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How to Cook Beef Short Ribs

April 14, 2020

When it comes to cooking a great meal, you can't go wrong with beef short ribs. They contain irresistible hunks of rich, juicy meat and melty, tender fat caps that everyone loves.

They may not be as famous as pork ribs, but beef short ribs are versatile. You can easily cook them in many ways. Ribs aren't an expensive cut of meat either, making them quintessential for beef lovers on a budget.

If you want a beefy, deliciously comforting meal, read our step-by-step recipe for the perfect classic beef short ribs.

Ingredients for the Perfect Beef Short Ribs

There are many recipes across the internet for beef short ribs, ranging from BBQ short ribs to Korean-style short ribs with soy sauce. Although delicious, some of these are quite complicated, which can make it an expensive meal to make.

Our classic recipe contains very few ingredients. It consists of short ribs with salt and pepper. Despite the simplicity, these braised short ribs burst with flavor. This recipe is not only incredibly simple but inexpensive.

Some people prefer boneless short ribs, but the classic way of cooking them is with bone-in ribs.

Here are the ingredients you'll need for savory, mouthwatering beef short ribs:

  • 3 pounds of bone-in short ribs
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • One large onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of red wine (beef broth or beef stock are fine substitutes for the braising liquid)
  • Fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, or sage)

How to Cook Perfect Beef Short Ribs: A Step-By-Step Recipe

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Before preparing the ingredients, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, arrange the braising rack to the bottom third of the oven for the best heat distribution.

Many people may not know where exactly to put the ribs once it's time to cook. As a general rule of thumb, the bottom or middle racks are best for things that need even heating throughout. With even heat distribution, you ensure that the tops and bottoms are not in danger of browning too quickly.

If cooking more than one thing at a time, such as a side dish for the short ribs, be sure to rotate the items between racks for the most even cooking.

Step 2: Season the Short Ribs

Brush each of the short ribs with the vegetable oil, then immediately follow with the Kosher salt and black pepper. Don't go too heavy with the seasoning, but be generous.

Seasoning is one of those things that are flexible based on taste. Salt and pepper are the only seasonings used in this recipe. However, you can add other spices and seasonings to make the flavors pop.

One popular spice mix to add is garam masala: it adds delicious Indian flavors to the dish without making it spicy or overwhelming. Try brining the short ribs in a garam masala rub overnight for a stronger flavor.

Step 3: Brown the Short Ribs

You will need to brown the short ribs before braising. Using a dutch oven or a sauté pan, add the short ribs on one layer and use medium-high heat to brown them. Sear them on each side and let them get a deep brown.

Browning is an art form that can take years of practice. It'll caramelize the meat and bring out beautifully rich flavors and colors.

Be careful with the timing, however: browning too quickly can result in scorched meat and a damaged pan; browning too slowly can make the meat dry.

Be sure to only brown for 3-4 minutes per side. Finally, the meat should be dry before browning; it will stick to the pan if wet and will not brown evenly.

Step 4: Cook the Onions

Turn on the stove to medium or medium-high heat. Then, add the onion and garlic to the pan and let the onions cook for about five minutes. You can add salt and pepper if you like, as well.

Onions are the backbone of almost any savory dish, and how you cook them can influence the recipe's outcome. As onions cook, they take on a sweeter aroma, so it can be easy to know when they have finished.

A note of caution: onions scorch easily. Some people like their onions almost blackened, but this can make them turn bitter. Make sure to stir frequently when softening the onions and watch to see when they become translucent.

Step 5: Add Braising Liquid and Simmer, Then Add Herbs

Add the red wine into the pan and bring it to a simmer. After the pan arrives at a simmer, add 4-5 sprigs of the herb of choice to the pan. If you don't want to use red wine, feel free to use beef stock or beef bone broth as your braising liquid instead.

Although some folks are familiar with cooking with red wine, others may not know which kind of red wine to choose. The best red wines to use for cooking are those with moderate tannins such as Pinot Noir. Cabernet Sauvignon is also suitable.

Generally, fruit-forward wines will become sweeter with reduction; you can achieve a sweeter sauce for braised short ribs by using Merlot.

Step 6: Braise the Short Ribs

Next, cover the pan and place it in the oven to braise. This process should take about 2-2.5 hours. When the meat has finished cooking, it should feel tender and pull away easily from the bone.

If you don't want to braise the meat, you can opt to put the contents of the pan in a slow cooker for about 8 hours on the "LOW" setting. The slow cooker process will take longer, but it's a good option for those who aren't in a rush or making this meal for dinner.

You also can cover the pan and cook the short ribs over low heat on the stovetop if desired.

Step 7: Rest the Meat

As with any cut of meat, the short ribs need to rest before you can eat them. Rest the short ribs for about 20 minutes in a covered pan.

If you're new to cooking, you may not know why cooked meat needs to rest before serving. As meat cooks, the proteins within the meat set and push the meat's juices toward the center of the cut. By sitting away from heat before serving, the juices have a chance to redistribute throughout the meat.

Resting the meat allows you to have juicier and tenderer ribs. A general rule of thumb: Allow the meat to rest for one minute per quarter pound.

Last Step: Serve and Enjoy!

Spoon the onion sauce over the ribs. Then, serve the short ribs by gently pulling them off of the bone. Enjoy your delicious, tender, and juicy braised short ribs!

Although technically, you can consider the onions a side dish for the short ribs, other sides go well with short ribs. Mashed potatoes or polenta are easy to make on the stovetop while the ribs cook in the oven.

You also can place vegetables on the top rack of the oven to roast while the short ribs cook on the lower racks.

Conclusion

As you can see, making the perfect short ribs is easy and fun. It doesn't matter if you prefer boneless short ribs or bone-in or short ribs with salt or with garam masala; this recipe can please any taste palette.

We hope our step-by-step guide has helped you learn how to make the perfect beef short ribs. Seven Sons Farms is passionate about selling high-quality meat products, and we love teaching about how to cook and enjoy it, too!

Blake Hitzfield

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