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Short ribs (without the fat)

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A while ago I went to Passionfish restaurant in Monterey CA and had a great dinner. The "braised" short ribs were amazing. As best I could tell, they grilled them to render out nearly all of the fat, and then braised them (or maybe the other way round?). The result was tender, with a carmelized exterior, but very little of the fatty residue that I get when I simply braise the ribs. It was more like a steak!

Has anyone experimented with a recipe like this? I've been thinking about trying to recreate what I had, but I'm not sure on the specifics.

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  1. check out the cook's illustrated website method (i think). I know I read about short ribs this week and it was either in CI or possibly the Feb. Bon Appetit and they suggested roasting them first, I believe to render off the fat.

    1. I've worked in a few restaurant kitchens and before they braise meats they were always seared first.

      1. I sear them first, then braise them and then a short roast at the end to brown. All steps (including trimming extra fat in the beginning) get rid of some fat.

        1. You might want to check out the Zuni method for short ribs. In a nutshell, the process is sear, braise, then finish under broiler. Flanken cuts (cut across the rib) are used, which tend to be leaner then the other kind. Nice to hear that Passionfish does a mean short rib!

          1. I like Michel Richard recipe - meat browned on all sides, braised
            with carrots and onions, after cooking,fat trimmed after removing meat from bone -
            meat and carrots and onions removed from cooking liquid. Over night the liquid and in the morning all the fat is conveniently sitting on the top.

            1. I believe most recipes for short ribs call for seasoning & searing first, then low n' slow braising...the final touch you speak of must be a short stint under a broiler. Even though I'm able to find very good meaty short ribs here in FL, I always find more fat to be cut away before I season & sear. I'll have to try that final broiling step for myself too! Thanks!

              1. I agree with the previous poster about leaving the braise sit overnight...I think it's imperative for both flavor and fat removal (i've got a pot of shortribs in my fridge now, cooked up and chilled exactly for that reason) It is truly amazing how much fat leaches out during the cooking process and floats to the top.

                as for the Cooksillustrated oven sear method, I'm not excited about not getting to use the fond from the pot...

                1. This will sound heretical. I par boil my ribs before braising to get rid of the fat. The trade-off is loosing the benefits of the Maillard reaction from initial searing against better fat removal. I've had no complaints.

                  1. The Cook's Illustrated method is to roast short ribs at 450 for 45 minutes, bone-side down on a foil-lined broiler pan or rimmed half-sheet pan.

                    Short ribs are always better the second day. Refrigerating overnight lets you remove the fat from the liquid and makes it easy to cut out the chunks of fat from the meat.

                    Alternatively, of course, starches need a certain amount of fat, so you can serve the ribs with mashed potatoes, cous cous, rice, polenta, rissoto, orzo, etc.