Everyone has a go to meal, something they just love to cook. For me that’s beef short ribs. They’re incredibly easy to cook, not too pricey and the results are magnificent. For me, there is nothing like the perfect texture and the delicious taste of a well cooked beef shorty.
A typical rack of beef short ribs will be approximately 9 inches wide by 12 inches long and their thickness certainly varies. Some beef short ribs come with quite a significant fat cap on top. Good ones, like these Black Angus beauties we picked up from Campbells Superior Meats of West Pymble, have less of a fat cap, but a whole heap of marbling. Shorties usually come cryovaced and when buying them, it’s important to sort through the available options to find a nice thick rib without too much fat.
Start by trimming off as much of the fat cap as possible using a very sharp knife. Beef short ribs already have a lot of marbling so there is no need to keep this top layer. Also, this hard fat prevents your chosen rub from getting where you want it most- on the meat. It also won’t fully render during the cooking process and whilst some fat is certainly desirable, having to chew through a lump of lard is no fun for anyone.
Once trimmed, apply a healthy coating of salt and pepper (a Dalmatian Rub), along with some garlic powder if you choose. I also, like to add a bit of paprika and chilli, although not everyone shares my love of spice! If you’re having trouble getting the rub to stick, give the ribs a very light coating of yellow mustard or oil before applying the rub.
Cook the ribs at 270°F is for approximately 8 hours. I usually spritz the ribs every hour also using a 50-50 water and apple juice mix or whatever beer I’m drinking. Although some people like to, I never wrap beef shorties, as I don’t want to soften the awesome, crusty bark, as that’s my favourite part.
The $9 million question is ‘how do I know when they’re done?’. This has a lot more to do with internal temperature and feel than it does with cooking time, so take the suggested 8 hours as a guide only. I’ve had ribs take as little as 7 hours and as much as 10. If you are using a thermometer, in general, I find my shorties are ready at an internal temperature of around 200 to 205°F. As an indication, you will sometimes notice the meat on top will wobble like jelly, as the connective tissue has broken down. This is what you looking for. My preferred tool when checking for doneness is a wooden or metal skewer. Use the skewer to probe the piece of meat in a couple of spots. You’ll know it’s done if the skewer just slides straight in and doesn’t offer much resistance.
To serve beef short ribs, for true carnivores, you can leave them on the bone , or for people who don’t eat quite as much, slice them off the bone before serving. Although I reckon, shorties are perfect all by themselves, a bit of potato salad or smoked corn on the side goes very nicely.
Complete BBQ tragic and committed collector of BBQs, particularly Webers. Even known to talk BBQ recipes in his sleep, AJ’s years of cooking triumphs and failures have left him completely convinced that BBQ is overthought.