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Traditional American Lunch Grilled Beef Short Ribs

The meat on these grilled beef short ribs is so tender that it falls right off the bone. Flanken beef short ribs are cut crosswise from the sixth, seventh and eighth rib. Each piece should contain three crosscut rib bones. If you don’t see them in the meat case, you can usually special-order them from your butcher.


  • For the Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup medium-sweet sherry (or pineapple juice)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed, light or dark)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds flanken beef short ribs (well-trimmed, about 1/2-inch thick)
  • For the Barbecue Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves (pureed if extremely chunky)
  • 1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Garnish: chopped scallions

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this short ribs dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and grilling.

Make the Marinade

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the sherry and soy sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the oil, garlic, and pepper and set it aside to cool completely.​
  4. In a large, shallow bowl, combine the ribs and marinade, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 12 hours, turning the ribs occasionally.

Make the Barbecue Sauce

  1. To make your own barbecue sauce, combine brown sugar, onion salt, garlic powder, ground ginger, white vinegar, ketchup, apricot preserves (pureed if extremely chunky), Worcestershire sauce, and honey in a small bowl.
  2. Transfer to a small sauce pot and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. With a whisk, add 2 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes, a couple at a time until blended. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly before using.

Grill the Ribs

  1. Heat a gas grill to medium-high, prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a broiler. If you’re using a charcoal grill, start the fire 30 to 40 minutes before grilling. The fire’s right when coals look ash-covered and you can hold your hand 4 to 5 inches (grill height) over the coals for 4 seconds.
  2. Drain the ribs and discard the marinade. Grill or broil the ribs 4 to 6 inches from the heat source for 10 minutes for medium-rare, 12 minutes for medium, and 14 minutes for well done.
  3. Turn and baste with barbecue sauce twice.
  4. Remove the ribs to a serving platter and serve right away with any extra sauce for dipping. Garnish with chopped scallions if you wish.
  5. Serve and enjoy!


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