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What Is a Short Rib?

What is a short rib? It seems like beef short ribs are all the rage these days, popping up on every cooking show and populating trendy restaurant menus. You’ve never tried them at a restaurant, let alone cooked them at home, and before you try, you want to know what exactly is a beef short rib? Where does it come from, what does it taste like and how do I cook it?

Never fear, good meat-eating citizen of the world, LGCM is here to help you figure out short ribs!

Read this blog post full of helpful information, and you’ll also be an expert on short ribs! If you have any more questions, leave us a comment below and we’ll answer!

What are short ribs?

Short ribs come from the beef chuck portion of a beef animal. They are the five (5) short ribs from the chuck section that are too small to be used for good steaks. So, in short, short ribs are just that: short ribs.

Essentially, when a beef animal is harvested and broken into sections, the first five rib bones go into the chuck section, not the rib section. We do that because, as mentioned above, these first 5 rib bones are short bones and don’t make for good steaks. The meat in between these bones is from muscle that is used heavily, and therefore has less tenderness but much more flavor.

When we cut meat from these bones, we call them short ribs!

Oddly enough, short ribs come from the beef chuck portion of a beef animal, not the beef rib portion. This makes them rich in flavor, full of marbling and perfect for braising or slow cooking.

What styles do short ribs come in?

Short ribs can be cut two main ways. The first way is called English-style and is how we traditionally cut short ribs. The English-style way of cutting beef short ribs has small, 1 bone chunks of delicious chuck meat. These chunks of meat are great for using to braise or make slow cooker short ribs, and look like this:

English-Style Short Ribs is the typical style used for cutting short ribs, and are great for braising or for slow cooker short rib recipes.

The other way of cutting short ribs is called BBQ-style or flanken-style. The bbq short ribs style cuts the ribs into strips containing 3 bones and the meat between those ribs. This is a beautiful presentation and also perfect for braising or slow cooking.

Here’s what bbq short ribs look like:

BBQ-style short ribs are perfect for crock pot short rib recipes.

What do short ribs taste like?

Since short ribs come from the area between the chuck and rib, they combine characteristics of both cuts. Short ribs get the rich marbling of rib steaks with the deep beefy flavor of chuck roast. In short, they’re an indulgent treat for anyone who loves beef and a real “stick to your rib” (haha) comfort food. They’re one of my favorite cuts of beef, so give them a try!

How to cook beef short ribs

Traditionally, beef short ribs are braised. Braising is a combination of dry and moist cooking methods where you sear the meat and then bake the meat in a liquid.

It sounds intimidating, but it’s actually a very straightforward cooking method and yields delicious results that taste gourmet. I personally love braising short ribs, and here are what my braised short ribs look like when they’re in the braising pan. If you’d like to learn how to make braised short ribs, check out our braised short rib recipe.

Braised Short Ribs in Pan

You can also cook your short ribs in a slow cooker for great results with even less work! Short ribs are popular in Asian cuisine, so we’ve put together a Teriyaki BBQ Short Rib recipe that is made in the slow cooker. Very few ingredients (or cooking expertise) are needed to make this recipe, the picture below shows everything you need!

Teriyaki BBQ Short Rib Ingredients include 2 lbs Leahy's Angus Beef Short Ribs, 2 cups BBQ Sauce, 1 cup Teriyaki Sauce, 3 oz Bourbon Whiskey, Brown Sugar, Sesame Seeds, Salt and Pepper

Have any more questions? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading!


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