Who doesn’t like juicy and delicious BBQ short ribs? Its deep beefy flavor has people wanting more and more. But since they are quite expensive, people are always on the lookout for their substitutes.
If you are one of them, we highly suggest going with Beef plate short ribs, beef back ribs, veal, etc. But there are several other substitutes that you can replace your short ribs with without any major discrepancies.
Also, if you are cutting down on meat for some religious reason, then we have options for our vegetarian and vegan friends too. Not just that, you can also learn the ideal method for cooking short ribs, their nutritional facts, and many more.
What are short ribs?
As the name suggests, short ribs are the meat portion of cattle ribs, and they are served in two different ways:
- English cut (usually sliced parallel to the bone and is between 4 and 6 inches long).
- Flanken (it is made from cutting an inch thick slice across numerous rib bones so that both bone and piece of meat are connected).
Short ribs meat is full of flavors as they have an essential layer of meat and fat. They can get tender when you cook them. You can easily chew and have all the flavors in one bite.
When you prepare them on a slow simmer, it releases fats, which helps to make the meat moist. This causes it to slide off the bone and have a buttery, deep beef flavor.
This meat carries both copious marblings and a deep beefy taste as it is taken from the chunk and rib portion of cattle.
What are the nutrient benefits of adding short ribs to your diet?
|Thiamin [Vitamin B1]||0.08||mg|
|Riboflavin [Vitamin B2]||0.133||mg|
|Niacin [Vitamin B3]||2.888||mg|
|Pantothenic acid [Vitamin B5]||0.272||mg|
|Vitamin B12 [Cobalamin]||2.89||mcg|
|Folate, DFE [Vitamin B9]||5.65||mcg|
|Phenylalanine + Tyrosine||1.182||g|
|Methionine + Cysteine||0.416||g|
|Saturated fatty acids||17.809||g|
|Monounsaturated fatty acids||18.521||g|
|Polyunsaturated fatty acids||1.492||g|
10 Best Short Rib Substitutes For Your Recipes
If you don’t have short ribs in your kitchen and want to have them in your dinner, you can prepare many dishes using the alternatives that we have mentioned in this section.
If you want to know what these are, just scroll down.
1. Beef plate short ribs
The juiciest and most flavorful option for short ribs is beef plate short ribs. It is sliced under the ribs portion of cattle. It may look akin to short ribs. However, this meat section has a lot of fats.
So, while preparing beef plate short ribs, you make sure not to use oil as it will reduce fats in the pan.
Note: You’ll see a thick fat cap on top of the beef plate short ribs while cooking them. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t melt like other meats, so you should remove them before you start cooking.
Are you thinking about the taste and marbled effect of meat now?
Well, don’t worry. Ribs will retain their juiciness, and there will be enough marbling. And because of this, the price also plays a vital role. Like at the same rate of chuck roast or flanked ribs, you get more flesh and less fat.
This piece of flesh is ideal for braising, but you can also make a pot roast if you want. While substituting this meat with short ribs, you can use fewer of them because short ribs have more bones.
2. Beef back ribs
One of the wonderful substitutes for short ribs can be beef back ribs. This meat is sliced from the back of cattle, right from their dorsal area behind their shoulders.
After chopping the prime rib roast, beef back ribs are cut. You’ll find meat between the rib bones. This portion of meat can be cooked in a braising pan or for grilling. Another name for them is beef spare ribs, and they’re great for BBQ.
This meat portion tastes similar to short ribs, but you will get more fats in this. It may not be healthy, but it carries full flavors and resembles the same texture as short ribs.
Moreover, back ribs provide the most delectable cuts, such as ribeye steak and prime rib roast, which can be used as a substitute for boneless beef short ribs.
3. Beef chuck roast
It is also referred to as blade roast. It is a fatty portion that is taken out from the neck and shoulder area of the cow. And you can use them in your cuisine as short ribs.
These are budget-friendly, so if you want to prepare some delicious meat in your budget, you can surely go for a beef chuck roast. This meat portion lacks carbs and sugar.
Moreover, they are tender in texture. You can simply make hamburgers, beef stews out of them, or just braise them on the pan with a little red wine. It will make meat beefy, tender, and flavorful.
4. Flanken ribs
Using flanken ribs in place of short ribs can also work in your recipe, especially if you are running out of time. These ribs are beef ribs with thinly cut flesh across the rib region. It is mouthwatering and consists of 3-4 small bones.
These are already sliced into thin shapes, so you don’t need to cook them much. You can simply jazz them up on the grill and enjoy some Korean BBQ meat ready in no time.
You can also braise or bake them in order to make a tasty supper. If you marinate them before cooking, they will absorb all the flavors and become super soft as they are leaner meat.
They have fewer fats because this meat cut comprises connective tissue and muscle fibers.
It is tasty and reasonably priced as they also lack extra fatty content. So, this meat option is ideal for those days when you are broke and still want to have some meat, haha.
Tip: If you want to enjoy your meal with chunks of bones in between, make sure to use a butter knife and scrape out all bone shards off each flanken rib. Some leftover bone fragments are present as this meat cut is thinly sliced across the rib portion of cattle bone.
Well, you probably might not have guessed using veal in place of short ribs, but you can give it a try. I am sure you will love this alternative.
Did you know veal is a significant cut of meat in Europe, with the EU accounting for roughly 82 percent of global production?
This meat piece is sliced from the shoulder area, and it is lean meat. You can utilize these in stews, and other slow-cooked meals in place of short ribs when chopped into cubes.
Moreover, there are several nutrient benefits of using veal in your cuisine. They are loaded with magnesium, vitamin A, B3, B12, D, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
6. Beef shank
Swapping short ribs with beef shanks is also a nice idea. Beef shanks also have enough flesh as it comes from the leg portion of cattle. It is thick and sinewy.
These are highly popular for ground hamburger meat. Moreover, beef burgundy is also another classic dish prepared from this portion of the meat section.
It requires slow cooking, which means you must have enough patience and time (nearly 4-6 hours) while cooking beef shanks. The flesh will become tender only if it is cooked appropriately.
The perk of choosing these meat options is that they are easily available and also lower in price.
So, why not prepare some soups and stews from beef shanks this Sunday with your whole family?
On some occasions, you can try pork ribs instead of beef short ribs, especially when you are in the mood for short ribs and don’t want that beefy flavor.
This meat option has lots of fat and may be hard to cook. But, it tastes worth every penny because fats and cartilage surrounding and between the rib cage area fall off easily. Thus, it becomes incredibly juicy and luscious.
You can get country-style cut ribs they’re prepared by slicing loin along the middle and leaving a narrow rib bone with flesh attached and a narrow feather bone with meat connected.
You can try grilling pig ribs. Or bake them, smoke them with BBQ sauces and other sauces you prefer. It won’t give a beefy flavor, but you can still experiment and give your cuisine a twist.
Moreover, pork ribs are high in iron and zinc, and you must include these two elements in your diet.
It is because both minerals are crucial for immunity, and iron helps to give oxygen to your cells and tissues by moving oxygen through your bloodstream.
8. Chuck Shoulder
These are inexpensive alternatives with lots of fat content. Try using chuck shoulder in exchange for short ribs in your recipe. It will work fab.
Just like flanks, these are also connective tissue. These meat portions are from the shoulder area of beef and are softer and leaner than chuck roast.
They are ideal for preparing stews and steaks. You can use them in the same ratio in your recipe, just like short ribs.
If you don’t prefer eating chuck shoulders, then you can try a whole different meat option. That is our next option.
9. Lamb legs and shanks
You can get lamb shank or lamb leg, any of these in spite of short ribs, if you are trying to get rid of red meat and want to add a healthy meat option.
If you take lamb shanks, then this section is present above the knee, so it has less flesh and more sinewy fibers than the legs of lamb that are close to the sirloin and flank cuts. It is rough and ideal for braising.
Whereas if you prefer lamb legs, then the bone-in leg of lamb has a larger portion of meat that is already tender and well-suited to oven-roasting.
Lamb shanks are normally sold sliced, with core bone untouched, and are cooked on the bone with minimal prep. They are inexpensive because they require a lot of time to cook.
Moreover, it has a stronger gamey flavor, and when cooked well, all meat will fall off the bones. It is a healthy option because it is loaded with potassium, iron, magnesium, fatty acids, and protein.
Speaking of lamb legs, they are also ideal for slow roasting or braising. They are huge and have lean meat. Thus, they may be served pink without losing flavor.
While cooking, make sure to check the softness of the flesh with the help of a fork.
Note: It will maintain a majority of its nasty fragrance if not cooked or appropriately seasoned. So, to remove all that weirdness, add extra herbs and spices.
Choosing legs can be an expensive affair but trust me, it’s worth it. Remember, don’t go for the BBQ recipe if you choose lamb, as it will become chewy.
10. Beef Brisket
Have you tried replacing beef briskets with short ribs? If it is a no, you must go on and try ahead because it is an amazing alternative.
The meat is taken from the breast section of cattle, so it is boneless. It can weigh nearly 3-8 pounds. It is also connective tissue, and it is tough flesh.
It requires slow love, which means you must cook them slowly in order to get a perfect tender piece of meat in your dinner.
This piece of meat is usually made of two muscles that overlap each other. The first cut is thin, and the other one is the second cut or deckle point, which is generally fat and thick.
You can try smoked brisket or corned beef and cabbage. Brisket is also a popular traditional Jewish dish. Well, an oven and a slow cooker on low heat are two of the most convenient ways to prepare brisket.
Short Ribs Alternative Solely For Vegans.
If you don’t want to eat flesh for a spiritual reason or any other reason but also miss meaty short ribs, here are some substitutes for you.
Try a vegan alternative for short rib tempeh. It is a plant-based protein that is also power-packed with fibers. It is solely made out of soybean, brown rice, and water fermentation.
Well, it carries a nutty flavor, but you can adjust its taste according to your sauces and spices, as it will readily absorb all the flavors.
You should try marinating it with sauce and then grill it. I am sure it will taste heavenly, just like grilled short ribs.
If you love some extra crispiness, you should fry them before starting the actual grilling.
Note: To get rid of nutty flavor, you can toss them in the oven or let them steam for a few minutes before adding them to your dish.
If you are allergic to soybeans, you must avoid this option and try out the next substitute on our list.
If you are also a vegan, try using seitan in place of short ribs. It is a healthy option made of wheat flour or vital wheat gluten.
It’s manufactured by washing the starch out of wheat dough and leaving only the high-protein gluten.
With the help of the right sauces, herbs, and marinades, you can make them taste like short ribs. This will surely promise to give you a meaty flavor and texture. You can use them for BBQ or just grill them and eat.
If you wish to make it delicious and flavorful, you can marinate it and leave it for a few days in your fridge.
3. Firm tofu
Firm tofu can also play a nice role in offering your short ribs like flavor and texture. It is enriched with protein and absolutely flavorless, so you can use your skills to give this meaty texture block a meaty taste.
Note: It can get mushy if you do not add sauces appropriately, as it can quickly absorb all fluids because of the sponge feature.
Moreover, it is a gluten-free, low-calorie food that can help you with your dieting mission.
Is short rib the same as chuck?
Short ribs are obtained from the beef chuck part of the animal. There are five short ribs from the chuck part that aren’t used as good steaks.
What is another name for short ribs?
Short ribs are also known as barbecue ribs, fancy cut ribs, braising ribs, etc.
Are short ribs the same as baby back ribs?
Short ribs are located underneath the back ribs, and beef back ribs are between the bones. While short ribs have a layer of fat, beef back ribs are leaner.
Well, that’s a wrap!
If you run out of short ribs, then beef chuck roast, short plate ribs, lamb ribs, or lamb ribs are some of the best alternative options that you can use. Also, try beef chuck roast or beef brisket if you want to prepare some juicy, flavorful burgers.
If you want some vegan options, then you can go for tempeh, firm tofu, and seitan. When making them, the key thing to remember is to marinate them in the proper sauce, just like short ribs sauce.
Well, if you use any of our alternatives, do let us know your taste experience in the comment section.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.