Content Library Recipes Cacao Rubbed Short Ribs with Cherry Salsa

Cacao Rubbed Short Ribs with Cherry Salsa

4 servings Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 2h50m - 3h20m (depending on short ribs size)
Cacao Rubbed Short Ribs with Cherry Salsa

Ribs are a summertime favorite, but these are on a whole different level thanks to their unique ingredients and healthy preparation. Cacao powder deepens the flavor of everything in this dish and lends a variety of minerals, like magnesium, along with powerful phytochemicals, that can help us relax and lift our mood. It’s always a good idea to nourish the nervous system and support our feel-good neurotransmitters—cacao is great at that!

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD



  • 4 (10-inch) pasture-raised bone-in beef short ribs (about 8 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder, unsweetened
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 cup water


  • 10 cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 1 fresh Fresno chile pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
  • Juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • Maldon salt (optional)



1. In a small bowl mix cacao, salt, pepper, ground ginger, allspice, and mustard powder. Pat the short ribs dry and season generously. Refrigerate ribs, uncovered, overnight for at least 12 hours.

2. The next day, let the ribs sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Set a wire rack inside a baking sheet; place ribs on top of the rack and add 1 cup of water onto the pan. Cover pan and bake until fork tender, about 2 ½ to 3 hours. 

3. When tender, increase oven heat to 400°F. Uncover sheet pan and brown ribs for 20 more minutes.

4. When ribs are browning, make the salsa. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cherries, Fresno pepper, mint, lemon juice, zest, and olive oil. Prepare the cilantro leaves for garnish

5. To serve, remove ribs from the oven and arrange a serving platter. Top with salsa, cilantro leaves, and optional Maldon salt.

Nutritional analysis (per serving) 

Calories: 650, Total Fat: 45g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 156mg, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 49g, Carbohydrates: 8g, Sodium: 598mg, Sugars: 4g, Net Carbs: 6g


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