How To Make… Quick, Easy BBQ Jacob’s Ladder

It’s no secret that some of the most under-respected cuts of meat have the most flavour. However, most take large amounts of time and effort to prepare. Jacob’s Ladder (often known as short rib) of beef, for instance, take at least four-six hours’ cooking to lose its rubber sole toughness.

Handily, Royal Warrant-awarded online butchery Donald Russell’s ‘heat-to-eat’ range includes Jacob’s Ladder slow-cooked, on the bone, for ten hours. Using their signature grass-fed, fully matured British beef, this Jacob’s Ladder can be cooked in under an hour, or finished on the barbecue for optimum, smoky flavour and unparalleled tenderness. The full recipe for the latter, complete with BBQ sauce, can be found below.

This is the business! Deeply beefy, fall-apart tender beef on the bone with a sweet, sharp and smoky sauce. And because it’s made with our heat-to-eat, Slow Cooked Jacob’s Ladder, you can cheat your way to American-style pit barbecue with none of the effort! Whip up our chef’s tantalising homemade BBQ sauce then glaze or dip to your heart’s delight…”


Tomato ketchup, 1 cup

Brown sugar, ½ cup

English mustard, 3 tbsp

Lemon juice, 2 tbsp

Cider vinegar, 1 tbsp

Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp

Cracked black pepper, ½ tsp

Good beef stock, reduced, 100ml

Large onion, 1, finely diced

Sweet peppers, 3, finely diced – red, orange or yellow (not green)

Garlic cloves, 2, crushed

Smoked paprika, 2 tsp

Sunflower oil, 1 tbsp

Smoked sea salt, to taste

Slow Cooked Jacob’s Ladder, 1 (small (700g) serves 2. Large (2.16kg) serves 4)


The homemade BBQ sauce can be made in advance and stored in a covered container, in the fridge, for up to three days. It can be warmed through just before serving the Jacob’s Ladder, and you should have plenty left as a delicious condiment for any other meats on your barbecue.

In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients down to, and including, the stock. Let it slowly come to the boil then turn down the heat. Gently simmer, uncovered, for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, sauté the onion, peppers, garlic and smoked paprika in a little oil for 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened but not browned.

Add the sautéed peppers, onion and garlic to the sauce and continue to simmer for a further five minutes. Season to taste with a pinch of smoked sea salt.

Heat the Slow Cooked Jacob’s Ladder in the oven (from frozen or defrosted) as per instructions, up to the last 10 minutes of the cooking time.

Carefully pour away any cooking liquor, and place the whole tray on the barbecue, closing the lid to impart some of the smoky flavour from the coals into the meat. Allow to barbecue for 10 minutes, until the meat is hot and crispy at the edges.

Just before serving, cut between the bones to portion the Jacob’s Ladder into individual bone-in sections. Paint with, or serve alongside, the warmed BBQ sauce.

Further information on Donald Russell can be found at


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