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I Need Help with Short Ribs...

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A few months back I made Daniel Boulud's Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine w/Celeriac Potatoes (delicious sauce/unbelievable potatoes!)

Here is my problem, I am a serious carnivore, but the gelatinous layer of fat in the short ribs was such a turnoff. Is that always present? (Also, if I order short ribs in a restaurant, will that sticky layer of fat be there?)

I concluded that I will convert "short rib" recipes to a different meat--like a blade roast.

Am I making a mistake? Did I do something wrong? (By the way, I slow-cooked the ribs for several hours, so there was plenty of time for any fat to melt away.)

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  1. HI! I too agree with you on this. The layer of tough chewy fat is certainly a turn off.

    I think you will be fine with a blade roast, however you might want to consider a london broil.

    I have successfully used Flank steak in place of short ribs or vice versa for one of my favorite recipes, Korean Grilled Beef.

    Link: http://www.sharky.com

    1. Yeah you're stuck with the fat. I usually prepare it a day or so before, and then you can cut the meat off and get rid of most of the fat.

      I posted this suggestion on the thread about the celestial short ribs recipe, but if you like lamb this is very similar to a braised lamb shank recipe, you sub the lamb for the ribs and it would be great.

      1. I have the same question. I've only had short ribs twice in restaurants. Once they were in a nice sauce, but fatty and practically no meat to be seen. The other time was just short rib pieces burried in Boulud's burger, so of course that doesn't count. I've never made them at home.

        Can they be made meaty and not fatty, or is that impossible?

        2 Replies
        1. re: danna

          how did you like the burger?

          1. re: Monte

            It was very good, but it did not leave me swooning. I like my burgers really, really bloody so I think that might be why I was not overwhelmed by it. Also, the bit of foie gras was a kinda chintzy. In short, a delicious entree, but not the ultimate burger, IMO.

        2. well..i think the fat on a slow braised short ribs is a thing of beauty...the fat and gelatinised connective tissue together give a wonderful mouth feel, the same thing that you get when you eat oxtail or beef cheeks. i am afraid there is only so much fat and connective tissue that you can strip away. If properly braised (and for a long time-about 4 hours or more), the connective tissue and fat should arrive at a melting consistency, not chewy. braised dishes like short ribs are also better the day after.

          1. I need help too. What kind of heavy pot can I use to braise the ribs? I don't have a big dutch oven or anything Le Creuset. I have... (insert insecure voice) some corningware? and a Rompertopf thingy? Any suggestions...?

            4 Replies
            1. re: julesrules

              I get all my best heavy duty pots, etc. at estate sales and thrift stores--keep your eyes out there!

              If you braise in the oven, the "heavy-dutiness" of the pan is less crucial. If you do stove-top braising (I never do) then you MUST have a heavy duty pan to prevent burning.

              1. re: julesrules

                Corning wear works for oven braising, so does pyrex.

                1. re: Alan408

                  Excellent. I have some wedding-gift corning wear & have been wanting to try this braising thing for a while. Thank you very much.

                2. re: julesrules

                  You can get a cheap cast iron dutch oven at pro bass or I use a chinese clay pot from any asian grocery market (about $12cdn).

                  good luck.

                3. Most of the hunks of fat should be rendered out of the meat during cooking. The stuff you're describing (I think) is the gelatinous connective tissue that binds the muscle to the bone.

                  If you've cooked the meat long enough and at a sufficiently low temperature, this stuff should be soft enough to allow the meat to slip easily off the bone, and it definitely should not be chewy.

                  I love this succulent texture/flavor, but since you don't, I see no reason why you couldn't just trim it away before serving. Substituting a blade roast is another good solution.

                  On a tangential note, I think the best way to cook short ribs (and almost any tough braising meat) is, after browning the meat and adding whatever braising liquid you're using, to put the room temp meat and liquid in a cold oven and then turn the heat up to around 200-225F. This adds several hours to an already long cooking process, so it works best if you do it the day before serving. The meat actually stays somewhat pink inside, but is of course cooked through and has a much more meltingly tender texture than any other method I've tried.

                  If you chill it overnight, be sure to reheat it as slowly and gently as possible.

                  Link: http://meglioranza.com

                  1. I bought some meat which was labeled "Boneless Short Ribs" on sale at the supermarket. The meat was well trimmed of fat and connective tissue. I cut the meat into cubes and made a beef stew. My "gravy" probably was not as rich because of the absence of bone and connective tissue though.

                    At another supermarket, I have also seen meat that was labled "Beef Strips - Chuck" that looked very similar to the "Boneless Short Ribs." But I have not tried this product yet.