If you’re like many beef lovers, you’ve heard of ‘short ribs’ (because there is a short rib CRAZE going on right now) but don’t exactly know what they are. We’re here to explain and to help you discover the best ways to cook them. You may be surprised at how easy to prepare, and exceptionally delicious they really are.
What is a ‘short rib’? Short ribs come from the beef chuck portion of the cow. There are 5 ribs which are considered too small to be used for steaks. They are literally just short… ribs. Because these muscles get used frequently by the steer, they tend to be tougher. This is why they’re often slow cooked to a fall-off-the-bone tenderness that’s bursting with flavor.
What ‘style’ do they come in? There are three versions, some more common than others. One is called English Style, where each chunk of short rib has one short piece of bone surrounded by delicious chuck meat. The next version of this simply has the bone removed. The other is called BBQ style or flanken style, which is a strip of beef containing 3 bones and all the chuck meat around and in between them. We’ve done all three for valley chefs in the past, but typically, ours are cut English style.
What do they taste like? Well, they taste like perfection, if you ask us. It’s kind of a cross between a ribeye (in terms of marbled fat) and the deep beefy flavor of a chuck steak. In other words: heavenly.
What’s the best way to prepare them? As with any tougher cut of meat, short ribs need to be slow cooked to really break them down into the tasty & tender morsels you will soon come to adore. The two traditional ways to cook them are braising (cooking for 3.5-4 hours in the oven) and in the crock pot (usually for 8-10 hours). In both cases, they are best when seared first.
Our favorite way to enjoy them is with a red wine sauce in the crock pot, served over a bed of creamed cauliflower with some grilled asparagus on the side.
A family favorite in the Perry Household. And we bet you’ll love it too.
p.s. Did we mention starting with good beef is critical? Order our short ribs from our shop and have them delivered right to your door (Phoenix area only)
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Alicia Perry, PhD, Owner/Operator and all around Hay Maven (see my blog post on the time I fell off a haystack...). I share industry insights, tips & tricks on grilling great beef, and my personal journey into the ranching world.