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Bone-in beef short ribs - not worth the effort or did I mess them up?

This weekend I wanted to make bone-in beef ribs, specifically a certain recipe where the braising liquid is cooked down to a dense sauce.

I invited our great "eater" friend for dinner, he is always up for anything, and I set to cooking.

The short version is they were rather awful. The liquid would not reduce or thicken and the meat fell off the bone yet was full of connective tissue.

Mr. CB and friend assured me that dinner was more than edible and not to worry about it.

After we were finished and relaxing with more wine, Friend said he also tried to make them once with similar not-so-great results. Further, his mother's family raised beef cattle and had a butcher shop for 3 generations and he said his mom thinks of this cut as garbage meat that isn't worth the effort.

Thoughts and opinions? Maybe I just didn't do it right? Or are bone-in beef ribs overrated?

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  1. I'm not trying to take the easy way out (well, maybe I am) but if you search here for beef short ribs you'll get a ton of great info. And, no, they're not "garbage meat" in the least. They get a lot of CH-love and deservingly so.

    1. They are fantastic when cooked properly. They need to be cooked for a LONG time. Not all shortribs are created equal, Ive bought them and had them be almost nothing but fat. You have to be selective with the ones you buy.

      1. I personally love braised short ribs, and I love oxtail, too, which is a similarly unctuous cut with a lot of fat and a lot of connective tissue and gelatin. I don't think it's a crap cut of meat, but if you like a very high muscle content, it may not be the cut for you.

        That said, if you bought particularly fatty short ribs (you can actually see that there's a lot of marbling), you would likely have ended up with a very low meat to fat/connective tissue ratio when cooked. You can find short rib that is visibly leaner and should result in more meat for you to eat at the end.

        As to the sauce, if it didn't thicken properly, the recipe may have called for too much liquid to begin with.

        Would you mind sharing the recipe?

        3 Replies
        1. re: inaplasticcup

          Hmmm...quality of the ribs was likely an issue. These ribs were incredibly fatty. 3 had a couple of small bites of meat on them. The other 12-15 were at least 75% fat. These ribs came from the half we bought so I didn't have a choice like looking in the butcher case. Friend had the same thought, that the particular ribs weren't the choicest.

          Will post the recipe tomorrow.

          I have the recipe bookmarked at the office and am at home right now. It called for browning then cooking in the oven for 3.5 hours at 350 degrees, cooling and overnight in the fridge, skim off all the fat, return to stove top for an hour to reduce the sauce.

          Yes, the amount of liquid may have been an issue.

          1. re: cleobeach

            soooooooooooooooo... you roasted them for 3.5 hours? meat like this needs a long slow braise in liquid.

            brown the meat.

            remove from pan.

            brown veggies and aromatics.

            add wine/beer/stock. get to boiling.

            add meat back to pan. theer should be enough liquid to cover the meat at least 1/2 way.

            bring liquid to simmer.

            cover and put in low oven (like 200-250) or on low stove top. for HOURS. till meat is falling apart melting tender. tunr the meat several times during cooking.

            you can then chill entire contents overnight to remove fat easily the next day, plus get extra marinade time. then remove fat layer, remove meat, strain out veggies and reduce stock for sauce.

            this kind of thing is very easy. it just takes a long long time.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              soooooooooooooooo... you roasted them for 3.5 hours? meat like this needs a long slow braise in liquid.

              No, I mis-typed. I browned them first them put them into the oven, covered with my wine/stock liquid, completely covering the ribs, for 3.5 hours.

        2. Koreans would disagree with that. They love short ribs stewed and grilled and is considered the most primo of all cuts on the cow.

          1. Actually bought some today to make Korean BBQ short ribs an absolute killer way to do short ribs. Google a recipe for Korean BBQ short ribs, all will be relatively similar. Make sure you use the proper thin cut, and gey some well marbled with fat. BBQ them for 7-8 minutes a side. A bit chewy, but marvelous.

            If you want tyo use the thicker cut, abouit 2 1/2 inches, Google Short Rib Ragu with Pappardelle. We have friends who, when we invite them for dinner, beg us to make this.