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short ribs

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  November 6, 2022

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Short ribs (commonly known in the United Kingdom as thin ribs or Jacob’s Ladder) are a popular cut of beef. Beef short ribs are larger and usually more tender and meatier than their pork counterpart, pork spare ribs. Short ribs are cut from the rib and plate primals and a small corner of the square-cut chuck. A full slab of short ribs is typically about 10 inches square, ranges from 3-5 inches thick, and contains three or four ribs, intercostal muscles and tendon, and a layer of boneless meat and fat which is thick on one end of the slab and thin on the other. There are numerous ways to butcher short ribs. The ribs can be separated and cut into short lengths (typically about 2 inches long), called an “English cut”; “flanken cut” across the bones (typically about 1/2 inch thick); or cut into boneless steaks. However, these boneless steaks are not to be confused with “boneless country-style short ribs,” a cut recently introduced in the United States as a cheaper alternative to rib steak, which are not ribs but cut from the chuck eye roll. In Korea, short lengths of rib are often further butchered by butterflying (or using an accordion cut) to unfurl the meat into a long ribbon trailing from the bone, or the meat can be removed from the bone entirely and cut into thin (1/4-1/8 inch thick) slices. Short ribs may be long-cooked, as in pot-au-feu, a classic of French cuisine, or rapidly seared or grilled, as in Korean cuisine, in which short ribs (called galbi) are marinated and grilled over charcoal. Long-cooking thinner, shorter cuts are also a Korean favorite. A specific type from Hawaii is known as Maui-style ribs. Flanken is a traditional Eastern European Jewish dish, and the origin of that name for short ribs cut across the bone. Flanken are boiled in broth with onions and other seasonings, until the meat is very tender and the broth is rich, and served with grated horseradish. Other popular preparations are barbecue and braising. A highly regarded recent method is to cook them sous-vide for up to 72 hours.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.