Alan asked Lauren:
I love short ribs and order them often in restaurants but have never cooked them at home. They’re so delicious that I have always assumed that they would be too difficult for me to cook well because I’m somewhat of a beginner in the kitchen. Could you give me a recipe for short ribs that even I can do? Thanks!
Oh, there’s nothing to it Alan! Beef short ribs come from the forequarter (or “chuck” area) in a cow and, specifically, are the meaty flat bones cut from the ends of the ribs. Typical of “stew meat,” raw short ribs are pretty tough, since it’s a muscular cut with meat that alternates with layers of fat. Don’t let that stop you, though! Although short ribs must be braised (simmered gently) to become tender, after cooking, they are absolutely succulent and make an unusually delicious soup or stew. Although the word “braise” indicates food that’s simmered low and slow, now-a-days you certainly don’t need to be home for hours to do it. There are several ways to make cooking connective cuts of meat doable even on a busy work day. For instance, traditionally, short ribs are simmered gently in a heavy saucepan, with a tight fitting lid, for 1 ½ to 2 hours. If, however, you can’t do that, then first thing in the morning, pile everything into a slow cooker (a crock pot) and plug it in. That way, the ribs and sauce can simply “blip” away all day long. Conversely, at the end of the day, you can also use a pressure cooker and get great results. In other words, there are all kinds of ways to make homemade nurturing foods that taste “slow-cooked” good, fit into your everyday life.
So, now that I’ve peaked your curiosity (and hopefully boosted your confidence), take a peek at my recipe for saucy and succulent Braised Short Ribs, which illustrates how to cook them either conventionally, in a slow cooker or in a pressure cooker. Enjoy!