Skip to Content

What Is A Good Substitute For Beef Short Ribs? 7+ Amazing Alternatives

What Is A Good Substitute For Beef Short Ribs? 7+ Amazing Alternatives

Short ribs are a favorite menu choice at many excellent restaurants, and home chefs love to prepare them as well. This cut of beef is incredibly versatile since short ribs can be grilled, slow roasted, or braised.

If you have a recipe for beef short ribs, and you can’t find them, you can try our listed alternatives. You will still enjoy the savory, beefy goodness that you were expecting, and you’ll then understand what is a good substitute for beef short ribs for a whole range of meals with sides.

Good Substitutes for Short Ribs

Short Ribs

Beef Chuck Roast

Beef Chuck Roast

Beef chuck roast comes from the same general area of the beef carcass as the short ribs. Therefore, for flavor that is pretty much identical to the short ribs, beef chuck roast is the best substitution for short ribs.

The chuck roast is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat, and it is richly marbled with fat which melts in cooking to yield juicy, tender, flavorful beef. 

Beef Plate Short Ribs

Beef Plate Short Ribs

Despite the similar sounding name, beef plate short ribs are not the same as ordinary short ribs. Beef plate short ribs have a higher fat content than short ribs. It comes from the lower body of the beef carcass, from between the brisket and the flank.

Because beef plate short ribs have a higher fat content than the typical short ribs, the meat cooks up with more flavor and tenderness.One nice thing about beef plate short ribs is that they are typically meatier than short ribs, so you can add fewer pounds of plate short ribs to your recipe to get a similar amount of meat.

Beef Back Ribs

Beef Back Ribs

One of the most popular cuts of beef, beef back ribs are a larger cut of meat than the short ribs. This piece of meat comes from the muscles around the backbone of the beef animal.

While this cut of meat does not have large pieces of meat in it, the meat that is there has a strong beefy flavor and can be cooked in the exact same ways that short ribs can be cooked with the same seasonings & rubs.

Beef Flanken Ribs

Korean Barbeque Beef Short Ribs (Kalbi or Galbi) sizzling on a hot plate with rising smoke. The cut is also called flanken.

Coming from the same general area of the side of beef as the short ribs, beef flanken ribs are thinly sliced pieces of meat that comes from the muscles near the rib bones. These are also sometimes called cross-cut ribs or Korean short ribs. Each piece has three or four small pieces of bone surrounded by tender, savory beef.

Before you cook, use a sharp knife to remove any small bone shards from the meat, since eating around these pieces of bone can be irritating. Beef flanken ribs can be grilled. However, you should marinate them in an acidic marinade for 3 to 4 hours before cooking to help tenderize the meat

Beef Flank Steaks

Beef Flank Steaks

Low in fat, flank steaks come from the belly of the beef steer. You will have to cook them carefully, or flank steaks will quickly become dry and tough in cooking. Flank steak should be marinated in an acidic marinade to tenderize it.

This cut of meat needs to be quickly cooked on the grill or under the broiler. It is also perfect for stir-fry or pan frying. A beef flank steak can give you the rich beefy flavors for which beef short ribs are popular.

Lamb Legs and Shanks

Lamb Legs and Shanks

Many people are trying to cut back on their consumption of beef, and if this is you, know that you can substitute lamb (or goat!) for short ribs. For a comparable piece of meat, lamb legs or lamb shanks (though not lamb chops) will provide the meaty flavor that you love.

Leg of lamb comes from the sheep’s upper leg, while lamb shanks come from the sheep’s lower leg. While lamb meat is chewier and more flavorful than beef, it also is healthier.

Lamb provides greater amounts of vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, selenium, and higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids. Lamb legs and shanks are best cooked braised or slow roasted.

Pork Ribs

Pork Ribs

Depending on the market, sometimes pork can be cheaper than beef. Pork ribs are excellent marinated and barbecued. To get the style that is most similar to beef short ribs, choose pork short ribs.

To keep the pork ribs tender and moist, use a long, low cooking style like smoking or slow cooking (in a pinch you can use a tenderizer). This will tenderize the meat and make it “fall apart tender.” Pork has a mild flavor that accepts marinades well, so you can adapt the meat to the flavor that you like best. 

What are Short Ribs?

Cuts of Beef

Short ribs is a cut of meat consisting of five short ribs taken from the chuck portion of the beef steer.  The chuck on the beef steer is taken from the shoulder area of the carcass. The meat from this area is a bit too tough to make a good steak, as well as being too small to make a decent sized steak.

The meat from the short ribs is from a muscle group that is often used and therefore can be tough. With proper cooking, though, the meat can be delectable. However, despite the toughness, the meat from the short ribs is incredibly rich and flavorful. 

How are Short Ribs Cooked?

Short ribs have to be cooked in a way that helps to tenderize this often tough cut of beef.  They are often braised, roasted, or boiled. It is not unusual for people to use appliances like a slow cooker or pressure cooker to cook their short ribs.

It is also common for people to smoke short ribs. Short ribs need a long, slow, low cooking method to tenderize the meat. As they cook, the connective tissues in the muscle melt into scrumptious gelatin, creating rich, flavorful sauces.