This easy grilled beef short ribs recipe with a lemongrass-chile sauce and quick pickles will have dinner on the table in less than an hour.
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Yes! You can grill beef short ribs! Aren't you excited? I'm excited. Well, why wouldn't I be? Having a new idea for something to throw on the grill is always a good thing.
And the word "throw" here applies to everything in this recipe. Yes, you are making three components, but for the sauce/marinade, you're just throwing everything into the blender, for the pickles, you're just throwing them into a bowl of vinegar on the counter for a few minutes. Throw the marinade on the meat and throw the meat on the grill. Then just throw down, because these grilled beef short ribs are outta sight!
Why you should make it
This is the perfect summer grilling recipe - it's easy, it's fast, it's spicy, it's beefy - what more do you want from me, here?
Do you crave spicy in the summer? It makes you sweat, which cools you down. Or so they say. I crave spicy pretty much all the time. Am I always hot? Maybe. This easy, spicy marinade has just enough heat, balanced with bright ginger and lemongrass. Just thinking about it has cooled me off already.
And pickles! I can never get enough pickles. You can make these in about 5 minutes, and they are the perfect thing to cut through the richness of the grilled short ribs. Sprinkle a few on top, or maybe you'll just go ahead and eat all of them. I would.
- Flanken cut short ribs: For this recipe, you'll need beef short ribs cut "flanken style". This means that they are cut across the bone, so they are long and thin, instead of the short, fat English cut variety. You can find them in your butcher's case or order them from Snake River Farms like I did. It's important to me that the meat I buy is high quality and sustainably raised. I want to feel good about it. And I feel good about Snake River Farms. Secondly, you can feel good buying it, knowing that they practice sustainable farming and responsible animal handling, and they even donate meat to hungry families in their community. Find out more about their sustainable practices and commitment to quality on their website.
- Red Fresno chiles: Fresno chiles are about the same spice level as jalapeños, but they are fruitier.
- Lemongrass: Don't be afraid of the lemongrass stalks! It is really easy to work with and full of beautiful flavor and aroma.
- Ginger: Use fresh ginger, not the frozen cubes which have additives.
- Brown sugar
- Sesame oil: This oil adds a great nutiness but is very strong so we only need a small amount.
- Unseasoned rice vinegar: Be sure to get unseasoned rice vinegar, as seasoned has sugar and salt added to it.
- Persian cucumbers: I love these tiny cucumbers! If you can't find them, use English cucumbers and remove the seeds.
- Kosher salt
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Prep the short ribs:
Place the beef short ribs in a glass casserole dish. Season with salt. Leave them out of the fridge to come to room temperature, at least 15 minutes, and up to two hours.
Make the quick pickles
Whisk together the vinegar, salt and sugar.
Thinly slice about 3 Persian cucumbers to equal about 1 cup.
Add cucumbers to the vinegar mixture and stir. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to take on the flavor of the vinegar. You can gently squeeze them with your hands to speed up the process if you want, but don't crush or mangle them!
Make the lemongrass-chile sauce
Trim the tops off the lemongrass down to the tender part toward the bottom of the stem.
Remove the tough outer layers, and roughly chop it.
Slice the chiles in half and remove the seeds and ribs.
Peel the ginger, and slice it into rounds.
Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
I used my Cuisinart mini food processor to make the sauce in this photo, but doing it in the blender will make it smoother. Either works fine, just a difference in texture.
Coat the short ribs with the chile sauce and allow to marinate for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat your grill to medium high. Short ribs have a lot of fat, so make sure you don't get the heat too high or you'll get flare ups.
Place the short ribs on the grill and cook to medium-rare. If you are using flanken short ribs from the grocery store, they are likely very thin. These may only need 2 -3 minutes per side.
The short ribs I cooked were about an inch thick, so I cooked them about 4 - 5 minutes per side to get to medium-rare.
You can grill short ribs just like a steak. Cook to 130 degrees F for medium rare. Don't over cook or this cut will get tough.
Short ribs can be cut two different ways: English which are cut between the bones, or flanken. Flanken means they are cut across the bone, so instead of having short, thick pieces of meat with one bone, you have a longer, flatter piece of meat with a row of small bones on one side. Flanken means the short rib looks more like a steak.
This is a heated topic!! It seems like every recipe you read lately, they say to oil the grates. Here's what I think: NO. From my personal experience, that oil is just gonna burn right up the second it hits the grates, and do you no good whatsoever. If there is any oil in the marinade, this might help keep food from sticking, but there's no guarantee - turkey burgers gonna do what turkey burgers gonna do...stick.
The number one rule is: let it sit until it releases!! Generally, when any food - veggies, meat, etc., is ready to flip, it will "release" from the grill grates. If you try to flip and it's still sticking, don't force it, just give it another minute or two and check again. And be sure to start with grill grates that are clean.
What to serve on the side
- Strawberry Arugula Salad with Basil and Mint is a great way to start.
- Keep the smoky flavors going with Charred Broccoli with Calabrian Chili Paste and Lemon Yogurt Sauce.
- Peach crumble makes an excellent summer dessert.
More griling recipes
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri Sauce will give you a taste of Argentina.
- Grilled Halibut with Almond-Orange Mole - this is a quick mole sauce with just a few ingredients, not complicated.
- Grilled Turkey Burgers are simplicity at its finest.
- Roasted Vegetable Salad with Charred Lemon Vinaigrette will blow your mind by using whole grilled lemons in the dressing.
More beef recipes
- Pomegranate and Red Wine Braised Short Ribs use English cut short ribs and make a hearty yet elegant winter meal.
- Make a Cast Iron Skillet Steak any time of year, it's ready in minutes!
Grilled Beef Short Ribs with Quick Pickles
- 3 lbs short ribs cut flanken style, across the bone
Lemongrass- Chile Sauce
- 4 red Fresno chiles roughly chopped
- 3 lemongrass stalks, roughly chopped bottom part only, outer layers removed
- 1 3-inch piece of ginger
- 3 garlic cloves smashed
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup vegetable oil canola or grapeseed
- 3 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 cup sliced Persian cucumbers
- ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Whisk together the vinegar, sugar and salt.
- Slice the Persian cucumbers in to thin rounds and add to vinegar mixture.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. You can squeeze the cucumbers gently with your hands to speed up the pickling process.
- Pickles can be stored in the fridge for up to two months.
- Trim the tops off the lemongrass down to the tender part toward the bottom of the stem. Remove the tough outer layers, and roughly chop it.
- Slice the chiles in half and remove the seeds and ribs.
- Peel the ginger, and slice it into rounds.
- Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
Prep the short ribs:
- Place the beef short ribs in a glass casserole dish. Season with salt, and let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to two hours.
- Coat the short ribs with the chile sauce and allow to marinate for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your grill to medium.
- Place the short ribs on the grill and cook to medium-rare. Depending upon the thickness of the short ribs, 2 - 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
- Be sure to purchase "flanken style" short ribs that are cut across the bone. I ordered the short ribs in this recipe from Snake River Farms.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure policy here.