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Short ribs refer to a cut of meat taken from the serratus ventralis muscle of a cow. They are five to 6 in number and are short in length, measuring about 6 inches long hence their name. For this reason, short ribs do not make good steaks.
Contrary to popular belief, short ribs are not part of the rib section. They come from the chuck, brisket or plate of a beef animal. They have a deep beefy flavor and are rich in nutrients, making them the perfect ingredient for a mouth-watering beef recipe.
The best way to cook short ribs is to braise them, but you can also bake, slow-cook, sear, Sous vide or barbecue your ribs for a hearty, finger-licking meal.
How to Braise Short Ribs
Traditionally, braising is considered the best way to cook short ribs. This method involves frying or sautéing your short ribs lightly at high temperature and then stewing them in a covered port at low temperature.
The name itself might sound intimidating, but braising is a simple and effective method for cooking short ribs. It yields delicious results without much hassle and it takes only about 2-3 hours to cook your food.
Here are the steps to braise short ribs:
1. Season each short rib with kosher salt and pepper.
2. Coat a large cooking pot or sauté pan, big enough to accommodate all your ingredients, with olive oil and bring to heat.
3. Add the short ribs and brown for 2-3 minutes. If you are working in batches, this might take about 15 minutes to brown all the ribs.
4. Now, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Puree your vegetables and garlic in a food processor until they form a thick, coarse paste.
6. Remove your browned ribs from the pan, drain the fat, coat the pan with fresh oil, add the pureed veggies and cook for 5-7 minutes.
7. Add the tomato paste to the pan and brown it for 4-5 minutes.
8. Pour in the hearty red wine while scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula, and lower the heat until the mixture reduces by half.
9. Return the browned short ribs to the pan and add two cups of water until it covers the meat.
10. Add the bunch of fresh thyme and bay leaves, and cover the pan.
11. Place the covered pan in the preheated oven and allow the food to cook for 2-3 hours.
12. Check the meal every few minutes and add more water if necessary.
13. Turn the ribs after about an hour of cooking.
14. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to allow the ribs to brown nicely and the sauce to reduce.
15. Remove the pot from the oven and serve while hot.
How to Slow-Cook Short Ribs
As suggested by its name, slow cooking is a method that entails simmering your beef short ribs in a crock-pot at very low temperature for hours until they are ready.
One major advantage of slow-cooking short ribs is that you do not have to closely monitor and pay attention to your food during the cooking process. All you have to do is to dip the ribs in the crock-pot (slow cooker), set your timer and go about your business.
1. Season each rib generously with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown all sides of the ribs in batches for about 1 minute per side.
3. Add beef broth, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, fresh thyme and bay leaf to the skillet and stir over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until tender.
4. Bring to boil for about 8 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.
5. Transfer the ingredients from the skillet to a slow cooker or crock-pot.
6. Place the fresh rosemary sprig on top, cover the crock-pot with a lid and cook for 6 to 8 hours until the ribs are tender.
7. Remove from slow cooker and serve immediately.
How to Oven-Bake Short Ribs
Another easy way to cook beef short ribs is by roasting or baking them in an oven. This method takes only 15 minutes to prepare the meat and another 3 hours to bake it in the oven.
The beauty of it all is that you do not have to sear the ribs first before you bake them. Moreover, this method does not require close monitoring until the food is ready. All you have to do is to slather the ribs with sweet, tangy barbecue sauce and place them in the oven to bake.
1. Cut the short ribs in half and then season generously with salt and pepper.
2. Arrange the seasoned ribs in a 9 x 13” baking pan.
3. Prepare your barbecue sauce by combining the dark brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and chili powder in a mixing bowl.
4. Pour 2/3 of the BBQ sauce over the ribs on all sides, reserving the remaining 1/3 for the finished dish. You can use tongs to flip the ribs over and slather the other side.
5. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
6. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil, place it in the oven and bake the ribs for 2 hours 30 minutes.
7. Remove the foil to expose the ribs and pour out some of the liquid.
8. Bake the ribs for an additional 30 minutes until they are tender and brown.
9. Transfer the meat to a plate without the liquid and slather the ribs with the remaining BBQ sauce
10. Serve with your favorite side dish
How to Sear Short Ribs
Short ribs are renowned for their incredible flavor and remarkable marbling. It is normally braised or slow-cooked in a crock-pot to deliver the perfect delicacy. However, cooking this cut of beef could take up to 5 hours before it is ready for serving and this means you have to wait longer before you can impress your guests with this dish.
Thankfully, we have a shorter way to do this. You can sear your meat and still attain the desired taste within minutes. Searing is one of the quickest ways of cooking short ribs, as it only requires less than 30 minutes for the meat to be ready.
Here are the steps:
1. Season short ribs generously with kosher salt and ground pepper
2. Slice half the onions and half the tomatillos thinly
3. Combine in a bowl and pour in the lime juice
4. Set up and fire up your charcoal grill, gas grill or stovetop.
5. Heat oil in a large skillet or fry pan over medium-high heat
6. Sear ribs in batches for about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown
7. Transfer the seared ribs to a plate or cutting board
8. Add remaining onions and tomatillos to the skillet, season with kosher salt and pepper and then cook until lightly charred and tender for about 4-5 minutes.
9. Add cumin and toss the seeds periodically to coat
10. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate
11. Slice short ribs crosswise and slather with charred onion sauce
12. Serve with the remaining onions, cilantro, and tortillas
How to BBQ Short Ribs
Whether you like your meat smoky and savory or sweet and tender, barbecued ribs are a favorite for many people. This beef cuisine is not only tasty but also goes well with a number of sides such as herbed potato salad, classic macaroni and cheese, crispy corn fritters and corn and tomato coleslaw.
The fun begins as soon as you fire up your grill and the best part is that it takes about 3 hours for your BBQ short ribs to be ready, so no more waiting.
1. Season the ribs with kosher salt and ground pepper.
2. Arrange the seasoned ribs on a large baking pan or sheet.
3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
4. Mix your sauce ingredients by combining paprika, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and thyme in a mixing bowl.
5. Stir the mixture thoroughly the slather each rib on all sides.
6. Cover the baking pan/sheet with aluminum foil.
7. Place the baking pan in the oven and roast for 3 hours until the meat is tender.
8. Remove the foil and let the ribs to cook uncovered for another 30 minutes until brown.
9. Serve with ketchup, ranch dressing and your favorite side
How to Sous-Vide Short Ribs
If you are feeling a little bit adventurous and you do not mind long hours cooking in the kitchen, consider Sous viding your short ribs.
Sous-vide is a French phrase that refers to low temperature long time cooking. This method entails placing your short ribs in an airtight food grade container and cooking it in a water bath under controlled temperature for several hours until it’s ready for serving.
It’s a great alternative to braising particularly if you are cooking tough cuts of meat, only that it takes longer and you may have to wait for up to 48 hours for the meat to cook properly.
1. Set your Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 131 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Remove excess fat by trimming the short ribs
3. Season each rib with kosher salt and ground pepper
4. Heat a large skillet or cast-iron pan on medium heat until it starts to smoke
5. Add oil to the skillet and sear the ribs until all sides are golden brown. Do this in batches if necessary
6. Remove the ribs from the pan, sprinkle black pepper and place them in a vacuum bag after cooling
7. Add garlic, butter and spices to the bag and seal
8. Place the vacuum bag containing the meat into the water bath
9. Sous vide for up to 48 hours
10. Remove the vacuum bag for the precision cooker and place it in a bowl
11. Dice and sauté the shallot in a skillet until soft
12. An hour before dinner, preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the ribs from the vacuum bag, pat dry and glaze with sauce for 10 minutes until the internal temperature of the meat is 131 degrees F
13. Serve hot with your favorite side
The best way to cook short ribs is to braise them. You will never go wrong with this method. After all, it produces the juiciest and most tender cuts without requiring much involvement.
Nonetheless, as you can see, you can cook your short rib delicacy in many different ways. All you have to do is to experiment with all available options until you find a method that delivers the perfect dish to fit your tastes and preferences.
Try all the above methods and let us know how it goes…