Grilled Short Ribs with Fried Garlic and Rosemary
There was a point last summer where I was really craving a big, beefy, well seared steak. I kept going to butcher websites and adding some dry aged ribeyes to my cart, but never checking out when reaching the prospect of actually paying the high price tag. That went on for awhile, but my desire for steak never ebbed and I noticed that my local grocery actually had well marbled boneless short ribs that I thought would hit the spot for this craving. I bought them, cooked them up, and dressed the short ribs with fried garlic and rosemary and was left more than satisfied. I was so pleased with the meal that I wished I had grilled the steaks, instead of pan-searing, so they would provide fodder for this site to share with all of you. So when another steak craving hit again this spring, I knew exactly what to make, this time done on the grill, which only served to make the dish all the better.
If you're like me, you probably mainly consider short ribs for low and slow cooking, like braising or smoking, but they're also incredible when cooked hot and fast. When cooking them in this manner though, it's best to go boneless for faster and more even cooking, and that also allows you the opportunity to trim off the thick, hard fat that does need the long cooking times to effectively render and/or become tender. My local grocery sells boneless short ribs already pepped like this, but before I could get them pre-trimmed, I would just buy a bone-in rack and do the butchering myself.
I kept the prep of the ribs bare bones with only a generous salt and pepper seasoning. I applied this the morning I was going to cook the ribs for dinner and let the beef rest in the fridge during the down time. In this period, the salt acts as a brine, drawing moisture out, and then back into the meat, which intensifies the flavor and aids moisture retention. You need a minimum of 45 minutes for this to work, so if you're shorter on time than that, it's best to just salt and pepper right before the meat goes on the grill.
The garlic and rosemary topping came about because I had a bunch of both on hand the first time around I made this. It was worth repeating, but I could see it not being for everyone as both are bit strong, and the garlic is bitter, although I think when paired up with the flavorful and beefy steak, everything tastes great together. To prep the garlic, I sliced some medium cloves into thin pieces.
I then put them into a small pan with some extra-virgin olive oil and slowly cooked over medium heat. I had tiny cast iron pan that was perfect for this use, but you might find you may need more oil than the recipe calls for if you're trying to use a large saucepan—you just need enough oil to cover the garlic. Once the garlic began to brown, I tossed in rosemary leaves from a couple sprigs and let those cook too.
The rosemary went in second since it doesn't take as long to cook as the garlic, and by the time the garlic was a pale golden brown, the rosemary was more than done. I strained the rosemary and garlic and transferred them to a paper towel lined plate to drain, and also reserved the now flavor packed frying oil too.
Short ribs, like my favorite skirt steak, work great when grilled over high heat alone with no need for roasting time. That's thanks to their compact size that both sears and achieves an ideal medium-rare temperature at the same time. For even cooking and the crustiest sear, it's best to flip the steaks pretty frequently during cooking.
I like a nice rosy red steak, so I go for the rare to medium-rare range, and 125°F in the center is a good target temp for that. That's on the higher side of rare, and then with some carryover cooking once off the grill, the temperature will continue to climb to the low end of medium-rare.
I took each piece of short rib off the grill as it reached the target temp, and once they were all done and rested for five minutes, I sliced them into 1/4-inch pieces against the grain. Then to serve, I plated up the sliced steak squares, drizzled on some of the reserved oil, and sprinkled the meat with the garlic and rosemary.
This may look like a small and delicate steak, but its flavor is anything but. With a lot of intramuscular fat, the short ribs have a robust beefiness that rivals the bigger boys like ribeyes and strips. Pair that with the deep, crusty sear developed on the grill and each little square of steak delivered an immense flavor that can satisfy most any steak craving. As I mentioned before, the garlic and rosemary themselves are also heavy handed, making them a good partners here with the garlic also providing a pleasing textural crunch on top of a bitterness that mellows and melds when eaten along with the steak. The herbal touch of the rosemary is just the icing on the cake in this dish, which was one I was only too happy to make twice in order to get it on this site and into your eyes and stomachs!
Grilled Short Ribs with Fried Garlic and Rosemary
- Yield 4 servings
- Prep 15 Minutes
- Inactive 50 Minutes
- Cook 10 Minutes
- Total 1 Hour 15 Minutes
- 2lbs boneless short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 medium cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- Leaves from 2 large sprigs of rosemary
- Season short ribs generous with salt and pepper all over. Transfer to a wire rack set in a baking sheet and place in refrigerator for 45 minutes to overnight.
- Place garlic and oil in a small saucepan or skillet set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic just begins to brown. Add in rosemary and continue to cook until garlic turns light golden brown. Pour oil through a fine mesh strainer set over a small heatproof bowl. Transfer garlic and rosemary to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside strained oil and fried garlic and rosemary.
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place short ribs on grill and cook, flipping frequently, until well seared on all sides and thickest part of steaks registers 125°F on an instant read thermometer. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Cut short ribs into 1/4-inch slices against the grain. Divide sliced steak evenly among 4 plates. Drizzle steaks with reserved oil and sprinkle on fried garlic and rosemary. Serve immediately.