Chinese-Style Cola Beef Short Ribs

Cola: delicious as a drink, but even more epic when there’s slow-braised beef short ribs involved. Infused with a magical concoction of Chinese spices and little extras, this sticky, jammy and deeply caramelised dish has my heart. Serve with rice, fresh herbs and some pickled chilli for added pizzazz. Total winner. In collaboration with Fever-Tree.


Chinese-Style Cola Beef Short Ribs

10 minutes + overnight marinating
2 hours

1.3kg (2 lb 13 oz) beef short ribs (ask your butcher to cut them about 5cm or 2” wide)

2 x 200ml bottles Fever-Tree Distillers Cola

sea salt

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 brown onion, sliced

4cm (1.5”) piece ginger, thinly sliced

½ cup soy sauce

⅓ cup Chinese Shaoxing wine

¼ cup dark brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick

¼ tsp finely grated or ground nutmeg

4 whole cloves

2 bay leaves

3-4 strips of orange rind

mint and coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

steamed rice, to serve


Quick chilli pickle:

2 long red chillies, finely sliced

3 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp white sugar

1 tsp sea salt

  • Step 1

    Place the beef ribs in a large bowl and pour over the Fever-Tree Distillers Cola so that the ribs are submerged in the liquid. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  • Step 2

    The next day, use tongs to transfer the ribs to a large chopping board, reserving the cola liquid in the bowl. Season well with salt all over.

  • Step 3

    Place a large shallow pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil followed by the marinated ribs. Sear for 3 minutes or until deeply golden brown, then turn the pieces and sear on the opposite side. Continue this way until all the sides of the rib pieces are beautifully coloured,

  • Step 4

    Transfer the ribs onto a plate, and now let’s work with all that flavour that’s left behind in the pan. Add the onion, a pinch of salt and the slices of ginger, then saute for 1–2 minutes until the onion has softened slightly and everything is smelling lovely.

  • Step 5

    Add the seared ribs back into the pan. Pour in soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, the reserved cola, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, bay leaves and orange rind. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 90 minutes, or until tender but not falling apart (you still want them to hold their shape on the grill).

  • Step 6

    Meanwhile, to make the chilli pickle, mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl and leave to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

  • Step 7

    Preheat a BBQ grill on high. Remove the ribs from the braising sauce. Simmer the braising sauce over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until reduced to a sticky glaze consistency. (You can remove the excess oil on top by placing a couple of pieces of paper towel on the surface of the sauce – it will absorb the oil nice and easily. Remove the paper towel and discard.) Remove and discard the aromatics, then keep your sauce warm until it’s time to serve.

  • Step 8

    Grill the ribs on the BBQ for a minute each side or until just slightly charred. Transfer to a shallow serving bowl or platter and pour over the reduced glaze. Scatter over the pickled chilli, mint and coriander. Serve with steamed rice.

We have collaborated with Fever-Tree to produce this content and may get compensation from content or collect a share of sales from links, if you decide to shop from them. This helps support our content creation. I only partner with companies and products that I’d happily recommend to my audience.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

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