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Sep 10, 2009 04:29 PM

Troubleshoot Braised Beef Short Ribs

My short ribs came out dry, not falling off the bone juicey ? What are some possible explanations?

I thought of:
1. did not turn enough during cooking
2. did not braise long enough

Thanks :)

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  1. Aldoogie, can you please give us more details of the recipe or what you did? That might help us help you..(.LOL...remember the Jerry Maguire movie...and that line "help me help YOU, help me help YOU!" That was so funny! Sorry, sometimes I'm a twit..). Anyway, on a more serious note, if you can describe what you did a little better, believe me, there are EXPERTS on short ribs here who can definitely help you out! How many ribs were you making? How long did you braise them...etc....By the way, welcome to Chowhound!

    1. Compare your recipe with this one:

      and I suspect you'll find your answer.

      5 Replies
      1. re: todao

        well, this recipe is for flanken cut ribs. the braise time suggested might not do english ribs. wow--and a 350 braise. that's hotter than most and surely hotter than i use.

        it is likely true that the op's problem is one of time--though there are some poor short ribs out there that would be a headache to cook well. i get one every once in a while with almost no meat on it. one in a batch isn't disaster, but a whole pot of meatless short ribs would lack distinction.

        1. re: silverhawk

          Even though 350 does sound a bit high, even Wolfgang Puck suggests that temperature so with that kind of endorsement I ain't gonna argue ...

          1. re: todao

            I've done short ribs may times at 350. Never came out dry. Always fall off the bone tender.

            I brown on the stove top before adding to the braising liquid and veg. Never turn them in the pot.

            1. re: scubadoo97

              i would think that you can braise at just about any temp.

              that's beside the point, although that's a great argument to have.

              the OP didn't cook the ribs long enough. that's about the long and short of it.

              1. re: tommy

                That was my impression as well with the information given.

      2. as others have suggested, you need to provide details on your cooking method.

        the obvious, and most likely, answer is that you didn't cook them long enough. tough meat is tough until cooked long enough. if you cook it too long, it turns into soup. so there's no point at which it will re-toughen. you just didn't cook it long enough.

        11 Replies
        1. re: tommy

          Also, I never turn mine while they are brown or sear them at the beginning, yes...definitely, I turn them...but not for the braising part...

          1. re: Val

            I never turn them either except for the browning.

          2. re: tommy

            Dear Tommy,

            First, thanks for the Welcome ;) Wow, love having everyone here to advise on this stuff haha.

            ok, so here is the rundown. For the most part, I followed the "Braised Beef Short Ribs" recipe in the Jan 09 issue of Cooks Illustrated.

            Took about 6 Short Ribs with the bone still on, cleaned a bit of the fat.

            Browned them fine, removed, dropped in the onions for 8 min on med, tomato paste followed for 2 min, then the garlic for 30 secs, turned back to med-high and added 2 Cups of Cab, reduced for about 9 minutes till the wine halved, the beef back in, added some carrots and 1 Cup of stock, brought to a simmer and into the oven.

            Here is where I think things might have gone wrong.

            Oven was on 250 and I cooked in my Creuset dutch oven for 2 hours.

            Not long enough, huh?

            1. re: Aldoogie

              Yes, too low and too short I think. I usually braise short ribs at 325 or 350, for three hours. Also, I don't remove any fat, and I'm guessing that fat contributes to that wonderful falling off the bone consistency. You can always trim the fat later, and skim the fat off the liquid. Did you cook it covered?

              1. re: MMRuth

                agreed, 350 X 2.5-3 hrs is my standard method.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Covered em up. This was clealy a case of not hot enough and too fast for them beef ribs!

                  Thanks all, will go back for another go.

                2. re: Aldoogie

                  does cooks say 250 x 2 hrs? i think if your dutch oven could speak it would have asked for another 75 degrees and another hour or another 100 degrees and 45 minutes.

                  well, it is early in the short rib season so have another go. boy do i love short ribs. just haven't felt the fall chill, yet.

                  1. re: Aldoogie

                    did you follow the recipe? i think the first step in troubleshooting this mystery is to compare what you did, to what the recipe called for.

                    1. re: tommy

                      I checked the January/February issue of Cook's Illustrated for the Short Rib Recipe. The recipe says to set oven for 300 F and oven braise for 2.0-2.5 hours in the oven. The OP (Aldoogie) set his oven at 250 F and oven braised for 2 hours.

                      Also, the Cook's Illustrated recipes is for 3.5 pounds of boneless short ribs. The OP used six bone-in short ribs. Does bone-in short ribs and boneless short ribs have different cooking times?

                      OP should also buy an oven thermometer to check the accuracy of his oven temperature and to determine the oven's hot/cold spots.

                      1. re: Norm Man

                        Boneless short ribs are usually not short rib meat but strips of meat cut from the chuck. Regardless they would braise about the same. Don't take times for braising as gospel. Different meats react differently depending on the amount of connective tissue that is needed to be broken down. Use time as a guide only. When fork tender it's done. Don't over cook or the meat can get dry even floating in all that liquid. Let cool in the liquid as well, as some moisture is reabsorbed.

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          OP here ,

                          yes! went back to my butcher , told her what i was up to, she hooked me up with great cuts from the chuck. Followed the recipe again, came out amazing!! See my new post regarding Thermometer.. ;)

                3. I am going to pick up some short ribs, you all got my juices flowing.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JEN10

                    Good God, this kind of thread is dangerous to me also; people can discuss steaks & roasts til the cows come home, but short ribs put me in a scary frame of mind and I want to cook them right away!

                    1. re: Val

                      That juicy suculant meat served over polenta or mashed taters, HEAVEN!