What comes to mind when one thinks of short ribs? Luxuriant is probably an apt choice of word — rich, tender, and fatty (in a good way) and usually braised with the bone in, short ribs are time-consuming to prepare and meant only for special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays, boss-over-for-dinner nights, and family reunions. But what if we told you that wasn't the only way to prepare the dinnertime treat?
Armand Ferrante, a butcher at Whole Foods Market in Middletown, N.J., has created a new cut of short rib, and it's boneless.
Now, before anybody gets wise, no — it didn't come from a boneless cow. Ferrante, who once ran his father's locally beloved shop in Philadelphia, Ferrante's Meats, recently won a nationwide contest hosted by Whole Foods Market, and claimed the title of 2012 National Best Butcher for creating the Jersey Boneless Short Rib Steak, a price-friendly, versatile cut available nationwide that can not only be braised, but also grilled, baked, and pan-seared — just like a steak.
Ferrante says to "treat it like a steak, any steak of that thickness."
But should you decide to braise it, it'll taste wonderful, too. And the best part is, you won't need to cook it nearly as long.
So where does this new cut come from anyway? After all, it's not every day that someone discovers a part of the cow that wasn't there before — take the hanger steak, for example. Ferrante's lifelong experience as a butcher, however, helped him do just that.
The new cut actually comes from the forequarter, the same area where "normal" short ribs are derived. Ferrante says that the bone-in short ribs that most people are used to come from one of two sections of the forequarter: either the rib of beef, where we get cuts such as the prime rib, rib of beef, or rib steak; or the chuck of beef.
In developing his new cut, Ferrante chose the latter, which is a leaner cut of meat, but is also thicker once it's off the bone. The problem with using the rib of beef, he found, was that there really wasn't very much meat left once the bone was removed.
His hard work has paid off. The result is tender and richly flavored, yet less fatty than what most people are used to when they think of short ribs. Much of the fat has already been trimmed off, which is why the cut is triangular rather than rectangular, like most short ribs.
But enough talking — it's time to get in the kitchen and start cooking. So fire up those burners! Six original recipes await your taste buds. Oh, and one more thing — we'd like to say congratulations to the winner of Recipe SWAT Team this week, Maya Noguchi, who created a Japanese Short Rib Stew.
Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.