Mofo guide to pairing | Meatsmith's Asado beef ribs with salsa roja

By Vinomofo
7 months ago
4 min read

The Meatsmith Cookbook is available in all good bookshops right now, and it got us thinking about our perfect wine pairings for all things grilled, BBQed and roasted.

Here's what our buyer Pete tips as an ideal wine pair alongside Meatsmith's Asado beef ribs with salsa roja - along with the recipe itself, so you can grab some wine and give it a crack yourself at home.

Beef ribs are all about big and bold, and here we’re looking for a wine to meet that flavour profile but not overwhelm it. These two wines celebrate high-tone fruit complexity neatly framed by oak and acid structure - beyond that they’re packed full of complexity and nuance, so they won’t go missing amongst these cracking flavours. Savour it! - Pete, Senior Wine Buyer

Clarendon Hills Kangarilla Grenache 2016

Beautifully blue fruited despite the not-insignificant time in cellar. It has such richness and deep, brooding, plummy weight. A distinctly impressive wine that is in perfect shape – in its prime right now, and it's going to hang there for some time yet too. Beyond the dense fruit profile there's smoke, spice, bristly acid, wet earth, umami, terracotta minerality, grassy savoury notes, cedar and pine – entirely too much going on to capture in one thought. This is a candidate for Wine of the Year for me - this could be my pairing of the year, too.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 – Black Market Deal #44530

This is one of those bottles where sampling the wine turns into having the whole bottle over dinner. It’s THAT good, and Halliday thought so too, slapping 95pts on it. The fruit profile is spot on with cassis, mulberry and blueberry, with chocolate, cedar lurking and delivering depth for days on the prolonged, finessed finish. One of Margaret River’s best producers, one of the best vineyard sites in the region, and one of the best cabernets we’ve tasted in ages. It’s just one of those wines where it’s too good to do justice in words, so we think you’re better off trying it yourself - especially with a pairing as good as this.

Asado beef ribs with salsa roja


Asado is a beef short rib cut across the bones that is typically found in Argentina where it is cooked on the iconic parrilla grill. Salsa roja is a Mexican staple condiment often served with asado, as we have here, but it goes with pretty much everything!



  • 6 tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 jalapeño, stems removed, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • salt, to taste

  • apple-cider vinegar, to taste

  • 1 white onion, finely diced

  • ½ bunch coriander (cilantro), including stems and roots, washed


  • 8 × 140 g/5 oz asado beef ribs

  • salt and pepper, to season

To make the salsa roja

Put the tomatoes, garlic and jalapeño in a blender and purée to a smooth paste. Transfer to a large saucepan over a medium heat, add olive oil and bring the paste to a boil. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and apple-cider vinegar. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Once it has cooled, mix in onion and coriander. The salsa will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

To cook the ribs

Prepare your charcoal barbecue for grilling (a gas barbecue can also be used, but the flavour imparted by the charcoal method is superior). Light your charcoal – it should take about 15 minutes. Season the asado ribs on both sides with salt and pepper.

Spread your coals out into a nice even bed. You will want them to be hot but spread out into an even layer. The fat from the ribs can cause flare-ups, so you want to minimise hot spots.

Working in two batches, place 4 of the ribs over the hot coals. Cook for 2 minutes, flip the ribs. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Flip them again, and cook for a further 1–2 minutes until cooked to medium-well (they should retain a hint of pink). Remove from the barbecue and set aside to rest for 5–10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining beef ribs.

Cut between the bones into individual ribs and arrange on a serving plate. Season with a pinch of salt and spoon generous amounts of salsa roja over the top to serve.

This is an edited extract from Meatsmith by Andrew McConnell and Troy Wheeler published by Hardie Grant Books.

Photography:   © Mark Roper 2023

Want to find your own perfect pair? Shop our full range here.

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