Well known, and rightfully popular, for its robust flavor and fork-tender nature (at least when cooked low and slow), the short rib is typically associated with your mother’s or grandmother’s slow cooker. And while this traditional method indeed produces comfort food of the highest order, this oft-pigeonholed cut is undergoing something of a renaissance for its versatility.
Called by some the “beef cut of the year,” the short rib has taken on some exciting new roles in the restaurant world, providing chefs a canvas for continued creativity and reinvention. The good news: intrepid home cooks can be inspired by looking at the short rib in new ways, too. Better yet, simplicity is key.
Let’s start with grilling. It’s the perfect way to showcase a unique and buzzy cut called the Denver steak, which is actually the same meat as boneless chuck short ribs, just cut in a more steak-like way. It performs beautifully, with lots of marbling for abundant, natural flavor. Marinate the Denver steak to experiment with different flavor profiles. Consider adding it to your grilling arsenal (note: you may need to make a special request of your butcher, as it’s not commonly found pre-cut in grocery store meat cases).
A technique stemming from Japan and popular in many Asian cultures, shabu-shabu is thinly sliced beef or pork that is cooked quickly by dunking it with chopsticks in a mix of vegetables and boiling water, or broth, then paired with flavorful dipping sauces.
For an option jam-packed with beefy flavor, look no further than the chuck short ribs. Short ribs’ abundant marbling, or ‘flecks of flavor,’ melt when cooked with this technique, resulting in another layer of rich, robust flavor.
If you’re looking for the chance to have dinner and a show, shabu-shabu is the way to go (because, let’s face it, not everyone in your family will be a chopsticks expert).
Another flavorful technique among short rib enthusiasts, flanken-style short ribs, involves taking plate short ribs and slicing them across the bone. A very popular method in Latin and Asian cultures, and often referred to as Korean-style short ribs, flanken-style short ribs have added flavor and increased value for an often under-represented cut of beef.
The best way to enjoy flanken-style short ribs is to marinate them before grilling. Whether it be a sticky-bourbon glaze or a teriyaki kick, flanken-style short ribs give flavor and tenderness to every bite.
Check out some of our favorite ways to prepare flanken-style short ribs here, and make that next family dinner a creative one! Or if you are looking for a fun night out, try aiming for Korean-style barbecue or Japanese steakhouses, where you are sure to satisfy your flanken-style craving!
Really looking to step up your #foodie game? It’s time to go underwater! The French term sous vide means “under vacuum” and has become one of the hottest new culinary trends in the world. Simply put, you seal your ingredients in a bag with all the air removed. The bag is then immersed in a container of water heated to a precise temperature by an immersion circulator. The ingredients then cook to that temperature exactly, without losing moisture. Step up your family dinner and try it out! Sous vide cooking is gentle and slow by its very definition and brings out some of the same benefits of other slow cooking methods, making the short rib a perfect option to try.
Boneless short ribs work best for this technique, but don’t let that stop you from being adventurous! And if you’re not entirely convinced, haven’t given in to the hype, or are just looking for some recipe inspiration and a step-by-step guide, start here.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with slowly cooked or braised short ribs. In fact, they’re quite delicious! But with a little inspiration, there are plenty of new ways to enjoy this sometimes overlooked cut. Need more advice? Check out CertifiedAngusBeef.com for recipes and cooking tips, or visit the meat department of your local retailer and ask the butcher for more expert advice.