Fall apart melt in your mouth, juicy, and delicious, sous vide short ribs are a perfect meal for any occasion. Sous vide cooking removes any guess work and worry from cooking this cut of beef.
Sous vide short ribs are the perfect way to get fork-tender, juicy ribs without any of the hassle. This recipe has about 10-minutes of hands-on time for an amazing entree that will impress any guest you can imagine.
This cooking method uses a water bath and precise temperature control to cook the ribs slowly and evenly, resulting in ribs that are packed with flavor and fall-off-the-bone tender.
Plus, sous vide beef ribs are incredibly easy to make - simply season the ribs, seal them in a bag, and cook them in the water bath.
What is sous vide cooking?
Sous vide is a cooking technique that involves sealing food in a vacuum-sealed bag and then cooking it in a water bath or steam oven at a precise, consistent temperature.
This low-temperature cooking method allows for food to be cooked evenly throughout, without overcooking the outer layers. Sous vide also allows for foods to retain their natural moisture and flavors, making for a more flavorful and tender dish. When sous vide cooking meat, it is typically finished or reverse seared. Popular reverse-searing methods include using a hot skillet, a torch, a broiler, or a grill.
Most sous vide machines are just small appliances that you combine with a container that can hold hot water. You don't need a big sous vide machine made to hold the water. You can even just use a cooler with a lid.
Beef Shortribs - Shortribs can come in several different cuts. I used the boneless cut. For this cut, the butcher cuts the meat away from the bone. The result is a slab of meat about two inches thick and nine inches long. You can also use bone-in, English-style short ribs as well.
Onions - I love using onions. They add a depth of flavor and a touch of sweetness as they cook down. Onions are a great addition to several beef preparations.
Garlic - Fresh garlic has a bold flavor and is versatile. When selecting garlic, look for plump bulbs that are firm to the touch with no signs of mold. The skin should be dry and papery, and the cloves should be tightly packed together. To use fresh garlic, simply peel off the skin and chop as desired.
Thyme - Thyme is a perennial herb that is part of the mint family. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used since ancient times. Thyme is a delicate herb with a light, lemony flavor.
Salt and Pepper - These are crucial ingredients for any well-seasoned meal. I like to use coarse kosher salt in savor dishes and freshly ground black pepper is my favorite.
How to Make Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs
Step 1: Remove the short rib from the packaging and pat dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper then place into a vacuum seal bag with sliced onions, chopped garlic, and a few sprigs of thyme. Then use a vacuum sealer to seal the bag.
Step Two: Place the sealed bag into your preheated sous vide water bath. Allow the beef to sous vide in the water bath at 160°F for 48 hours.
Expert Tip: On long sous vide cooks, be sure to cover your water bath to stop evaporation. You don't want to have to add more water to your sous vide as it is cooking. The goal is to keep it at a constant precise temperature. If you don't have a lid you can use foil or plastic wrap.
Step Three: Once the beef is done in the sous vide, remove it from the sealed bag. Reserve the liquid in the bag to make an optional red wine sauce.
Step Four: Reverse-sear the sous vide beef ribs on a preheated high-heat grill. It only takes two minute per side over high heat, to give a nice seared texture to the beef. Alternatively, you can sear it on the stovetop in a piping hot cast iron skillet.
Expert Tip: When reverse searing after sous vide cooking, it is important to dry the meat before searing. If you don't, the heat source needs to first evaporate the moisture before it can sear the meat. This will result in a poor sear and dry overcooked meat. The easiest way to dry it is to use a paper towel to pat it dry.
Step Five: Once the beef is seared, plate and serve. Enjoy!
This short ribs recipe is easy to customize to your own taste preferences.
Spices - Sub in your favorite spice rub for the seasonings mentioned.
Herbs - We chose thyme but rosemary, sage, or oregano would also work in this recipe. You can add some crushed bay leaves or
Shallots - Swap out the onions and garlic for shallots which have notes of flavor found in each of these. Add in a couple of pats of butter along with the shallots to kick this up a notch.
Teriyaki - Drizzle the beef with some sesame oil and soy sauce, rub it with brown sugar, and then seal it with onions and garlic.
What are beef short ribs?
Beef short ribs are a cut that is taken from the lower portion of the cow's rib cage. This area is located near the animal's front legs and is home to some of the most flavorful and tender meat on the cow. The ribs are cut into individual pieces and then typically braised, grilled, or cooked via sous vide. Beef short ribs are famous for their intense flavor and succulent texture.
What if I don't have a vacuum sealer?
It is easy to use a ziplock bag. Just put your ingredients into a zip lock bag without sealing it. Slowly submerge it into the water bath bottom first making sure no water goes into the bag. As the bag of ingredients goes into the water, the water pressure removes the air from the bag and then you can seal it. This is called the water displacement method.
What do I serve with sous vide short ribs?
Vegetables: If you decide to serve this with potatoes I would choose a green vegetable to go with them like green beans or broccoli.
Salad: Since the beef is so rich a refreshing side salad goes well.
Bread: Our Cornbread Casserole falls somewhere between cornbread and corn pudding but is a perfect side for this.
Sous Vide Short Ribs
- 1 lb boneless beef short rib
- ¼ small onion
- 2 garlic clove
- 2 sprigs thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the water bath with sous vide. Set water temperature to 160°F.
- Slice a quarter of a small onion into thin slices. Mince two cloves of fresh garlic.
- Remove the boneless short rib from its packaging and pat it dry with a paper towel. Place it into a sealable bag along with sliced onions, minced garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Vacuum seal bag.
- Place the sealed bag into the water bath at 160°F for 48 hours.
- Once the cooking time has ended, remove the short rib from the bag and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Reverse-sear the rib on a hot grill over high heat. Cook for 2 minutes per side.
- Plate and serve!
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