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Help me decide bw short rib recipes!

Hi everyone, I've lurked a long time on Chow but have my first question. I'd like to make short ribs for my wifes bday. I am a pretty reasonable home cook but I've never ever made short ribs. From looking at the boards I think I've narrowed it down to 3 recipes but I'd like some opinions from people who could help me compare them. They are the Goin, Stevens, and Bouloud recipes. It seems like they all have their fans, but id love to hear some thoughts on which might be the best taking into account this is my virgin experience. And I'm also curious to hear why people have liked one recipe over another. Despite never making them myself, short ribs are one of my favoritest foods so hearing the reasons why people favor certain recipes might help me decide which we'd like best in my house.

Thanks in advance for advice!

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  1. The Bouloud one I liked but have not tried the rest, although I would cut back on red wine. There are many asian variations on line for short ribs.......one of my favorites is beef Rendang using short ribs. For more French style I like best
    I feel it has more flavor then Boulouds. If I want more Asian flavor Ill add a star anise.

    3 Replies
    1. re: celeryroot

      That's interesting celery, how much less red wine would you do in Bouloud's? Is the issue flavor or amount of liquid?

      1. re: rachmc

        More flavor, I prefer some veal stock instead and reduce together. I think it adds more body. Flavor is subjective, many might prefer the increased wine..... I dont particularly.

      2. re: celeryroot

        Just made the Boulud short ribs recipe this weekend - loved it, but agree that you can use less wine/liquid (and don't need to flame it!) I used about 1 1/4 bottles of wine and 2 cups of beef stock, which more than covered 2.5 lbs of short ribs. I would strongly suggest following the recipe's instructions to use no-salt (or at least low-salt) broth - my DH loves salt, and even he felt the final sauce was a bit much (I didn't add any additional salt in the rest of the recipe, other than a bit on the meat before searing). It was fine when mixed with the leek mashed potatoes we had with it, though. I also found that it needed to cook for 3 hours vs. 2, and that some additional time in a 200 degree oven the next day (after taking the fat off the top in the morning) improved the tenderness even more - I was using grass-fed beef, so that may have made a difference. I also followed the suggestion of posters on Epicurious to puree the veggies into the sauce after the reduction vs. straining it - makes it more like a gravy consistency than a sauce, but great flavor!

      3. Suzanne's recipe is excellent, as is Daniel's. His required more hands-on prep. but the results were outstanding.
        I generally favor recipes that have flavorings I/We enjoy (which may be the most d'oh thing I ever wrote.) The braising method varies only minutely, so it is all about the taste IMO. In my experience, the keys are: good browning, gently-sauteed mirepoix, and a low and slow cook. We've been doing a lot short ribs lately with red wine, port, star anise, cinnamon, clove and cardamom. But we also love a classic-style braise with onions and herbs. Either way, mashed potatoes are a must.
        Just make sure you give it enough time to get fork tender but not mushy. If you'd like to consider another recipe, just ask.
        And, enjoy your dinner. What a good guy.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mamachef

          Thanks for all this - do you have a recipe for the star anise one you make or are you just doing it by feel? It sounds awesome. She doesn't love mashed potatoes (weirdo) so I was thinking polenta and some mushrooms or something like that perhaps. If I go with that for sides I'm guessing classic-style would probably pair better?

          1. re: dornmellc

            The short ribs with star anise are more of a by-feel thing, but it all begins with a great sear, half a bottle of good red wine, and a glug of port (in the braise, not the cook.)
            And if she doesn't like the mashed, you could always make some egg noodles with butter and a good sprinkle of poppyseeds!
            For the polenta (nice), either an Italian-style or classic braise with onions, broth etc. would work better, IMO. I serve the spiced ones with couscous, usually.

            1. re: mamachef

              Once I get my short rib cooking legs, I am definitely going to try this. I love anything with star anise and those spices. Thanks for the advice!

        2. For recipes, I would point you to one of our own, jfood's short rib recipe. Here's the link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6020...

          I've made it myself with the bone in ribs, and the results are nothing less than spectacular! It's a three day prep, but WELL worth it!

          11 Replies
          1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

            jfoods ribs are the best I've ever made. Extremely flavorful, rich and fall apart tender.

            1. re: nvcook

              You know I had looked at jfoods, but had decided against them because of the tomatoes. I didn't really want something tomato-y. would you guys consider them to have more of a tomato-y base?

              1. re: dornmellc

                I've made the recipe several times and no, I don't consider it to be tomato-y at all.

                I, too, highly recommend this recipe. Here's a photo of the completed recipe, as you can see it's quite dark and earthy looking as opposed to red and tomato-y looking. http://www.esquire.com/features/guy-f...

                Good luck!

                1. re: jencounter

                  Wow!! What a great way to end a long day. Thank you guys so much for the compliments.

                  I have 8 portions (now 7) in the freezer and grabbed one last week. I really do like them and am glad that others have enjoyed as well.


                  1. re: jfood

                    I was just thinking about these yesterday when in Costco. Do I remember you use or used the boneless ones. They had a full pack and I was tempted but there's NO room in the freezer(s).

                    1. re: c oliver

                      have done both but i like the with bones better. the costco were good but i like the bone in for more flavor

                      1. re: jfood

                        I am going to make your short ribs next week. I've never had them last long enough to freeze. But this time, I will have leftovers. How do you portion them out to freeze them? Do you keep the ribs with the sauce, or separately? (Mine are bone in too. I like them better than the boneless, definitely more flavor.)

                        1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

                          I have a bag-sucker which helps eliminate any potential freezer burn.

                          I place a 2-rib portion in as many bags as it takes. Then I ladle the sauce into each bag and freeze standing up for about 3 hours. Then I use the vacuum sealer. The reason I freeze first is when the vacuusm sealer sucks all the air out it also draw out liquid which makes a bit of a mess on the counter.

                          Then to reheat...I place a sealed bag in boiling water for 25 minutes, snip open, inhale and put on the plate.

                          1. re: jfood

                            That sounds very do-able! I like the idea of freezing first, and then sucking out the air. But for me, it wasn't that bad when the liquid got sucked up. My sucker is actually a straw! Thanks for the advice. Lotsa short rib meals after work, coming up!

                            1. re: jfood

                              The freeze first tip is brilliant! There are things that I've never been able to package using that device because of the liquid being sucked as well as the air.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Not brilliant at all...the result of little jfood looking at me and saying..."nice mess dad".

                                BTW - works great with soups as well.

            2. I haven't tried the other recipes, but absolutely love Goin's short ribs. One of the reasons I like it is her tip to crisp them up in a hot oven before serving. Just be sure to allow time to start the various steps days ahead (like marinating the beef overnight). I posted notes on my timeline with pics here:

              5 Replies
              1. re: Rubee

                Sorry if this double posts - my original comment didn't seem to go through. But just wanted to say thanks for pointing me to that recap, it was very helpful and I'm definitely thinking Goin at this point. I do have a technical question since I've never cooked them. I'm going off the NYT article from years ago and it doesn't mention type of ribs. From your review it seems like maybe you used English but it asked for flanken? Should I seek out flanken for this? Is there anything else I need to ask the butcher to do with the cut? Greatly appreciate the tips!

                1. re: dornmellc

                  She actually calls for "3-bone center cut" (the pic looks like flanken). I couldn't find flanken and used regular English cut. It was so delicious that I've always just used what I could find.

                  I'm not sure what the NYT recipe is but thought I'd post the actual recipe and intro from the book in case it differs slightly:

                  Also, in case you missed it in my link above, there are a quite a few recaps from other CHs re: the short ribs on that thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3970... (be sure to scroll down through the responses also).

                  1. re: Rubee

                    Thanks Rubee - this is awesome and I'm grateful for all your help!

                2. re: Rubee

                  Goin's short ribs are well worth the trouble. They are among the best dishes I've ever eaten, especially when served with the horseradish crean and some mashed potatoes.

                  Mmmm, getting a yen for them on this cold, rainy afternoon in Oaktown.

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    I'm a townie too! Nice to meet you, oakjoan! There are several of us in the area: I'm considering some sort of "chowish" meet and greet potluck after the holiday frenzy is over. Interested?

                3. I've made both Goin's and Stevens' short ribs and IMO Goin's win by a mile. We had them two days after making them since short ribs really need to sit overnight. Has to be one of the best recipes I've made this entire year and is worth the price of the entire book.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: isadorasmama

                    Ah! Here we go, this is what I'm looking for...the above recap and description was great, but I'm also glad to hear this. I'll probably try Molly's at some point once I get comfy with short rib cooking, but this has definitely tipped me over the edge to do Goin's this time since it's a special occasion. I will make sure to do it days in advance as she recommends.

                    1. re: dornmellc

                      Great! Report back after you make them. I did make the collards with it and the bitterness added a nice bite to cut the boldness of the ribs. If you make the potatoes Goin recommends for the starch, I'd love to hear how that goes. I didn't make that recipe (opted for roasted potatoes) since hers was pretty labor intensive.
                      I adore Molly's book and have had some major successes from it -- but there have been a few duds as well. Her short ribs, for me, were just ok. Goin's surpass them by a mile and I can now see why customers put up a fight for them to be menu staples.

                      One thing -- I used a different cut of the ribs...boneless. Short ribs have a nice amount of fat and while I'd still leave some on the next go around, I think I might try and remove the excess. You need a bit to provide richness, but not too much where it throws off the fat to meat ratio. My husband happily munches the fat with as much vigor as the meat, but eating fat like that kind of creeps me out!
                      From what I've heard, the bone-in cut has quite a bit of fat along the bone so I'm not sure how you'd remove some of that. Probably a question for the butcher!

                      1. re: isadorasmama

                        Regarding the fat (I used bone-in), I made it the day ahead and then just removed the fat on top after it solidified overnight. I made the potatoes and they were fantastic - so smooth and creamy.

                        1. re: Rubee

                          Are you talking about the fat from the sauce or the actual fat attached to the short ribs?

                          1. re: isadorasmama

                            Usually when I braise short ribs, the fat on the ribs kind of "dissolves" into the sauce so I'm able to remove most of it.

                  2. I like Tom Collichio's trick of glazing the ribs in a hot oven after the braise. I use the regular bone-in style; he uses falanken style.


                    1. Thanks so far to all that have given their two cents on the meat. I think I'm going to try Goin this time around and will probably have an even harder decision to make for the next time I try to make short ribs with all the new recipe ideas!

                      I was hoping someone might be able to tell me if this would be too much to serve with short ribs:

                      It's the kind of thing she likes, and I always like a big hearty wintery meal like this, but I'm not sure if it's too much richness or flavor on the side of short ribs. Should I just do plain polenta? I'd probably do a lighter green veg (or...none?) if I did this. If I did plain polenta I might do something a little more hearty in the veg dept.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: dornmellc

                        That polenta looks almost like a main all by itself to me. I'd do something fairly plain, with a little cheese stirred in at the last. And definitely, something green. Spinach? Broccoli rabe?
                        That is one gorgeous recipe, though. But in addition to the sauce from the ribs, probably a case of too much at once.

                        1. re: dornmellc

                          I agree with MamaChef, I think it may be too rich. Love the idea of some creamy polenta with a bit of cheese. Goin recommends serving the short ribs on top of Swiss chard simply sauteed with extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper, so you could go with any green vegetable.

                          I really like the combination of everything together in her recipe, as did our guests. It's just about perfect (that's what I love about Goin!): Tender short ribs, leafy greens to cut the richness, creamy potatoes (or polenta), and the horseradish cream as a condiment.

                          1. re: Rubee

                            I neglected to mention, I doubled the horseradish mixture and served it alongside.

                          2. re: dornmellc

                            Okay, I had a feeling it might be too much. I'll just do simple polenta and probably the swiss chard she pairs it with. Thanks again for the great advice.

                            1. re: dornmellc

                              From this board, I learned about baking (instead of stove top) polenta and really love that tip; the recipe is on the back of the bag of Pheasant brand polenta...at the end, you might want to add a little more broth or water.

                              1. re: walker

                                Here's thew's recipe. I use the larger amount of water. I almost feel guilty (almost) about serving something that is as easy as this and is so wonderful. I'll never do it any other way. Never, do you hear?!? :)


                          3. I just finished eating short ribs for dinner tonight. I watched Alton Brown do the recipe I use and it comes out great. I also fix them the day before and then reheat them per the recipe. Now the title of the recipe is "Beef Stew", but it's not really.