Tender, melt-in-your-mouth short ribs for a simple, mega-tasty meal

Try this extremely simple beef short ribs with onion marmalade for an epic weekend meal.

  • SERVES: 6
  • PREP TIME: 20 mins
  • COOKING TIME: 4 hrs (low and slow, hands-off)
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • IDEAL FOR: crowd-pleaser, weekend lunch/dinner
  • BUDGET: £

Beef short ribs with onion marmalade

Your immediate reaction to this dish is cosy, comfort, winter food.

And it certainly is delicious and comforting to have in winter with some creamy mash.

However, I made this dish when we had a packed day enjoying the Dartmouth Music Festival, in Spring.

We had invited friends to come back to our garden after the festival.

So, what better dish to do than a low and slow-cooked recipe.

And very simple with only a handful of ingredients.

I’d also argue that, having some tasty lighter sides like asparagus, and charred spring onions.

Or one of my favourite salads, feta and watermelon, transforms this dish into a fantastic spring or summer al fresco meal.

Beef short ribs with onion and marmalade

Beef short ribs aka Jacobs ladder

Short ribs have a very high-fat content.

They’re chunky, with plenty of meat surrounding the bones and lovely marbling for great flavour.

But don’t stress, this makes it perfect for low and slow cooking.

There are a few different ways to approach the cooking of short ribs, all with delicious results.


Let’s first start with flavouring your short ribs.

Adding flavourings such as dried chillies or whole spices can be added to a braising liquid.

And if you’re barbecuing, then you can glaze your ribs after cooking.

In this Jamie Oliver recipe, we use onion marmalade in the braising liquid.

How to braise beef short ribs

Braising is a great method as the liquid helps cook them through, while the fat slowly melts (you can skim some of this fat off at the end).

This means you achieve an epic rich sauce at the end of the slow cook with a deep flavour.

You’ll look like a cooking legend!

How to roast beef short ribs

Beef short ribs can also be roasted without any braising liquid.

The ribs will release all of their fat into the pan and essentially confit in it as they cook.

BBQ low and slow

Beef short ribs are perfect for smoking on the BBQ.

As there’s plenty of time for them to take on the smoke flavour and develop a good bark (outer crust) while they cook at a low temperature.

It is BBQing season after all so I’ve added it to this post.

This method means a good long session on your BBQ.

Smoke the meat with some nice wood chips like oak.

You can keep it simple with a classic rub of salt and pepper on mustard or check out some dry ribs, here.

Get your barbecue to around 110C/225F or 120C/250F degrees.

Place the ribs on the grill, bone side down to protect the meat, and leave for around 5 hours (size/thickness dependant).

And let the low and slow cook work its magic.

A guide to timings:

  • 1″ thick meat about 5 hours
  • 1.5″ thick meat about 7 hours
  • 2″ thick meat about 10 hours

The aim is to get your ribs to get to an internal temperature 93C/200F.

This is when the fat all melts away, and the texture of the ribs is soft like butter (not spongy).

Check out the recipe below for details on how to low and slow-cook your Jacobs Ladder.

You won’t be disappointed.

Beef short ribs with onion marmalade

Course Main Course
Keyword beef, beef short ribs, braising, braising short ribs, easy recipe, one pan meal, one pot meal, short ribs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Cost £


  • 1.6 kg beef short rib, bone in (approx. 6 pieces)
  • 2 heads of celery
  • 600 g carrots (approx. 6 medium size of a bag of baby carrots)
  • 50 g unsalted walnuts
  • 1/2 x 345 g jar of onion marmalade
  • 500 ml smooth ale


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F.
  • Place a large shallow casserole pan on medium-high heat and brown the ribs all over for approx. 15 mins
  • Trim the celery: Chop off the bottom 10-12cm of each and cut lengthways into quarters. Finely slice the rest of the remaining stalks.
    Peel the carrots, leaving them whole.
  • Once the ribs are browned, remove them to a plate.
    Put all the celery and the carrots into the pan with the walnuts and onion marmalade and toss to coat.
    Season with sea salt and black pepper. Pour in 600ml of water and the ale, then nestle the ribs back into the pan, making sure they’re submerged.
    Cover with a sheet of damp greaseproof paper and roast for 4 hours, or until the meat pulls easily away from the bone, basting halfway.
    Skim any fat off the ribs, remove the bones, and serve.


recipe by Jamie Oliver