When preparing meat, a lot of people tend to stick to one or two familiar cuts - perhaps a steak, or a chop. But there are so many more cuts of meat available to the discerning home cook, each lending itself to different methods of cooking and a host of tasty recipes you’ll wish you’d tried years ago. If you take a little time to learn each cut’s characteristics, you’ll soon find it easy to bring out the best in any piece of meat.
The beef short rib is one cut of meat that is sometimes overlooked, as it is not the tenderest piece of meat. Unlike back ribs, which, as the name suggests, come from the back area, and are often prepared in much the same way as pork spare ribs, the short rib comes from the part of the animal known as the ‘short plate’, towards the front of the belly, an area known for being somewhat tough.
Luckily, this makes short ribs perfect for slow-cooking methods like braising, stewing and sous vide, which break down all those tough connective tissues and leave a tender, juicy piece of meat that falls apart at the merest touch of a fork. And because the short rib is well-marbled with fat, it is juicier and more tender than other slow-cook cuts such as brisket or chuck, and produces plenty of rich cooking juices for making delicious sauces and gravy.
Because they take on some of the flavour of marrowbone from the rib, short ribs are also an intensely flavoured cut of meat. Throughout the long hours of cooking, your kitchen will take on a mouth-watering aroma that might seem hard to resist, but don’t be tempted to remove your ribs from the oven early - we promise that the wait will be worth it.
Short ribs are not only for slow cooking, however. They are also great for barbecuing and grilling. They hold more meat than back ribs, and are particularly juicy when grilled. Recipes for marinated and grilled short ribs can be found in various different cultures, including galbi from Korea, tablitas from Mexico, and Maui-style ribs from Hawaii.
Steps and Ingredients
This short rib recipe from Fine Dining Lovers cooks the beef until it is tender and falling apart, and uses all those delicious cooking juices to make a mouthwatering red wine sauce. It tastes great served with garlic mashed-potato, creamy polenta, or grilled vegetables.
To make slow-cooked boneless short ribs, you will need:
- 6 beef short ribs
- 3 tbsp of salt
- 3 tbsp of pepper
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 tbsp of tomato paste
- 2 cups of red wine
- 2 cups of beef stock
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- First, preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C), then place a large cooking pot on the stove and heat the olive oil over a high heat.
- Pat the beef with a paper towel to remove any surface moisture and sprinkle it liberally with salt and pepper.
- Brown the ribs in the pot in batches of three, turning frequently to ensure each rib is browned all over. This should take around 5 minutes for each batch. Remove the ribs from the pot, and set aside.
- Reduce to a medium heat, then add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook for 2 minutes.
- Next, add the carrot and celery, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute more.
- Now add the wine, beef stock, thyme and bay leaves, and stir until the liquids and tomato paste are fully combined.
- Place the ribs back into the pot, making sure the liquid completely covers them, so the meat doesn’t burn in the oven.
- Cover the cooking pot with its lid and place in the oven, leaving to cook for 3 hours. You should be able to pull the meat apart easily with a fork.
- Remove the beef from the liquid and place on serving plates, covering to keep warm.
- Pour the liquid through a strainer, pressing the vegetables to extract as much flavour as possible, then return to the pot and simmer until reduced to your preferred consistency. If it reduces too much, simply add a little water to loosen the sauce.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper, then spoon over the ribs, and serve.
Another classic way to enjoy ribs is hot off the grill and covered in a delicious, sticky, sweet glaze. Our recipe for grilled ribs with asparagus uses a fiery honey glaze, with chilli and tabasco, and is served with a side of fresh asparagus to cut through the sweetness.