lamlex Dec 22, 2008 08:36 AM

# Quantity help with braised short ribs, please

I am making braised short ribs for 17 people for Christmas Eve. There are only 2 big eaters in the group, and we are serving root veggie gratin and braised cabbage with the short ribs.
I bought 9 lbs of bone-in short ribs. That is about 1/2 lb per person, but given that some of that is bone and a lot is fat, I am worried that I didn't buy enough.

1. With short ribs, you should count numbers of ribs rather than pounds. There are also many different ways to cut short ribs, what kind do you have?

Consider this: If 1/2 a pound is 1 rib then it might look kinda funny on the plate. Conversely, if 5 ribs equal 1/2 a pound, it will fill the plate... and still look funny. ;-)

When I do short ribs I generally get chunks that are about 3 inches long - like a rectangle shape. For regular eaters, because they are so rich, dense, and fatty, and depending on what else I'm serving with them, I would count about 2 ribs for a female, maybe 3 for a male and if you have "big eaters" well, you'll have to adapt your own count based on how big they may be!

And in any situation, like greygarious said, you always want to have more than run out of your main dish.

Aside from the short ribs, your dinner sounds rather heavy. Maybe a nice cold refreshing salad of some sort could help spread the dish out? How about a nice baguette?

4 Replies
1. re: HaagenDazs

Ok, so I bought them at Whole Foods, and they cut 9 full ribs into thirds, so they are rectangular like you said. I think I will go back for more.

thanks so much.

1. re: lamlex

So right now you have 1.5 ribs per person. Not enough. The reason I count numbers is exactly for that situation: because you can't split a short rib. Buying per pound is completely irrelevant if you can't even put a rib on each person's plate.

Right now I would look to buy about another 7, maybe even 8 whole ribs and then have those cut into thirds again. It all depends on how big they are. Thirds of a rib doesn't mean much if the rib you start with is only 6 inches to start with. Another 7 ribs cut into thirds will be a little under 3 pieces per person.

27 (9 times 3) pieces plus 21 (7 times 3) pieces = 48. 48 ribs divided by 17 people = 2.8 ribs per person.

If you bump that up to 8 additional ribs, you'll have exactly 3 pieces per person.

1. re: HaagenDazs

Couldn't have said it better! I was going to say you need 2-3 ribs/ pieces per person.

1. re: HaagenDazs

Done. Another 8 ribs are ordered and waiting. Thanks so much for your help.

2. Roughly half of the weight is the bones. A recent recipe in Cooks Country calls for 7 lbs of bone-in (or 3.5 lbs of boneless) ribs for 6. So I would say you are way under. Their recipe for 17 would call for roughly 20 lbs of bone-in or 10 lbs of boneless.

1. You would do well to err on the side of caution and buy another 5-6 pounds.