them with foil and put them back in the smoker for 2 hours. This part can be done in the oven as no smoke gets to the meat but It was a warm day and I didn’t want to heat up the house.

Berbere Short Ribs 2

I smoked them under foil for 2 hours. I took the foil off and put the ribs back on the grill for another hour to get a nice crust.

Berbere Short Ribs 3

I took the pan with the juices into the house and poured the liquid into a clear cup. I sucked the juices from below the fat with a turkey baster and put it in a small saucepan.

Berbere Short Ribs 4

I added 175 ml (3/4 cup) of beef stock, 50 ml (1/4 cup) red wine, 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of hoisin sauce and 2 ml (1/4 tsp) berbere spice. I brought it to a boil and then added a slurry of 15 ml (1 tablespoon) cornstarch and 15 ml (1 tablespoon) cold water. I stirred that into the sauce and cooked until thickened and shiny.

Berbere Short Ribs 5

We served the ribs with marinated sugar pea salad and buns.

Berbere Short Ribs 6

The Verdict

First, let me thank Tony’s Meats. The quality of the beef was obvious. It had a great level of fat and a wonderful beef flavour. Working with quality ingredients really makes a difference and this was proven by this cook.

These aren’t fall apart like you get when you braise short ribs but they are tender and juicy. The meat had a deep beef taste and picked up the complexity of the Berbere spice. I loved it. However, the star of the show was the sauce. I could eat it from a bowl with a spoon. Rich, beefy, spicy and so good.

The Old Fat Guy

Berbere Short Ribs

Yield: 3 servings

Berbere Short Ribs


  • 6 large meaty short ribs
  • 8 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) Berbere spice
  • 1/2 medium onion cut in chunks
  • 1 carrot cut in chunks
  • 1 stalk celery cut in chunks
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cup) beef stock, divided
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) red wine
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) hoisin sauce
  • 2 ml (1/4 teaspoon) Berbere spice
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) cornstarch
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) cold water


  1. Cut the ribs into single ribs.
  2. Sprinkle the ribs with the 8 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) Berbere spice.
  3. Preheat your smoker or oven to 210 F.
  4. Put the ribs in the smoker or on a rack over a tray in the oven.
  5. Cook for 3 hours.
  6. Put the onion, carrot, celery and 1/2 the beef stock in a roasting pan.
  7. Put the ribs in the roasting pan and cover with foil.
  8. Cook for 2 hours.
  9. Put the ribs back in the smoker or oven, uncovered for 1 hour to develop a crust.
  10. While the ribs are in the smoker, take the liquids from the roasting pan and defat the liquids.
  11. Add the remaining 1/2 of the beef stock, red wine, hoisin sauce, and Berbere spice.
  12. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  13. Mix the cornstarch and water into a slurry and stir into the sauce.
  14. Cook until the sauce is thickened and shiny.
  15. Serve the ribs with the sauce.
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6 Responses

  1. Those ribs looks fantastic! Things like this make me wish I had an outdoor space. (I don’t. I live in an urban, coverted loft space.) But I’d love to give this a go in the oven. Although I’m tempted every day to rig a smoker to hang out my window.

  2. I love a good short rib! These look fantastic. I have never had Berbere spice. I just saw your recipe for it and it looks very flavorful. I will have to make the spice and the ribs!

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