These tender, fragrant and succulent slow cooked beef ribs are just the gear in the colder months.  Finger licking and rich they are not for those watching the waistline however we do need to keep warm and put on our winter coats, right?  Diet, schmiet.

Ps:  Beef short ribs can be quite fatty so try and buy them as lean as possible.  To soak up the fat you can use a couple of slices of stale bread and just lay it on top to absorb the fat.  Discard the bread afterwards.  You could also use your slow cooker but brown the ribs first, make the sauce and then transfer to the cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

Prep time: 30 Minutes                Cooking time: 3 Hours              $ Low Budget

Serves 4

1tbs of peanut oil

1.5kg of beef short ribs, trimmed of any excess fat and cut into 4 equal portions

Plain flour, for dusting

2 stalks of lemon grass, bruised

4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

5cm piece of ginger, sliced into matchsticks

2 whole star anise

2 large fresh chillies, halved and thinly sliced

roots and stems of 1 bunch of coriander, rinsed thoroughly and roughly chopped

4 kaffir lime leaves, crushed in your hand to release the oils

1/2 cup of beef stock

400gm can of coconut milk

1 tbs of fish sauce

1 tbs of brown sugar

Juice of 1/2 a lime

2 spring onions, sliced diagonally

1 cup of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

1 large red chilli, sliced diagonally

Lime wedges to serve

Steamed jasmine rice to serve

Pre heat the oven to 160°C.

Heat a large ovenproof fry pan (or transfer to one later) and lightly dust the ribs in flour.  Brown the ribs on all sides, in batches if need be, until golden and caramelised.  Drain on absorbent paper and set aside.

Remove some of the fat from the pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons behind.  Lightly fry the lemon grass, ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander roots, lime leaves and star anise for a few minutes until aromatic.  Add the stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice.  Stir well to combine and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer.  Have a taste at this point and adjust seasoning if necessary by adding a little more fish sauce or sugar…….depending on your tastes.

Return the ribs to the pan and toss them through the coconut mixture covering up as best you can.  Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish if need be and cover the ribs with a piece of baking paper, tucking it in around the sides and cover with a tight fitting lid. Bake for 2-21/2 hours, checking occasionally and basting.

The meat is ready when it falls away from the bone.  Remove from the oven and discard baking paper. Skim any excess fat from the top with a spoon and pick out the aromatics such as the star anise as you like.  I personally love getting a mouthful of kaffir lime leaves etc but you may remove them if you wish.

Divide the rice among four plates, top with the ribs and spoon over the sauce.  Scatter over the spring onion, coriander and chillies and serve with lime wedges if you so desire!