It is such a miss when you don’t know any beef short ribs recipe. Many professional chefs can confirm that short ribs are the best cuts of beef. This part of beef contains a rich marbling of steaks, a fatty taste, and a deep beefy flavor.
Do you want to treat your family with beef short ribs on the next special occasion? Alright! You can refer to our cooking tips and recipes in this article!
We have cooked multiple delicious dishes from this tasteful part of the beef to carefully hand-pick the most mouth-watering ones. All the tips and recipes we share with you today are based on our own experiences.
Follow our instructions, and you will never fail in cooking short ribs. Besides cooking tips, we also explain some common mistakes that beginners usually make. Of course, we also give the solutions for these issues in this article!
Are you ready to learn? If yes, scroll down and get started now!
What Are Beef Short Ribs?
Some new homeowners don’t know what beef short ribs are. Therefore, we will explain this beef part quickly.
The short ribs are a special cut that comes from a valuable section of beef and a heftier price tag.
Beef short ribs are perfectly marbled with fat. That’s why this type of meat is more succulent and juicier than other cuts (beef brisket and beef chuck) or pork ribs.
For preparation, beef ribs are sliced into rectangle blocks. The square shape depends on the width of the rib bone.
Normally, people use beef short ribs for slow cooking or braising. This cooking method allows the meat on the ribs to fall apart tenderly.
When braised at high heat, the beef bone will release its beefy flavor, thereby making the cooking broth tastier. You can use this broth to make delicious gravy for multiple beef recipes.
How To Choose Quality Beef Short Ribs?
Beef short ribs are sold widely on the market. However, not all ribs are good to get. You need to buy the right type of short ribs for the best cooking result.
This section will share with you the best tips on how to buy quality beef short ribs.
The first thing to keep in mind is, short ribs are the meaty cuts of the beef (usually from the front shoulders and chest). They are a combination of bone and fat. When choosing the ribs, you need to notice the ratio between these 2 parts.
Every package of ribs is labeled with “arm short ribs” or “chuck short ribs.” The short ribs cut from the chuck are always the best. They are the meatiest and have the perfect ratio between bone and fat.
Another thing to notice is, the ribs need to be well-marbled and meaty. Only choose the ribs that have the meat firmly attached to the rib bone. Also, don’t buy the cuts that have too much fat.
Never buy boneless short ribs! As mentioned above, the rib bone provides a meaty flavor to the cooking broth when braised at high heat. You can not make good gravy or soup without the rib bone.
Typically, short ribs are cut in 2 different ways:
- English style: 2 – 4 inches of segments + 1 section of rib bone
- Flanken style: 1½ – 2 inches of strips + many segments of rib bone
Both these 2 styles are suitable for the below recipes.
Ingredients For The Perfect Beef Short Ribs
Now as you understand what beef short ribs are, we can start cooking this delicious beef cut.
Of course, the first thing to do is always prepare the essential ingredients.
Most recipes require you to prepare the following ingredients:
- Short ribs of beef (with bone): 3 – 4 pounds
- Vegetable oil: 2 tablespoon
- White salt
- Pepper (black)
- Large sliced onion: 1
- Minced garlic: 4 cloves
- Braising liquid (beef stock or beef broth): 3 – 4 cups
- Fresh herbs (parsley, fresh thyme, sage, rosemary sprigs, etc.)
Keep in mind that all the ingredients above are only used for a classic beef short ribs recipe. Other recipes may require you to prepare more materials or exclude specific ones.
For example, if you make Korean-style short ribs, you will need to add soy sauce to your ingredient list. Or, if you want to make BBQ short ribs, you will need to prepare chilies, butter, and BBQ sauce.
Some recipes may include ingredients that are complicated to find. In this section, we only show the most basic ones. For every specific recipe in the top 3 recommendations below, we will explain what extra ingredients you should get.
How To Cook Perfect Beef Short Ribs: A Step-By-Step Guideline
Have you prepared all the essential ingredients in the list above? If yes, we can start cooking the short ribs now! Below are the 10 easiest steps of a classic beef short ribs recipe! Please follow our guidance strictly!
Step 1: Preheat The Oven
Preheating the oven is the first step to do. The perfect temperature for cooking short ribs is 325°F.
You can prepare the beef rib meat while waiting for the oven to preheat. This extra step will help you save a lot of cooking time.
During the preheating, don’t forget to put a braising rack under the oven. This preparation will allow the heat to be evenly distributed.
You probably wonder, why is an even heat distribution important? This factor ensures that all 4 sides of the meat are well cooked inside out. If the temperature is not provided evenly, some parts of the ribs may be raw, and some other sections may be too brown or burned.
Step 2: Wash The Meat And Ingredients Under Water
Every recipe requires this step. You want to clean the meat and other ingredients to eliminate all dirt, grease, and bad particles from them. Especially when you clean the meat, the broth will look clearer.
This work is not hard to do. All you need to do is prepare 2 bowls of clean water, one for meat and one for the other ingredients. Wash all of them carefully. There is also no problem washing the meat directly under the tap water.
After washing, you want to dispose of the water as it contains unhealthy substances.
Step 3: Slice The Onion, Garlic, And Meat
The next step is to slice onion and garlic into small pieces. You can easily do this job using a typical chef knife.
However, the short ribs are a little bit difficult to cut. Because this beef section has solid bones, you require a big and heavy knife to cut them.
Normally, when you buy short ribs from the supermarket, the meat has already been cut.
Step 4: Add Salt To The Short Ribs
Seasoning the short ribs is another important step to do. Unseasoned meat is tasteless when cooked, something no chef prefers.
What you need to do in this step is use a brush to add vegetable oil to the entire surface of the ribs. Make sure that the oil covers all parts of the meat.
After brushing, you continue coating the ribs with salt and pepper. Don’t season the meat too much, or else it may become too salty and bitter.
Seasoning the ribs will help increase their beefy smell and meaty flavor. The salt will work for the taste, and the pepper will remove the excessively heavy meat smell.
As mentioned, pepper and salt are the 2 basic ingredients for all types of beef short ribs. You can season the ribs with extra ingredients for more flavor.
For example, if you are a sucker for spicy dishes, you can season the meat with chili powder. On the other hand, if you prefer a sweet taste, you can season the ribs with apple sauce or honey.
Another ingredient (optional) we want to recommend is garam-masala. This material supports adding tasteful flavors of Indian to the food. With garam masala, the short ribs will have a tastier flavor without being too spicy or overwhelming.
Step 5: Brown The Ribs
Before braising, you have to brown the meat ribs. This cooking method allows the meat to be crispy outside and soft inside.
There are 2 ways to brown the short ribs, which are:
- Brown the short ribs using an oven
- Brown the short ribs using a sauté pan
No matter which way you choose, you need to heat the cookware at medium heat. After that, put the short ribs into the cookware and brown them; bear in mind not to crowd the pieces. When one side is perfectly brown, you turn the meat to brown the other side.
Make sure that you let the meat part of the ribs get a dark brown. But don’t cook the ribs too long, or else they will be dry and burned. It does not mean that you brown the ribs too quickly either. Short timing may result in scorched meat.
Based on our experience, the good amount of time for browning is about 4 -5 minutes for each side. It is not wrong to say that browning the ribs is a difficult art. You want to practice to create perfect browning.
Once the short ribs are well brown, they can have rich tastes and beautiful colors. Your dish definitely will be more appealing, both visually and tastewise.
Here is a note for you! When you put the ribs into the pan, make sure that they are not wet! Many people add the meat into the hot pan right after washing it.
Unfortunately, wet meat may stick to the cookware and can not be brown evenly. Wet ribs may damage your cookware as well.
Step 6: Stir the Onions At Medium-Low Heat
We move on to cook the onion slices.
Switch on your stove and wait until the pan reaches medium-low heat.
After that, put all the sliced onions and minced garlic into the pan. Stir these 2 ingredients for about 5 – 8 mins. You can add pepper (optional) and salt to increase the mixture’s flavor as well.
Remember that onions and garlic are the backbones of this dish. The way you cook the 2 ingredients will affect the result of the short ribs.
The best sign to decide when the onions and garlic are well cooked is their smell. When these ingredients are cooked just right, they will provide a sweet aroma.
Here is an important note: Onions can get scorched quickly. You should only cook this ingredient until it is yellow-brown. Don’t blacken the onions, or else they will be bitter.
It is essential to stir the mixture frequently. This work helps soften the ingredients and allows them to be well cooked on all surfaces.
Step 7: Simmer The Braised Liquid And Add Herbs
There is no limitation for what you use as a braising liquid. Depending on the beef short ribs recipe, you can choose between red wine, beef stock, and beef-bone broth.
For a classic recipe, we recommend using beef stock.
Pour the braising liquid into a hot pan and cook it. When the liquid comes to a simmer, put 5 – 6 rosemary sprigs into the pan. The herb will work as a supportive ingredient for a more fragrant broth pot.
Step 8: Braise The Short Ribs
Now comes the main step! We will go to braise beef short ribs!
After simmering the braising liquid, you need to cover it and put it into the oven. Make sure that the oven has already reached the required temperature of 325°F.
Braise the meat in the oven for 2 or 2 ½ hours. When you have finished braising, the meat will turn out soft and tender. You can also try pulling the meat part out of the bone. If pulling is easy, then the ribs are done just right.
Many people use a slow cooker to braise short ribs instead of the oven. This method is also acceptable.
Just place all the ingredients you have prepared from step 1 to step 6 into your slow-cooking pot. After that, set up the cooker to slowly braise the ribs at a LOW temperature for 8 hours.
Cooking with a slow cooker still gives a desired result as with an oven. However, this cooking method takes up more time. If you are not in a hurry, feel free to use this method!
Step 9: Let The Meat Rest
After braising, you want to let the meat rest. Some beginners usually ignore this step, take out the meat, and start eating right away.
It’s against all the top chefs’ advice to do so! You must rest the meat after braising.
The reason is, when the rib meat is braised, all the proteins and meat juices will move toward the middle center. These substances need time to redistribute throughout the beef braising ribs.
In other words, you rest the ribs to make them tender and juicy.
We understand that you want to enjoy the food right away. But the resting time is not long. You just need to switch off the oven, cover the pan, and let the ribs rest for about 20 minutes.
Step 10: Serve The Ribs And Enjoy Them!
Alright! You don’t have to wait any longer. Take the braised beef short ribs out and enjoy it with your family!
You can decorate the dish to make it visually more delectable. Serve the ribs in the middle of the dish. Spoon the onion sauce on top of the ribs. And finally, fill the dish with the braising liquid.
Here are some side dishes you can combine with beef short ribs: mashed potatoes, tomatoes, or boiled carrots. On the other hand, you can mix rice or pasta with the braising liquid in a bowl and fill the ribs on top!
6 Mistakes When Cooking Beef Short Ribs – Solutions
It’s common for beginners to make mistakes while cooking short ribs. Remember that just one mistake can lead to a failure in cooking. Therefore, we have summed up all the common cooking issues and given them solutions in this section.
Mistake #1: Not Preheat The Oven
If you do not preheat the oven, it may not be hot enough in the first braising period. This issue will affect the outcome of the dish.
Always remember that the meat needs enough time and heat to be cooked just right. Never put the meat in the oven when it is not hot enough. You have to preheat the oven until it reaches the required temperature, which is 325°F.
Mistake #2: Put Wet Meat In The Pan
A taboo in cooking is putting wet food in a hot pan with oil. Most beginners fall for this mistake and add the ribs right after washing them under the tap water.
As mentioned above, wet meat may stick to the pan when you stir, and it can not be brown evenly on all sides.
In case you marinate the meat, you want to let it rest for about 30 minutes until completely dry or pat dry it with paper towels before cooking.
Mistake #3: Not Braise Long Enough
Beef short ribs include meat and bones. In case you don’t braise the ribs for enough time, they will not be tender. As a consequence, you will find the meat difficult to separate from the bones.
Thus, you should be patient and wait for enough time for braising. The cooking time should be at least 2 – 2 ½ hours in the oven or 8 hours in a slow cooker.
Mistake #4: Stir Onions At High Heat For Too Long
You should only stir the onions until they are brown. If you fry onions at high heat for too long, they may become black and bitter.
Hence, always pay attention to the pan! Normally, browning onions on a hot pan only takes about 2 minutes.
Mistake #5: Season The Meat With A High Amount Of Salt
Adding too much salt will ruin the flavor of the beef short ribs. Remember that you add salt to increase the beef flavor, not replacing it with a highly salty taste.
On the other hand, it is also not recommended by health experts to eat too much salt. High amounts of sodium may badly affect your kidney.
Always consider the amount of salt to put in the beef braise. For 3 – 4 pounds of ribs, 1 – 2 tablespoons suffice.
Mistake #6: Uncover The Slow Cooker During The Cooking Process
This issue happens when you use a slow cooker instead of an oven to braise meat. As mentioned above, you need more time to cook the ribs with this slow-cooking appliance.
Many beginners can not stay patient. They usually open the cover of the machine to check the cooking process. This is a bad habit!
When cooking, the cooker needs a cover to retain the heat. When you open the cover, the hot air will escape, and the cooking process will be disrupted.
We have already given you a suitable amount of time to braise short ribs using this appliance. You should wait for about 8 hours or more.
Nowadays, many modern cookers have a cover made of transparent glass. You can see through the cover to check the cooking process without the need to take it out.
Beef Short Ribs Recipe Recommendations
Besides the classic beef short ribs recipe, we also recommend 3 other easy-to-follow ways to cook this beef cut. You can read this section to learn these 3 must-know recipes.
#1: Braised Beef Short Ribs In Red Wine Sauce
The first rib recipe that we want to recommend to you is braised beef short ribs in red wine sauce. You cook this dish in the same way as you make the classic braised short ribs. However, instead of using beef stock, you use red wine as the braising liquid.
#2: Smoked Beef Short Ribs
Braising is not the only way to cook beef short ribs. If you like a crispy and smokey flavor, you can try cooking the ribs using a smoker!
#3: Beef Short Ribs Pasta
The next simple recipe is a combination of pasta and braised short ribs. Do you know that braised beef broth can be used as a flavorful sauce for pasta?
Congratulations! You have gone through our guideline about the classic beef short ribs recipe. We have also summed up 6 common beginner mistakes and given solutions for them. Follow our instructions carefully, and you will never fail at cooking this special beef cut!
Our 3 recommended recipes with beef short ribs are very easy to make. Your taste palate will never be the same after trying them! In case you have other good dishes, don’t be afraid to share them with us! It is always exciting to learn more delicious recipes.
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