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Short ribs are cuts of beef taken from the underside of a cow's rib cage, where the meat is often more tender than other rib cuts. They are enjoyed for their rich flavor, and are generally meatier than spareribs, which come from the top side of a cow's rib cage. Short ribs are quite popular in many parts of the world, including the United States, Asia, and Europe. There are many ways to prepare this cut of beef, but slow-cooking methods typically yield the tastiest results.
The most common way to cook short ribs is to first brown, or sear, the beef in a skillet, and then bake it in the oven, at a low temperature, for several hours. Some cooks find it easier to use a Crock-Pot®, which allows a cook to prepare the short ribs early in the day, and slowly simmer them for up to ten hours. When the short ribs are properly prepared and ready to eat, the succulent meat should practically fall off the bone. Quite often, potatoes or other vegetables can be added to the baking pan or Crock-Pot® for a complete, tasty meal.
In the United Kingdom, where short ribs are known as Jacob’s ladder, they are often prepared using the slow-cooking method of braising. Similar cooking styles are used in French and American cuisine as well. The dish is often served with meat on the bones.
Some people prefer the smoky flavor of rib meat cooked on an outdoor grill. Quite often, it is first baked for a short time in the oven to help reduce grilling time. Barbecue sauces, herbs, and spices are frequently added, enhancing the flavor. Basting the meat with a marinade while it grills usually prevents it from drying out. For the most part, the ribs are presented with the bone in place, but in some cases, they are removed prior to serving.
A popular Korean short ribs dish called galbi is one recipe in which the meat is prepared on the grill and served without the bones. The meat is cut into strips and marinated in a Korean soy sauce prior to grilling. Often, green onions, sesame oil, and garlic enhance the marinade, along with sugar or honey, giving the dish subtle sweetness. Once the meat is grilled, the pieces of rib meat are served with white rice, and sometimes wrapped with a lettuce leaf. Spicy Korean red bean paste, or red pepper paste, combined with garlic can be added to the wrap to construct a tangy, flavorful entrée.