Back in the early days of Macheesmo, I didn’t have access to a grill. It was a serious problem. But I lived in the middle of DC in a third-floor apartment so there really weren’t a lot of options for me. These days I have multiple grills and I take full advantage of them! These Grilled Short Ribs with Chimichurri are a meat lovers dream. Fast to make, a bit on the messy side in all the good ways, and perfect for a summer party!
I originally saw this idea in Gourmet many years ago. Grilling short ribs is also how they traditionally prepare short ribs in Argentina. Rather than braising them for hours, they grill them. I spent a summer in Argentina with a friend, so I know how delicious these guys can be.
How to buy short ribs
Beef short ribs are actually a broad phrase that can include a few different cuts from any area of the rib section. They can also be butchered in a few different ways, either cut into slightly longer, individual pieces or kept in sections and sliced thinly (flanken cut).
To be honest, you can use any cut of short ribs for this recipe. If you get the thicker cut (like I used for my photos), you will have a meatier section attached to each bone. This will be slightly chewier but I kind of like it. If you get the flanken cut ribs, you’ll get something closer to Korean BBQ short ribs (recipe from Recipetin Eats).
If you are unsure, ask your butcher what they would recommend and what they have ready to go!
Why Grill Short Ribs like an Argentine
The truth about these ribs are they are not for the faint of heart. These guys are for meat lovers. Short ribs are a fatty, tough cut of meat which is why they are traditionally braised for many hours. The Argentines push all of that aside though and grill them up for just a few minutes which results in a flavor-packed piece of meat which is very chewy, but in a good way.
It’s strange to say, but I think it brings out the carnivore in people. It’s impossible to eat these without literally knawing on the bone, and most people don’t even notice they are doing it. It’s not something you would want to serve at a fine dinner, but man is it good.
In Argentina when you order really anything at all, you are given a big bowl of chimichurri. As far as I can tell there are about a million different versions of chimichurri, but here is a pretty good one.
Making the Chimichurri
This sauce couldn’t be easier actually. Just chop up your garlic and onion as fine as you can. I actually stuck mine in my mini food processor and pulsed it a few times just to make sure it was minced really well.
It’s a really potent chimichurri sauce. It pairs well with really strong flavors like, say, short ribs! This is not the sort of thing you would want to put on a salad, but it works well on any grilled meat. You can use it on grilled chicken or pork or even some heartier fish cuts like salmon.
Prepping the ribs
I was able to find short ribs already chopped up, but if you can’t find them just ask your butcher. They almost always have some in the back. They are not a very popular cut so sometimes they don’t put them out. If you do get them from the butcher, make sure you ask him to cut them into about a few inch pieces. That just makes the ribs much more manageable.
Give these guys a liberal dose of Kosher salt and pepper and let them sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before hitting the grill. Cover them lightly so they don’t attract dust and dirt.
Grilling the short ribs
Cooking the ribs is also pretty easy. Basically, put them fat side down, on the hottest part of your grill. Don’t touch them for a few minutes and then turn them to sear each side. Should take about 8 minutes to sear the ribs completely.
Then move the ribs to a slightly lower heated area. If you are using charcoal, that will be around the outside of the grill. Let them cook slowly for about another 10-12 minutes in this area. Still give them a turn every once in a while, but no need to hover.
You don’t have to cover them. In fact, Gourmet advised against it!
When these guys come off they will have some crispy charred bits and some almost medium parts in the middle. It’s almost a fight to get all the meat off of a rib. They are really chewy, but that is the intended texture. What do you gain in exchange for the chewiness? A very rich, meaty flavor.
Get in touch with your inner carnivore for these guys.
I didn’t slather the ribs with the chimichurri. Instead people kind of spoons what they wanted over their ribs as they ate. The spicy chimichurri coupled with the strong meaty ribs is a perfect combo.
If you’re bored with burgers and hot dogs, try these Grilled Short Ribs!
What to serve with these short ribs?
The options for serving with these are many, but I would keep whatever else you are serving in a few categories. You either want it light and fresh like a salad – like maybe this creamy kale slaw. The other option would be to pair them with something rich that would cut through some of the meatiness of the short ribs. Basically, I’m thinking of mac and cheese here – like maybe this One Pot Spinach Mac and Cheese.
Or you could kind of combine both concepts with something like this Charred Scallion Macaroni Salad!
Grilled Short Ribs with Chimichurri Sauce
- 3 pounds short ribs, seasoned with salt and pepper
Red Chimichurri Sauce:
- 6 cloves garlic
- ¼ medium onion, chopped fine
- ½ Cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ Cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ Cup chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 Teaspoons Argentinean aji molido, or if you can’t find that, just used crushed red pepper
- 1 Teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Make the red chimichurri sauce:
- Chop up garlic and onion as fine as you can (a mini food processor pulsed a few times would work).
- Stir in all the other ingredients into the garlic and onion. Let it sit for at least an hour before serving.
Make the ribs:
- Give the ribs a liberal dose of Kosher salt and pepper and let them sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before hitting the grill. Cover them lightly so they don’t attract dust and dirt.
- Put the ribs fat side down, on the hottest part of your grill. Don’t touch them for a few minutes and then turn them to sear each side. Should take about 8 minutes to sear the ribs completely.
- Move the ribs to a slightly lower heated area. If you are using charcoal, that will be around the outside of the grill. Let them cook slowly for about another 10-12 minutes in this area. Still give them a turn every once in awhile, but no need to hover.
- Remove from the grill, top with the red chimichurri sauce and enjoy!