Best Braised BBQ Shortribs

I’m not a master-griller, but this recipe sure makes me feel like one! These short ribs are braised indoors then grilled and glazed outdoors.  The result is a an amazingly tender interior with a wonderful crispy exterior.  Since most recipes call for browning the meat before braising, I found this method to be somewhat of a revelation.  And taking the time to chill the ribs and the braising liquid before finishing the dish makes removing the fat from both a breeze.

This is slow food, but it’s not complicated food, so give it a try next time you want to impress some barbecue fanatics. And everything except the final grilling and glazing, which takes 10-15 minutes, can be done way ahead of time.  Recipe adapted from Weber’s Smoke by Jamie Purviance.

Best BBQ Braised Shortribs

Serves 4
By author Margaret @ The Right Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Large onion (chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (chopped with seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 bottles lager beer
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 5lb beef short ribs (look for large meaty ribs)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • optional: hot pepper sauce, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for brushing ribs before grilling
  • kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning ribs before grilling


Braise the ribs
1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño and cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the oregano, cumin seed, salt, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Pour in the lager and add the bay leaf. Place the ribs in the braising liquid, meaty side down, and add just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the ribs are very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 2-3 hours. (braising time will depend upon size of ribs) Transfer the ribs to a sheet pan to cool. Remove and discard any bones that may have fallen off the ribs in the liquid. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl and discard the solids. Cover and refrigerate the cooled ribs and the braising liquid (separately) until chilled, about 2 hours (or overnight if you wish).
Make the sauce
2. Skim the fat from the surface of the liquid. Pour the liquid back into the stockpot (now clean) and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer the liquid until reduced to ¾ cup, 1 to 1½ hours. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Stir in the ketchup, molasses, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and season with hot pepper sauce, if desired. Set aside at room temperature.
Finish the ribs
3. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and cut off any large pieces of exterior fat; this will minimize any grill flare-ups. Brush the ribs with the oil and season evenly with the salt and pepper. Preheat the grill to medium and brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the ribs over medium heat until warmed through and the exterior is beginning to turn crispy, turning several times, about 10 minutes.

Brush the ribs generously with the sauce. Turn the heat up and continue to cook until the meat is glazed, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from the grill and serve warm with the remaining sauce.
  • Nikki
    September 16, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    If there ever was a reason to cyberstalk someone, this is it!

  • Robin Barnes
    January 25, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Had these last night. They were truly fabulous! And, nice to be able to do much of the prep the day before. I am delighted to have this recipe.

  • stevie wilson
    November 4, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    This sounds easy enough though having just moved.. we lost our grill in that process. I want to do this one. I adore shortribs

  • Vickio
    October 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I am looking for a recipe for pulled beef short ribs, this looks wonderful. Would it be be appropriate and tender if I stopped before grilling….I want to recreate the best sandwich I ever had: pulled beef in BBQ sauce, kimchi, sliced daikon and green onion on ciabatta. So good I actually dream about it.

    • Margaret
      October 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Yes, the ribs will be perfectly tender after the braising step and the meat could be pulled for your sandwich. You will need to add some seasoning to it if you are skipping the glaze. Also, I have used this braising and grilling technique, with different flavors, and pulled the meat for wonderful soft tacos. The grilling gives the meat a nice crispy exterior that might be nice on your sandwich. But perhaps with the other lovely flavors and textures of your sandwich, soft tender beef is what you are looking for. Sounds wonderful!

  • Dirose
    October 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    I just found you via Pinterest.
    Oh my, your recipes are perfect and the photography is absolutely gorgeous.

  • hipfoodiemom
    October 2, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    oh my word. . these look fantastic!! Pinned!

  • cookinginsens
    October 1, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Looks delicious.