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Spicy Slow-Cooked Short Ribs with Lime & Basil

Romulo Yanes

Servings: 4

Lime marmalade gives a wonderful burst of sweet, citrusy tang to this luxurious braise, which fairly cries out for rice or mashed potatoes as an accompaniment; sautéed chard or baby bok choy would also be nice. You can find the marmalade with the British foods in the international aisle of large supermarkets.


  • 1 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 3 lb. small bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 small fresh hot red chiles, such as Thai bird, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 3-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup lime marmalade
  • 1/2 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil leaves; plus small leaves for garnish (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 430
      Fat Calories (kcal): 180
      Fat (g): 20
      Saturated Fat (g): 8
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
      Cholesterol (mg): 80
      Sodium (mg): 950
      Carbohydrates (g): 34
      Fiber (g): 2
      Protein (g): 29


  • Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart stovetop-safe slow cooker insert (or in a 12-inch skillet) over medium heat. Add half of the short ribs and brown well, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining short ribs.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chiles, garlic, ginger, thyme, allspice, and nutmeg; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the marmalade and stir until melted. Fit the insert into the slow cooker. (If using a skillet, scrape its contents into a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.)
  • Stir in the broth and soy sauce. Nestle the short ribs into the sauce, pouring any juice from the bowl on top. Cover and cook until fork-tender, 5 to 6 hours on high or 9 hours on low. (The short ribs can stay on the keep-warm setting for up to 2 hours.)
  • Use tongs to transfer the short ribs to serving bowls or a platter. Strain the sauce into a fat separator; set aside for a few minutes. Pour the defatted sauce into a 3-quart saucepan, add the vinegar, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Stir in the basil and cook for 1 minute to let the flavors meld. Season to taste with salt and pepper, pour the sauce over the short ribs, garnish with small basil leaves, if using, and serve.


Rate or Review


  • Pam_in_CP | 12/29/2016

    Prepare for heat!! I shop at a well stocked grocery store, but it didn't have Thai bird chilis, so I got red Fresno chili peppers. Since I wasn't familiar with them, I only used 4 small ones, not 6, and I scraped out the seeds. For me and my husband, the dish was certainly SPICY! Not sure we could have tolerated much more heat. My store didn't have lime marmalade either, and with no time for a trip to another store, substituted orange marmalade. I think that was fine. I will try this again with less heat, as the beef came out so tender, and under the heat, the flavors were really good. Served with rice and roasted broccolini.

  • jazzik | 04/27/2016

    This recipe didn't work for us. After 9 hours on our crock pot's "low" setting, the "sauce" had reduced to a very bitter, completely black syrup. The short ribs themselves were very tender, I thought the flavors were good otherwise, and I loved the addition of the fresh basil at the end. Based on all the other reviews, I don't think it's a bad recipe - just not right for my particular crock pot. I may adjust the time by an hour and try again, but I'm not sure I want to risk coming home to another pot of bitterness. Oh well.

  • user-4153605 | 04/10/2016

    This is excellent. Have made it twice. Very rich and flavorful. Lime marmalade can be found at specialty stores (in the British section). Or online. I can't find red Thai chilis so I use green Thai chilis (six as the recipe calls for). I serve it with mashed potatoes and carmelized shallots - another amazing Fine Cooking recipe.

  • Hornak | 10/20/2015

    I am stunned by the one review that it was bland! I couldn't find lime marmalade (did special order it) so did substitute orange marmalade the first time. It was great! Next time I had the lime marmalade (from Amazon.com)and it was great too! Family now asks for this rib dish on special occasions. I do use fewer chiles because I'm a wimp!

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