Any way you cut it, short ribs satisfy with a juicy layer of fat that adds gobs of delicious beefy flavor to the meat. Their chameleon-like adaptability to a broad spectrum of herbs, spices, rubs, and sauces make it beloved in cuisines the world over.
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What Are Short Ribs?
Anatomically, you’ll find short ribs towards the bottom of the cow beneath the pricier prime rib. They’re not to be confused with the Flintstones-sized beef ribs you’ll get from your local BBQ joint—those are the large rib bones that were once connected to prime rib.
Generally, short ribs are available in two distinct cuts:
There’s English, which is butchered into either single or connected whole bones known as a “plate.” These thick, meaty slabs will take some time to reach fork tenderness but it’ll be worth the wait.
Chuck Short Ribs (1 lb), $14.50 from Crowd Cow
Join the waitlist for this 4-bone slab of meaty goodness.
For quicker results, flanken is the way to go. The short ribs are sliced directly through and across the bone plate into thin strips. It’s no surprise this is the cut of choice for the grill.
(You can also ask your butcher to split the difference, cutting across the bone à la flanken, but several inches thick.)
The Best Short Rib Recipes
Below you’ll find some of your favorite recipes that highlight the versatility of short ribs.
Beef ribs can be difficult to barbecue, let alone procure, but substituting for short ribs (in this case, thin flanken cut) will make things easier on both fronts. Start them off in the oven for a few hours, then finish on the grill. A few brushes of sweet barbecue sauce over that hot heat will result in a nice smoky char and tons of flavor. Get our Smoky-Sweet BBQ Beef Short Ribs recipe.
Tender braised short rib spiced with soy, ginger, star anise, and Asian pear is sure to be your new favorite dumpling filling. Serve up a side of homemade Sichuan chili oil and give your doughy delights a fiery bath. Consider preparing some extra meat to stuff into tacos, baos, and sandwiches. Get the Braised Short Rib Dumplings with Sichuan Chili Oil recipe.
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The addition of cola adds plenty of pop to these spice-rubbed short ribs. Paired with Worcestershire and soy sauce, the fizzy braise results in a sweet and salty coating that’s lip-smackingly sticky and utterly irresistible. Get our Pressure Cooker Cola-Braised Beef Short Ribs recipe.
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If you miss heading out to your local pub, start a Zoom with your favorite barflies and whip up this British classic stuffed with an indulgent beef and beer filling. Top it off with a flaky, buttery homemade crust, and you’re golden. Get our Beef Short Rib and Ale Pie recipe.
Fire up the grill for this Korean BBQ all-star. Most of your time will be devoted to the marinade, a sweet and savory blend of brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, scallions, sesame oil, soju, pineapple juice, and Korean malt syrup. Thankfully, the cook time is quick, with only a few minutes over the fire required to get your flanken charred and juicy. Get our Beef Kalbi recipe.
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This Hungarian classic comfort food is the definition of stick-to-your-ribs. Have plenty of paprika handy, along with caraway, coriander, thyme, and bay leaf to spice things up. Top off the casserole with a dollop of sour cream, and don’t worry if you can’t finish it all—goulash is spectacular as a leftover meal reheated back in the slow cooker. Get our Slow Cooker Beef Goulash recipe.
You don’t have to travel to Montreal to indulge in some north-of-the-border nachos. A three-hour braise yields melt-in-your-mouth meat along with the liquid reserves which are used to create a flavor-packed gravy. Add cheese curds and pour over crunchy homemade fries for a French-Canadian feast. Bon appétit. Get our Poutine with Beef Gravy recipe.
Daniel Bouloud’s infamous middle finger to McDonald’s arrival in France is a burger so decadent, so artery-clogging that short ribs serve as a mere topping (along with foie gras and black truffle for the ultimate indulgence). This is a special occasion sando, for sure. Get our Bull-Market Burger recipe.
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Break out the Dutch oven for this simple, mouthwatering braise courtesy of chef Traci Des Jardins. A blend of parsley and frisée offers a fresh, herbaceous counterbalance to the meaty richness of the short ribs. Serve with mashed potatoes or polenta to soak up that extra liquid goodness. Get the Short Ribs with Frisée-Parsley Salad recipe.