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Short ribs...I just don't get the attraction.

They sound wonderful, they look delicious, but I have always been disappointed when I've had them. I see so many people suggesting short ribs as a prime rib or roast beef replacement for the holidays. Whenever I have been served them or ordered them in restaurants, I find they just don't deliver on the specialness of a nice roasted piece of beef or a perfectly seared steak.

Does anybody else feel that way?

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  1. I find they just don't deliver on the specialness of a nice roasted piece of beef ....

    I'm assuming you are referencing on having them in a braise before and not being wowed. I've had slow roasted Short Ribs done to Medium-Rare/Medium and as BBQ Beef Dino Ribs .

    I thought both were pretty, pretty, good. Korean BBQ can also be very good if marinated properly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fourunder

      Yes, whenever I had them they were braised. I see a lot of people recommending braised short ribs to replace roasts for the holidays.

      And I admit that Korean BBQ short ribs can be wonderful. I don't even think of them as the same dish!

    2. I don't usually order short ribs in a restaurant because I make braised short ribs at home and they are great.

      I don't care for prime rib or roast beef at all.

      1. Restaurants is a different question; obviously you'll be ordering what you find most special.

        Braises are more of a home-cooking kind of thing, and to me more delicious than just straight meat. Short ribs make an especially full-bodied sauce; I love to be served them at a dinner party.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ellabee

          I've been in many restaurants that promote their short ribs as a special dish. I have never actually ordered them in a restaurant, but have had tastes when my SO or friends have ordered them. I have always been disappointed.

          I am questioning why people are recommending short ribs as a replacement to a perfectly roasted piece of meat.

          1. re: Springhaze2

            I've roasted, grilled and broiled my share of quality premium meats....I enjoy properly prepared braised OxTail and Short Ribs much more.

            One thing about restaurants offering any type of braised meat...Veal, Beef , Pork or Lamb...Pot Roast, Short Ribs or Osso Buco or any other.....there are many products available through wholesale already prepared. The restaurants you may have had them in may have used these products....so I can see them being a bit bland.....however, when i go to fine dining establishment, this I do not expect or have received in the past. At my friends place....they braise with wine or beer....and it is fantastic.

          2. re: ellabee

            Restaurants also braise their meats; the method is not limited to home cooking.

            1. re: Cherylptw

              I didn't mean restaurants don't serve braised meats. I meant that the issue of "specialness" is a totally different one in evaluating restaurant food -- and largely irrelevant to a home cooking forum.

              It's also just true that braising is more of a home cooking kind of dish than, say, roast prime rib is.

          3. I agree - if it's a seared steak that you want, or a perfect slice of prime rib roast, short ribs are not going to fill your cravings. That being said, though - short ribs are a great cut of meat and are absolutely delicious when properly braised to falling-off-the-bone perfection. but it's two totally different flavor profiles, the steak and the short ribs

            1. I'm with you. I also don't like pot roast, and I feel like short ribs usually end up tasting like pot roast.

              5 Replies
                1. re: Springhaze2

                  I think it matters what you braise them with. I find short ribs to be one of the most flavorful and succulently tender forms of beef there is.
                  Frankly, I'd choose them over a broiled steak or filet mignon any day.

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      Me three.

                      And in answer to the OP's question "why people are recommending short ribs as a replacement to a perfectly roasted piece of meat."

                      Because some people like short ribs and don't like roast beef or a perfectly roasted piece of meat.

                2. I think it just comes down to the preference of a wet prep or a dry.

                  Short ribs favor a braise while steak or roast the dry grill/oven.

                  I really didn't enjoy braised meat until my early 20s. I would eat it if served but would never go out of my way to get it.

                  Now I'm happy with either but some braises are just too succulent to pass up.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: melpy

                    Funny, as a kid I hated braised meats - my mother would make a braised blade roast (likely cheapest cut of meat at the time) with potatoes and carrots in the pan. Y-U-K.
                    My wife felt the same way, we'd call it "stringy meat", whether it be blade, pot roast, short ribs, etc.
                    In our thirtys, we started to enjoy braised meats and now we swoon.

                    I think nowadays short ribs have been elevated to "specialness". Maybe not to the same extent as osso bucco (previously pure peasant food), but still, many think this dish as sophisticated.
                    Thats why I think some may suggest short rib as a replacement to prime rib...

                    1. re: porker

                      I like them in a 'BB'. I just watch not to over braise them. When they are done I remove them then add them back to heat before serving.

                  2. Sounds to me like you’re not overwhelmed with braised meat in general. A lot of people like them, including myself, when done right. It’s suggested as a Holiday meal alternative often because it takes a lot of the timing guess work out of a meal. Like most braises or stews, they often taste better the next day. This means you can cook them ahead of time, and them bring them backup to temperature when you are ready to serve.

                    1. I'm roast prime rib guy too but If you want your (culinary) life and your opinion of short ribs and pot roast changed, invest $200.00 on this and cook them sous-vide. They take a couple of days but it couldn't be easier to do. I've had a sous vide rig (Sous Vide Magic) for several years that I use often but cooking tougher cuts of beef is where it shines brightest yielding melt in your mouth tender meat that's still pink.The problem with short ribs is they've gotten so expensive especially in the last few years because they're ubiquitous on high end menus as well as with barbecue aficionados & home sous-vide cooks. I buy chuck roast when they are on sale which is a much better value because its all meat unlike short ribs that have a lot of bone.

                      1. I think it's apples and oranges as people have mentioned. I have noticed however that some steak houses have jumped on the trend, and I would not expect those places to necessarily do a great job when their strengths lie elsewhere. If you're going to steak houses or prime rib special places, by all means stick with the main event if it makes you happy. I love short ribs but I don't order them at steak places.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: julesrules

                          Agreed. Steak House, steak or Prime Rib. Skip the seafood, skip the burgers. It's not what they do.

                        2. I've eaten short ribs for almost 60 years. I would never consider them a substitute for roast beef.
                          I make them in the winter as comfort food, potted with sauerkraut, potatoes and caraway seeds.
                          I do not really care for them BBQ style.

                          If cut crosswise in 1" thick cuts then they are flanken and I love them in the pot with root vegetables,

                          Cut crosswise in 3/8" cuts they great as Korean BBQ ribs

                          BUT none of these applications equals a magnificent Prime Rib roast on the bone.

                          Both beef, but the comparison ends there

                          1. I agree with what most others have posted. I think the meat itself can be sweeter and blander than other cuts if not marinated and/or braised with the right ingredients to balance that. I usually go a little saltier with them than with other cuts of meat. I love them barbecued, too, again, with a little more salt in the rub than other cuts.

                            While I do love short ribs prepared properly, I will admit that if I had to choose between the best prepared short rib, and a prime dry aged steak, I'd go with the steak.

                            1. I've only had them once but I loved them... but I don't like steak - I like my beef super slow-cooked until it's melt-in-your-mouth tender and filled with flavour from the sauce it's simmered in, which is exactly what good short ribs are. I also love beef shanks, but boy those things are getting expensive!

                              1. I have no love for short ribs either.

                                1. Back in 1492, when I was in college, my Dad, his sister, and one of her neighbors would buy half a steer to stock freezers... 3 kids & spouses in each house. The meat was all cut into convenient packages, and ya got half of EVERYTHING! Was heading back to school after a weekend at home with 2 lbs of frozen short ribs, a BIG onion, a BIG bell pepper, and a BIG can of some kinda tomato product (sauce, puree, etc). Was living off-campus in a big old house with 15 other girls. I "stunk up" the whole place REAL GOOD when the aromas of slow cooking short ribs started circulating. I don't cook them often, but when I do... it's till they're LITERALLY falling off the bone... MESSY but GOOD eats!

                                  Like steaks med/rare bordering on rare. Don't cook a lot of them at home; save that for an eating out splurge. A Ruth's Chris filet set in front of you on a plate still sizzling and WAY too hot to touch... HEAVEN to me!

                                  Used to be a Victoria Station in King of Prussia, PA... YEARS ago. They had all kinds of things to choose from but specialty was prime rib. Smallest was (I think) an 8 oz with no bone... from there things just grew... a 1 bone (maybe 12 oz) and a 2 bone (easily a lb). We'd come home with MASSIVE "doggie bags"... and quite a bit actually went to the DOGS. The bones from prime rib got slathered with sauce and into hot oven for a nice snack/meal, before the dogs got them.

                                  1. Pretty much apples and oranges IMHO. I make stews frequently and find them preferable to short ribs anyway. I assume the bones should add more flavor, but find that the cooking method and braising ingredients more than make up for that.... so stews win

                                    One more factor may be that our local markets don't offer short ribs with much meat on them. Seems like a good bone-in roast is a better starting point if the bones are important.

                                    Seems like prime rib or steak are a very different flavor and texture experience. I'd rather have a high quality meal of either, over a stew or short ribs, but they're just different.

                                    1. A lot of our childhood pot roasts, I think, were done by moms (like mine) who had no real understanding of the braising process, which in some ways requires much more care than roasting. Now in my so-called Golden Years I'd rather have braised meat than roasted (very much unlike the OP and some others on this thread), mostly because I know how to do it so that the meat comes out succulent and rich with the melted connective tissues. I have given up, however, on ordering short ribs in most restaurants for the simple reason that most of them insist on using boneless ribs. Yes, these cook more quickly, and the percentage of meat to waste is a lot higher, but you cannot get the kind of flavor from them as you can from bone-in ones. One local chef/owner and I almost got into a shouting match over this, but I'd eaten his dish and had the advantage (if you'd call it that) of having been disappointed.