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Cooking Steak? Try Whole Boneless Short Ribs

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2013

Instead of cutting boneless short ribs into strips, the meat can be left whole and cooked just like a steak.

Typically, so-called boneless short ribs are not real ribs at all. They are cut from the meat above the ribs closest to the shoulder (i.e., the chuck). The bones near the shoulder are too narrow for it to make sense to keep them attached to the meat, so butchers simply remove them and cut the meat into short rectangular “ribs.” (Why the practice of cutting the meat into rib facsimiles came about we can’t say.) But there’s a different way to enjoy this meat: Instead of cutting it into strips, the meat can be left whole and cooked just like a steak. Whole Foods began selling the whole cut as Jersey boneless short rib steak in 2012 (for about $9 a pound), and butchers we know rave about eating the meat this way. When we tried it, our tasters praised the cut’s juiciness and beefy flavor—benefits of its deep marbling. While it’s not a naturally tender cut, the steak doesn’t have a lot of connective tissue, so it can be cooked quickly, either grilled or pan-seared. Cooked to medium-rare and sliced thin across the grain, it has a slight chew, similar to that of a flank steak. We like this cut when it is less than 1 inch thick. If your steak is more than 1 inch thick, slice it in half horizontally. To buy the steak, just tell your butcher that you want uncut boneless short ribs from the chuck.

BONELESS SHORT RIB STEAK: If your steak is thicker than 1 inch, halve it horizontally.