This is for a really special barbecue when you want to pull out all the stops. It's a three-day process, but very little of that time involves work on your part, and it will produce the most flavoursome, tender ribs imaginable.
For the dry cured ribs, stir together all of the dry ingredients and rub them all into the rib of beef. Place the beef into a large plastic container and cover with any remaining cure mix. Put the lid on and place into a fridge overnight or for 24 hours.
For the barbecue glaze, place the chopped dates and pickled onions into a bowl. Bring the stout up to the boil in a saucepan and pour it onto the dates and onions. Cover with cling film and leave to cool at room temperature.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the remaining BBQ glaze ingredients.
When the date and onion mixture has cooked and the dates have softened, blend the mixture until smooth and pour it into the rest of the BBQ glaze ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 130C/275F/Gas 1.
When the ribs have cured, wash the cure mixture off the short ribs and place them into a large casserole pan with a lid. Pour over the glaze and put a lid on.
Place into the preheated oven and cook very slowly for 5-6 hours, or until the beef is very tender. Make sure the glaze doesn’t evaporate - if it is reducing down too much, add some water.
When the beef is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool at room temperature. When cool, place in the fridge to chill overnight. When cold the fat will have set on the top and can easily be removed.
When ready to reheat, place the whole pan, with the lid on, onto a barbecue on a low heat. Let the ribs warm through for about 2-3 hours.
When warm, remove the lid and slowly reduce the glaze with the beef still in the pan, basting the ribs every 10 minutes. When the glaze is reduced and coats the beef, remove the ribs from the pan and serve.
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