Saturday, January 21, 2017

Slow-Roasted Beef Short Ribs

I became a Costco member 17 years ago. I first made the trek to the St. Louis Park store and later switched to the Eden Prairie store when it opened in 2004 as it was just 2 miles from my home. One of the things that really attracted me was their meat department. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool beef lover and I could not get over their selection and pricing. They do their own butchering on site, so the meat is incredibly fresh. And the stores aren't even close.

When I first started shopping there, all of the meat was graded USDA Choice. But about 7 years ago they also started to offer USDA Prime...the highest quality beef you can buy. That's the stuff usually reserved for restaurants. While you can find USDA  Prime beef at Lund's and Byerly's, they charge twice what Costco does.

I love steak, so that is the cut I buy most often. I also love beef short ribs, but I almost never buy them at Costco because they only sell boneless. If I'm braising or roasting short ribs, I want bone-in as it seriously amps up the flavor.

When it comes to bone-in short ribs, there are two cuts available. The one pictured above on the left is an English cut. It consists of a large, single bone and a healthy amount of meat. The one on the right is called a flanken cut. It consists of four or five ribs attached to the meat. When I braise short ribs, I use the English cut. When I roast short ribs, I use the flanken cut as more of the beef is next to those delicious bones.

In my 17 years of shopping Costco, they have only carried boneless short ribs. Two days ago I was at my beloved Eden Prairie Costco when the earth shifted on it's axis. There in the beef section sat flanken cut short ribs. Just when I thought it was never going to get any better than this, I picked up the package and saw the USDA PRIME label. Bone-in, USDA PRIME short ribs at just $7.49 per pound. Be still my heart.

USDA Prime means that these short ribs have a lot more fat than run of the mill USDA Choice. Typically, when you roast beef, it's at temperatures of 400º plus. But in slow roasting, you use a much lower temperature. There is so much delicious fat and collagen in short ribs, that slow roasting gradually melts them down and intensifies that flavor in the meat. It's like beef flavor to the power of ten in each incredibly tender and moist morsel. This Chris Morocco recipe serves four.

4 cloves garlic
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2-1/2 pounds flanken cut beef short ribs (4 riblets in each piece of meat)
Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven 275º.
  2. Process garlic in a garlic press into a small bowl. Mix in rosemary, oil, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Mix until a paste forms.
  3. Season ribs generously with salt and pepper and place in a cast iron skillet. Coat the ribs all over with garlic paste. Cover skillet tightly in aluminum foil.
  4. Place skillet in oven and cook for 2-1/2 hours. Then serve.

Wine pairing: With the big flavor of this dish, you need a big, bold red...and only an Amarone will do!

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