Slice of Life: Don’t Sell These Ribs Short

October 29, 2014
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Short Ribs

Like many, my family has cut down on red meat consumption. However, every now and then the need for beef overcomes my self-discipline I give in to my craving and head right for the ribs. No, I’m not talking about putting them in a cholent, but beef ribs as a standalone main course. Typically I prepare them in a crock pot and serve them for a cold fall Shabbat lunch.

There are two kinds of beef ribs available in just about every grocery or butcher shop—back ribs and short ribs. An easy trick to remember which is which—the back ribs are big and the meat is between the rib and the short ribs are well, short and the meat is on top. Most people prefer back ribs for the barbecue and the short ribs for the oven or crock pot.

Short ribs are my go-to cut for a longer, slower, make-ahead-in-the-morning-and-serve-in-the-evening-meal. I prefer the bone-in short rib, it seems to have a deeper flavor but the boneless cut is just fine. When you’re looking for good ribs there should be a nice layer of fat running through the muscle. I don’t always use a recipe when I’m making my short ribs. I braise them in a little oil (salt and pepper them first, then sear/brown the outside of the ribs in a pan over a high heat). I like them kinda charred a bit on the edges. Pull the ribs out of the pan, deglaze the pan and then I pour the sauce or mixture of ingredients over the ribs cover and cook for 4 to 8 hours (on medium in a crock pot or 325°F in the oven) depending on how many ribs, how much sauce and voila, falling off the ribs meat that is DELICIOUS.

I typically use about 1/2 to a pound of ribs per person (the men in my life like lots of ribs). I’ve used wine, broth, beer and lots of other “stuff” depending on my mood (and what’s in my pantry). Fresh herbs and vegetables just add to fun. You should always cover the ribs when cooking. You can, of course use rubs for seasoning and serve them with rice or potatoes or even noodles. I have a friend who swears that there is nothing like a crispy slice of polenta with short ribs but I say it doesn’t matter what you serve them with, they truly are wonderful just by themselves. Oh, and they’re even more amazing when reheated a day or so later.

Classic Short Ribs

4 servings


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lbs short ribs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Heat the oil, over a cooktop, in a large roasting pan or Dutch oven.
  3. Season the ribs salt and pepper then sear the outsides of the ribs in the hot oil for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until all sides of the rib are seared and the vegetables are soft but not mushy.
  4. Add the wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes then add the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and bay leaves. Bring the mixture back to a boil, cover cook, in the oven (or if using a crock pot pour everything into the crock pot) 3 hours (mix once or twice if you like).
  5. To serve, get rid of the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.

This is great with mashed or baked potatoes

My files, source unknown.

Smoky Short Ribs

5 to 6 servings


  • 5 lbs. beef short ribs
  • kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¾ cup hickory brown sugar barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. In a saucepan combine the ketchup, liquid smoke, brown sugar, minced onion, garlic, barbecue sauce. Whisk to combine and then simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the ribs in a roasting pan, pour 2/3 of the sauce over the top of the ribs (flip them once or twice to make sure both sides get covered), cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake the sauce over the top.
  4. Bake for 3 hours (check at 2½ hours) or until the ribs are tender and the meat is falling off the bone.

Serve with the remaining sauce.

Submitted by Andi Schwartz, modified from

Sesame Short Ribs with Peppers

5 to 6 servings


  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 lbs. short ribs
  • 1 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped to bite sized pieces
  • Toasted sesame


  1. Preheat the oven to broil.
  2. Place the ribs on a broiler pan and drizzle the sesame oil over the top of the ribs. Broil for 3 minutes on each side.
  3. In a large crock pot combine the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic and ginger. Mix to combine. Add the ribs and mix to coat.
  4. Cook for 5 to 8 hours depending on if you’re cooking on medium or high. The meat should be falling off the bone.

I serve these ribs with the toasted sesame seeds over fried rice.

My files, modified from

Short Ribs in Beer

6 to 8 servings


  • 6 lbs. beef short ribs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups dark beer
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup


  1. Preheat oven to a broil. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the onions on the bottom of a roasting pan, place the ribs on top. Drizzle the oil over the top of the ribs. Broil the ribs for 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Place the ribs, minced garlic and onions into a crock pot or Dutch oven if you’re cooking this in the oven (cover the Dutch oven with a lid or foil).
  4. Spoon the ketchup over the ribs then layer the carrots and celery over the top of the ribs. Pour the beer over the top of the ribs.
  5. Cover and cook for 4 hours at 325°F in the oven or 6 hours on high in the crock pot.
  6. To serve, remove the ribs to a serving plate. Using a food processor or immersion blend process the sauce until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

My files, source unknown.

© Eileen Goltz short ribs 14

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.