Over the last few years I have noticed how prevalent beef short ribs have become in restaurants, even high end ones. And I have been on the eating end of this circumstance, mostly recently in Cleveland, Ohio. I like to see how other cooks and chefs prepare short ribs and compare to my technique. For instance during that trip I enjoyed beef short ribs as the filling in a pierogi first course and at another restaurant as the main event – a little surprised that it was served off the bone.
Note to restaurant, I like the bone on my plate – that way I know for sure what cut I’m eating. I realize that some people don’t want to see a bone, but obviously those folks are apparently not very discerning regarding their dinner, and they can ask to have the bone removed.
It reminds me of a local restaurant-owner friend of mine who a few years back served the most delicious and beautiful whole scored local flounder with a piquant sweet and sour-type sauce. So many of the patrons asked to have the head removed that they gave up serving it “whole” and just removed the head to start with. Too bad because it was quite impressive and like I said, a thing of beauty on the plate. (Plus the fish around the head is superbly delicious – just ask Tony Bourdain) Anyway, I digress…
I began grilling short ribs just as an “add-on” to my cheat’in pork ribs, especially if I could find a few pounds of bone-in fat-layered beef shorties at a good price at the market. I prepare a second ‘rub’ (bourbon infused, perhaps) for these beef ribs and allow them to macerate in the refrigerator over-night or for several hours prior to picking up the same technique as I use with the pork ribs. Beef short ribs prepared this way tasted good to me, but they never quite reached the magnitude of short rib perfection I imagined.
Over the past couple of years I have played around with seasonings and technique and have finally found the beef short rib recipe and technique that hits all the high notes. Hope you like it.
Beef short ribs ‘delicious’
- 3 dried ancho chili peppers, seeds and stems removed
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 2 tsp Adobe seasoning
- 2 tsp Montreal Steak seasoning
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 ½ – 4 ½ lb. beef short ribs, rinsed and dried
- 2 tbl. olive oil or grape oil
- 1 heaping tbl all-purpose flour
- 2 large cloves garlic (or 3 medium size cloves), sliced in half
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable, beef, or chicken stock
In a food processor or blender grind the first 5 ingredients. Set aside. Place beef short ribs in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and stir to coat the ribs. Sprinkle with approximately half the pepper/seasoning* and stir to coat. Cover and chill the ribs in the refrigerator at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.
Remove short ribs from the refrigerator and allow to come up to room temperature (or close enough) – about 30 minutes. Stir the ribs and sprinkle with the flour. Heat 1 tablespoon oil with the sliced garlic in a very large heavy bottom pot (or Dutch oven) that has a good-fitting lid. The pot should be large enough to hold all the short ribs in one layer. Remove the garlic and set aside.
Brown the short ribs on all sides, turning with tongs as needed. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a food processor or blender puree the tomatoes and mix together with the stock. Sprinkle the browned short ribs with the salt, add the garlic back in, and pour the tomato/stock mixture over the short ribs. Cover and braise in the preheated oven about 60 minutes. Remove the lid and stir the ribs. Continue to roast the ribs with the lid removed for 60-90 more minutes, gently stirring occasionally (thrice, maybe) until the short ribs are tender and almost falling off the bone.
Serve immediately topped with the pan sauce spooned over mashed potatoes or wide egg noodles. Serves 4 or 6 – depending on how hungry you and your guests are!
* Store the leftover Ancho seasoning in a sealed baggie or air tight container for up to a month, or so.