12 Best Short Ribs Substitutes

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12 Best Short Ribs Substitutes



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Short ribs have a special way of making your dishes (especially sauces) come out highly flavored and rich tasting. They are actually gotten from cow ribs and can be used for a good number of dishes.

Short ribs are naturally tough, but the method of preparation is not about just cooking it for a long period of time, instead, it is cooking it for long hours under a very low heat. When the meat is cooked soft, the sweet flavor comes out.

If you ever run out of short ribs to use at the point of cooking, do not fret or leave your cooking for later. Simply acquaint yourself with the following tasty short ribs substitutes as they will come in very handy.

Best Short Ribs Substitutes

1. Beef Plate Short Ribs

We begin with the beef plate short ribs as its process is very simple. You just have to gather all the plate ribs that you have and broil.

You can then transfer into an iron pot preferably, introduce your flavors followed closely by other ingredients like ketchup, margarine, vinegar, diced onions and so on before you blend.

Next step is to, with the help of the broiler, cook the blended mixture for a couple of hours until the texture becomes delicate. Viola! What you have is your own meat short ribs that you can use in different delicacies or just feast on like that.

One last thing though, when using the beef plate short ribs, you must see that you use just enough amount as too much of it can drown the real taste of the dish due to its increased fixation. The beef plate short ribs can adequately cater for lots of people as it is more of beef than fat.

Furthermore, when substituting, ensure that you use a lesser quantity for they are not as bony as the short ribs.

See Also: Best Substitutes for Beef Brisket

2. Beef Shank

Out of short ribs but desperately need meat for your dish? The beef shank can fill in quite perfectly, as it’s one of the best short ribs substitutes.

The leg part of the beef is what is being referred to as the beef shank. It is a very strong and tough meat due to how often the muscle is put to use.

Now that you know the meat is tough, it is important that you boil for a longer period than normal. Beef shanks are very similar to short ribs and they can be used for your soups and stews. As an added advantage, you will even get them at a considerable cheaper price than short ribs.

3. Veal

Veal cut out of specific places like the shoulder can be used in place of short ribs and can be used in the preparation of your stews.

There is a long string of benefit attached to the Veal particularly, the lean Veal. They are less fatty and a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. Not to mention the exciting flavor they add to your dishes.

4. Pork

What’s a list of viable short ribs substitute without the pork? The great thing about the pork is that it can be readily found for purchase in different parts of the world plus, they are large enough to conveniently serve plenty amounts of people.

When making use of the shoulders, see that you boil it briefly, as for the flanks, they are better off broiled. The options are, however, wider when it comes to the ribs. Once properly marinated, you can choose to grill, fry or smoke.

The deliciouand and ever popular pork meat has a very fatty part and a lean part. This means that you can decide to cut off the greasy part depending on your health choices.

5. Lamb legs and shank

Lamb legs is yet another great option to use as a short ribs substitute. As a matter of fact, they both share similarities in price and flavor amongst other things. They are not so tough and so, can be easily cut to your preferred sizes and, the taste is better experienced.

You can have the lamb legs boiled or broiled. They are generally preferred because they have less fat and are rich in flavor. The downside to this choice of meat is that they can hardly be found in random stores or supermarts. You can however, see them to buy in big meat stores.

For the best results, have them spiced up before roasting. Ensure that the oven is set at the right temperature and that it stays in there till it is completely roasted. You would afterwards, have to allow it cool off before cutting into size.

One tip that you should know about this meat though is its excessive fatty nature. This makes feasting on the meat alone not advised in order to control your fatty intake.

See Also: Best Beef Tenderloin Substitutes

6. Beef Back Ribs

If beef back or beef ribs does not sound familiar to you, how about dinosaur ribs, rib bones, finger ribs or meat riblets? These are all names the beef back ribs go by depending on the butcher.

The beef back ribs is in a class of its own, it is very known for its unique texture, taste and aroma.

When using as a substitute for short ribs, have it cut proportionally, just the way the short ribs are. You also have to take into cognizance the fact that the beef back ribs do not not contain as much fat as the short ribs and so, you can absolutely use the same oil in preparing other dishes.

7. Beef Flanken Ribs

Easily located just surrounding the short ribs, the beef flanken ribs is an exceptional choice of substitute for the short ribs.

The cut of this meat requires some degree of expertise. It is cut slightly thinly in a systematic way that takes a proportion of the bones and rib bones. But, if you would rather do without the bones, it is best you go for the flanken ribs.

Bearing in mind how very tender it is, you should have it cooked briefly. If you ever need to stir fry, be sure to try out the amazing flanken  beef.

The beef flanken ribs is considered to be a lean meat. This means that it contains very little fat and as such, is very healthy. A combination of healthy, affordable and tasty should be top choice for you.

8. Beef Chuck Roast

You should absolutely try out this great marbled meat sometime soon. The way and manner in which the fat disintegrates into the meat as you boil plus, its release of a burst of some very tantalizing flavors is something definitely worth experiencing.

The beef chuck roast really does not need to be intensely seasoned, just have it moderately done and smoked.

While cooking, have it set to a very low temperature and use in equal amount when substituting. The beef chuck roast is absolutely perfect for beef stews.

If you are looking for a very affordable substitute for the short ribs, your best best is getting the chuck shoulder.

9. Brisket

Brisket is one meat so strong that you have to spend time boiling for a long time. You will find them to cut out at the breast or the lower chest region of cattles.

Have the brisket used instead of the short ribs in recipes you thought only the short ribs are useful for and see if you still can still tell the difference in taste and flavor. When substituting, use the same quantity as you would the short ribs.

10. Tempeh

The tempeh is one short ribs substitute that is absolutely great for vegans. It is a soy coated meat with an absolutely refreshing nutty flavor. One good thing about the tempeh is its versatility and ability to bring out the best in numerous dishes.

See Also: How Much Beef Wellington Per Person?

11. Tofu

Tofu gives you a slice of two worlds – seitan and tempeh. A delightful choice of meat for vegans, the tofu surprisingly, has no distinct flavor of its own, it however beats the imagination of many how it manages to take in flavors of the dish its been used to prepare and come out really tasty.

For best results and for a closer substitute for short ribs, get the firm tofu instead so, it doesn’t get too soggy after mopping up too much liquid.

12. Seitan

The seitan is very nutritious. It was made with wheat gluten which gives it a very mild flavor.

As a result of its unique quality in soaking up secondary flavors in a dish, have it sparsely spiced or marinated before use.


When you get to experience the unique meaty goodness the short ribs adds to your meals especially, you stews and stir fries, it becomes almost impossible for you to do without them.

However, with the carefully selected options above, you really do not need to worry whenever you run out of them or for some reason, cannot find it to buy. These options have all been tested by various chefs and have been proven to be indeed, perfect short rib substitutes.

The key fact to note when using them as a substitute is, to cut and use in the right proportions.


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