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Short ribs

pat i. Mar 22, 2005 05:13 AM

I love short ribs, but how do I get around the tough membrane that connect the meat to the bone?

Usually I brown the ribs, braise them in a simple tomato sauce or with red wine, stock and veggies.

The ribs taste great but the membrane is a pain (not for me but the rest of the family). How do restaurants deal with this problem? The recipe in the Balthazar cookbook calls for bone-in ribs. I can't imagine they serve them with the cartilage.

Also - the ribs I find at the supermarket have very little meat on them. Is there a certain cut I should look/ask for?

Thanks again,


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  1. m
    MMRuth RE: pat i. Mar 22, 2005 05:56 AM

    The Baltazar recipe is fantastic - the meat falls off the bones. It may call for cooking the meat longer than a tomato sauce based recipe. At the end of the recipe, there is a description of what to ask your butcher for - you may want to try that. I get mine at Whole Foods. I use red wine instead of port and chicken stock instead of the veal stock called for.

    Try the Chicken Riesling recipe too if you haven't yet - v. crispy skin!

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth
      Carb Lover RE: MMRuth Mar 22, 2005 01:10 PM

      The chicken riesling recipe is wonderful!

      Everything I have made from that book has turned out delicious: cassoulet, warm lentils, mustard-crusted salmon, chocolate pots de creme.

      Other favorites you'd rec?

      1. re: Carb Lover
        MMRuth RE: Carb Lover Mar 22, 2005 02:07 PM

        I know, I've been very pleasantly surprised. Usually restaurant cookbooks are good for inspiration, but not an awful lot more. I've made the spatzle, the sauces for the plateau de fruits de mer, the frisee aux lardons (though I think the dressing is a bit vinegary - last time I switched to red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar, and used a little less, and I preferred it).

    2. l
      LesThePress RE: pat i. Mar 22, 2005 09:31 AM

      I don't know if you live near a Costco, but their short ribs are boneless and fantastic! We usually get 2 - 3 meals out of one package.

      I braise mine for 15-20 minutes on the grill until charred, then bake with barbeque sauce for 2 hours (covered) at 350. I turn them over at 1 hour since the bottom becomes charred and this gives an even char to top and bottom. Delicious!

      1. f
        Funwithfood RE: pat i. Mar 22, 2005 10:30 AM

        I purchased boneless short ribs at Costco and cooked them long and slow for hours. That gelatinous layer was so unapplealing to me that I came to the conclusion that short ribs, despite their tastiness, just aren't for me--way too labor intensive.

        Because of my personal experience with the sticky-fatty layer, I am hesitant to even order them from a restaurant.

        1. c
          Carb Lover RE: pat i. Mar 22, 2005 12:41 PM

          I made my first attempt at short ribs using the Balthazar book, which I generally liked. I believe the recipe specifies for 3-bone, cross-cut pieces, but I bought "beef plate ribs" instead--mostly meat w/ one long bone attached lengthwise. See link for a discussion on buying short ribs.

          Regardless of which cut you used, it's hard for me to imagine anything being tough after 3 hours of braising. The beauty of braising short ribs (or any meat) is that all the cartilage should break down, resulting in a dish that is very unctuous and tender.

          I've eaten cross-cut short ribs a few times at restos and while they have varied in deliciousness, none of them have had anything that resembled a tough membrane.

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Carb Lover
            MMRuth RE: Carb Lover Mar 22, 2005 01:03 PM

            I used the "plate ribs" as well.

            1. re: Carb Lover
              Just Larry RE: Carb Lover Mar 24, 2005 09:55 PM

              If the moisture level ever falls during the cooking process and the meat dries out, it can not be fixed. Even if you add liquid and cook another 10 hours. That is most likely what happened.

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