Short Ribs

What are Short Ribs? Common Short Ribs Recipe

Short ribs are a popular cut of beef known for their rich flavor and tender texture. But what makes short ribs so special? Let's dive into the science behind cooking perfect short ribs.

What Are Short Ribs?

Short ribs are a cut of meat from the lower part of the ribcage of beef or pork. Compared to traditional long and thin ribs, short ribs are shorter and meatier, making them a popular choice for slow-cooking methods. Short ribs can be bone-in or boneless, with the bone-in variety often preferred for its added flavor.

What Are Short Ribs?

What Are Beef Short Ribs Used For?

Beef short ribs are used in various dishes thanks to their rich flavor and tender texture when cooked properly. Popular dishes featuring beef short ribs include braises, stews, grilled dishes, and pan-seared recipes. Beef short ribs are also suitable for dishes from different cuisines, from Korean to European.

Beef Short Rib Cut

There are several ways to cut beef short ribs, each suitable for different cooking methods. The two most common cuts are Flanken and English.

Flanken Cut Beef Short Ribs

The Flanken cut is when the ribs are cut across the bone, resulting in thin slices with multiple small bones. This cut is ideal for grilling, as the thin slices cook quickly and develop a delicious char when grilled over high heat.

English Cut Short Ribs

The English cut is when the ribs are cut parallel to the bone, resulting in thicker pieces of meat. This cut is typically used for slow-cooking methods such as braising or pressure cooking, as the thick pieces require longer cooking times to become tender.

How to Cook Short Ribs Fast

While traditional methods of cooking short ribs require long cooking times, there are ways to cook them faster:

  1. Pressure Cooking: Using a pressure cooker can significantly reduce cooking time. Sear the meat first, then cook under pressure with broth or sauce for about 45 minutes to an hour.
  2. Instant Pot: Similar to a pressure cooker, an Instant Pot can cook short ribs quickly. Follow the same steps as pressure cooking to achieve tender, delicious short ribs in about an hour.

How to Cook Simple Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound beef short ribs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle stout beer
  • 1 cup beef stock

Cooking Process:

  • Step 1: Gather all ingredients.
  • Step 2: Season ribs with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour until coated; shake off excess.
  • Step 3: Heat olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook ribs until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove ribs and set aside.
  • Step 4: Add onion and garlic to the pot; cook and stir until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Return ribs to the pot; pour in beer while scraping the browned bits of food off the bottom of the pot. Pour in beef stock.
  • Step 5: Cover and simmer over low heat until ribs are very tender, about 2 hours.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables.

Simple Beef Short Ribs

How to Cook Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients

  • 4-5 pounds of beef short ribs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of red wine (a good quality dry red wine)
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Prep the Short Ribs:

    • Pat the beef short ribs dry with paper towels.
    • Season generously with salt and pepper on all sides.
  2. Sear the Short Ribs:

    • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
    • Add the short ribs in batches, searing on all sides until browned. This should take about 3-4 minutes per side.
    • Transfer the browned short ribs to a plate and set aside.
  3. Sauté the Vegetables:

    • In the same pot, add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery.
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Add Tomato Paste and Deglaze:

    • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.
    • Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for about 5 minutes until the wine is reduced by half.
  5. Add Broth and Herbs:

    • Add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce to the pot.
    • Return the short ribs to the pot, along with any accumulated juices.
    • Add the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves.
  6. Braise the Short Ribs:

    • Bring the liquid to a simmer.
    • Cover the pot with a lid and transfer it to a preheated oven at 325°F (163°C).
    • Let the short ribs braise in the oven for 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
  7. Finish the Dish:

    • Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set them aside on a serving platter.
    • Discard the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves.
    • If desired, skim off any excess fat from the surface of the sauce.
    • You can leave the sauce chunky, or use an immersion blender to blend it until smooth for a more refined sauce.
    • Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Serve:

    • Serve the braised short ribs with the sauce spooned over the top.
    • They pair wonderfully with mashed potatoes, polenta, or a crusty loaf of bread.
Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs

How to Cook Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients

  • 4-6 beef short ribs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, or your choice)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Olive oil or butter for searing

Equipment

  • Sous vide immersion circulator
  • Large pot or container for water bath
  • Vacuum sealer or resealable freezer bags
  • Heavy skillet or cast-iron pan

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Sous Vide Setup:

    • Fill a large pot or container with water.
    • Attach the sous vide immersion circulator and set the temperature to 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare, 144°F (62°C) for medium, or 155°F (68°C) for well-done.
  2. Season the Short Ribs:

    • Pat the short ribs dry with paper towels.
    • Season generously with salt and pepper on all sides.
    • Place a sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme (or other herbs of your choice) and the crushed garlic cloves on each rib.
  3. Bag the Short Ribs:

    • Place the seasoned short ribs into a vacuum-seal bag or a resealable freezer bag. If using a vacuum-seal bag, seal the bag using the vacuum sealer. If using a resealable bag, use the water displacement method to remove the air: slowly lower the bag into the water bath, letting the water pressure push the air out of the top before sealing the bag completely.
  4. Cook the Short Ribs Sous Vide:

    • Submerge the bagged short ribs in the preheated water bath.
    • Cook for 24 to 48 hours, depending on your preferred texture. Longer cooking times will result in more tender meat.
  5. Remove and Rest:

    • After the cooking time is complete, carefully remove the bags from the water bath.
    • Take the short ribs out of the bag and pat them dry with paper towels. This helps achieve a good sear later.
  6. Sear the Short Ribs:

    • Heat a heavy skillet or cast-iron pan over high heat.
    • Add a small amount of olive oil or butter to the pan.
    • Sear the short ribs on all sides until a golden-brown crust forms, about 1-2 minutes per side. This step enhances flavor and texture.
  7. Serve:

    • Let the short ribs rest for a few minutes after searing.
    • Serve the sous vide short ribs with your favorite sides, such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad.
Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs

    How to Cook Korean Short Ribs in the Oven

    Ingredients

    • 2-3 pounds of Korean-style short ribs (flanken cut)
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup sesame oil
    • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 Asian pear or apple, grated
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
    • 3 green onions, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper

    Instructions

    1. Prepare the Marinade:

      • In a large mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and water.
      • Add the grated pear or apple, minced garlic, minced ginger, chopped green onions, sesame seeds, and black pepper.
      • Mix well until the sugar is dissolved and all ingredients are well combined.
    2. Marinate the Short Ribs:

      • Place the short ribs in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
      • Pour the marinade over the short ribs, ensuring they are well coated.
      • Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight for best flavor.
    3. Preheat the Oven:

      • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
    4. Prepare the Baking Sheet:

      • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
      • Place a wire rack on top of the baking sheet. This allows the heat to circulate around the ribs and helps them cook evenly.
    5. Arrange the Short Ribs:

      • Remove the short ribs from the marinade, letting any excess marinade drip off.
      • Arrange the short ribs in a single layer on the wire rack.
    6. Bake the Short Ribs:

      • Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven.
      • Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping the ribs halfway through the cooking time. The ribs should be caramelized and cooked through.
    7. Broil for Extra Caramelization (Optional):

      • For extra caramelization, turn on the broiler for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.
      • Keep a close eye on the ribs to prevent burning.
    8. Serve:

      • Remove the ribs from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes.
      • Garnish with additional chopped green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
      • Serve the Korean short ribs with steamed rice, kimchi, and your favorite Korean side dishes.

      How to Make Slow-Cooked Beef Short Ribs

      Ingredients

      • 4-6 beef short ribs
      • Salt and pepper
      • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
      • 1 large onion, chopped
      • 2 carrots, chopped
      • 2 celery stalks, chopped
      • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
      • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
      • 1 cup of red wine (optional, for deglazing)
      • 2 cups of beef broth
      • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
      • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
      • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
      • 2 bay leaves

      Instructions

      1. Prep the Short Ribs:

        • Pat the beef short ribs dry with paper towels.
        • Season generously with salt and pepper on all sides.
      2. Sear the Short Ribs:

        • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
        • Add the short ribs in batches, searing on all sides until browned. This should take about 3-4 minutes per side.
        • Transfer the browned short ribs to the slow cooker.
      3. Sauté the Vegetables:

        • In the same skillet, add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery.
        • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
        • Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
      4. Add Tomato Paste and Deglaze:

        • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.
        • If using, pour in the red wine to deglaze the skillet, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes until the wine is reduced by half.
      5. Transfer to Slow Cooker:

        • Pour the vegetable and wine mixture over the short ribs in the slow cooker.
        • Add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce.
        • Place the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves on top.
      6. Cook the Short Ribs:

        • Cover the slow cooker with the lid.
        • Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
      7. Finish the Dish:

        • Carefully remove the short ribs from the slow cooker and set them aside on a serving platter.
        • Discard the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves.
        • If desired, you can strain the cooking liquid and vegetables to make a smoother sauce, or leave it chunky.
        • Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
      8. Serve:

        • Serve the slow-cooked short ribs with the sauce spooned over the top.
        • They pair wonderfully with mashed potatoes, polenta, or a crusty loaf of bread.

        Short Rib FAQs

        What Are Braised Short Ribs?

        Braised short ribs are short ribs that are seared and then slow-cooked in liquid (such as broth or wine) until the meat is tender and flavorful. This is a popular cooking method that helps retain the meat's flavor and moisture.

        Are Short Ribs Beef or Pork?

        Although short ribs are traditionally a beef cut, bison short ribs are also available. The bottom three to six inches of a cow's rib cage, close to its breastbone, are made up of short ribs. The ribs of pigs are not short.

        How Many Short Ribs Per Person?

        You should aim for one to three short ribs per person, though the perfect serving size for short ribs depends on the weight of the pieces and how they're sliced. Serve each guest about one pound of short ribs with the bone in.

        Do Short Ribs Have Bones?

        Yes, short ribs typically have bones, especially the English and Flanken cuts. The bones add flavor and help keep the meat tender during cooking. However, there are also boneless short ribs for those who prefer convenience.

        Conclusion

        By understanding the science behind cooking perfect short ribs, you can elevate your culinary skills and impress your guests with a delicious and tender dish. So next time you're in the kitchen, give short ribs a try and experience the magic of this flavorful cut of beef.

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