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Sep 1, 2009 08:51 PM

braising short ribs: English-cut vs flanken-cut

I typically braise short ribs using English-cut ribs -- cut parallel to the bone so each piece is a 4x2x2 inch block. This time, I need to order ribs in advance, and though I will do my best to specify English-cut, it's 50-50 that I'll end up with flanken-cut (language issues and poor customer service -- don't ask).

Do flanken-cut ribs -- cut through the bone Korean-style so each piece is a thin strip with 3 or 4 oval slices of rib bone -- behave the same way when braising?

Which cut do you prefer for braising?

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  1. Only cooked the flanken-cut once...I prefer the English-Cut... Out of habit mostly..
    If I remember correctly the flanken-cut cooked up Ok...
    I rarely see the flanken-cut around here...
    Given a choice I would stay with the English-Cut......

    1. I wish we had flanken cuts available in our area. You have to search them out in ethnic markets because in the megamarts it's only English cuts

      It's the same meat and both braise very well. Being that the flanken cut is thinner it may affect the cooking time. The nice thing about braised English style short ribs is the nice rectangle hunk of melt in your mouth meat that makes for nice presentation.

      1. i think it is surely true that most recipes for braised short ribs specify a preference for the english cut--some go so far as to say "not flanken." a very small number treat flanken as the first choice. for the sort of braised ribs that have become pop pop popular in the last 6-8 years, i do go with the majority. on the other hand, you can marinate and grill the flanken--perhaps more successfully. if a big bag of flanken showed up on my doorstep, i'd raise my voice in thanks, mix up a marinade, and check my charcoal supply.

        1. English cut work better for longer braising times. If your flanken cut are still on the bone, I would tenderize them first, (some Koreans rub with a kiwi) before braising, but they won't take as long to cook , and are usually still medium to med well, like bulgogi. Also many are marinated for a while, which will also help tenderize.

          But if you're looking for a hearty dish with hunks of beef in a deep sauce, english cuts are the best. No need to marinade ahead of time, since you'll be braising them for 2 + hours.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Phurstluv

            I never see flanken cut at the markets I go to, sure wish I did, I love Filipino ribs, and I have great recipe and would love to make these. Interesting news about the kiwi, never knew that. I do save the English cuts for my John Besh recipe. Ah... soon the weather will be cool, and it's paparadelle and ribs for this gal!

            1. re: chef chicklet

              Do you have any asian supermarkets in your area? Most asian supermarkets I've been to (in California) sell the flanken cut of short ribs. They usually call it "Korean short ribs".

          2. Folks

            A slight tangent if I may - but anyone know where the term "English cut" originates from? Reason for asking is that, generally, we don't have short ribs on offer in the UK.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Harters

              Maybe it comes/came from differing styles of butchering...Mediterranean Style or the English style...or one of the umpteen regional variations of these....I really don't know.

              1. re: Harters

                The beef board doesn't call them English style, they are either beef short ribs, or beef flanken style short ribs.

                I think that term may be leftover from when we all had neighborhood butchers. And it was a way to distinguish the cuts, some from the chuck and some from the short plate. And I believe the term flanken was a German term, so to distinguish the two, they called the other cut, "English". Too bad you don't get short ribs in the UK. I can't imagine that chefs like Gordon Ramsay doesn't have access to them? That would be a shame!!