Discover the Delight of Flanken-Style Short Ribs

If you haven’t heard of Flanken-Style Short Ribs before, get ready for a delectable surprise! While the short-rib or English Cut Beef Rib is a well-known and popular choice, don’t overlook its little sister, the Flanken cut beef ribs. These cuts may differ in appearance, but they share the same mouthwatering taste and texture.

When cooked just right, Flanken ribs boast a rich, beefy flavor, with just the right amount of fat to make them truly decadent. Pair them with mashed potatoes and crispy broccoli, and you’ve got yourself a meal fit for a king!

Flanken cut ribs are typically used in Korean-style or Argentinean grilled ribs. In the Argentinean variation, the ribs are cut into thicker strips, similar to English cut short ribs, while Korean BBQ ribs come with a sweet and spicy sauce baked onto them, resulting in a delightful stickiness. Personally, I love preparing these dishes, but sometimes I crave a different flavor, more akin to a steak marinade. So, I decided to create my own recipe!

What’s great about Flanken-style ribs is that they require less cooking time compared to traditional short ribs due to their thinner meat. This means you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal in no time. Moreover, these ribs pair well with a variety of flavors – you can use any sauce or marinade, as long as it balances the richness of the fat with a touch of acidity.

To achieve perfectly cooked beef ribs, I recommend the pressure cooking and air crisping combination. By pressure cooking them for just 5 minutes, the meat becomes incredibly tender. Then, the air crisping or air frying process renders the fat and gives them a lovely golden brown color. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper or an Instant Pot Duo Crisp; you can still make this recipe using your pressure cooker and oven.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Flanken Style Short Ribs

Flanken short ribs on tray

Flanken short ribs are simply cut differently from regular short ribs. Rather than being cut into chunks with the bone, they are sliced across the bone. Most of the meat is on one side, with 3-4 small bones on the other. These ribs are a well-marbled cut from the chuck end of short ribs. They can be tough if not cooked properly, but pressure cooking is ideal for tenderizing them. The long strips of rib meat can be easily separated from the bones, resulting in boneless pieces of meat.

For this recipe, I recommend using flanken beef specifically. However, if you can’t find flanken cut ribs, you can certainly use Short Ribs, also known as English Cut Beef Ribs, with some adjustments. Keep in mind that the meat will be thicker and require a longer pressure cooking time of about 30-45 minutes, depending on thickness. English Short Ribs also benefit from air crisping, air frying, or broiling after pressure cooking. It’s a good idea to sear them in hot oil before pressure cooking. Finally, air fry them at 400℉/200℃ for 15-20 minutes or until the fat crisps up to your liking.

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Marinade or Sauce

This is where you can get creative and experiment with your own favorite flavors for flanken ribs. The marinade I used is similar to a steak marinade, based on a recipe passed down from my husband’s grandfather. In this recipe, I omitted the oil because flanken-style ribs are already fatty enough. However, if you’re making a Korean-style marinade, you can include sesame oil for added flavor.

I have tried this recipe with both types of marinades, and both are fantastic. It all depends on your personal taste and what you’re in the mood for. The Korean-style marinade usually includes brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, gochujang sauce, sesame seeds, and green onions as toppings, typically served with white rice.

On the other hand, the American-style marinade incorporates red wine vinegar, rosemary, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, onion powder, and fresh garlic. Serve this style of ribs with mashed potatoes and garlic green beans for a delicious combination.

The options for seasonings or sauces are endless. You can create a more traditional American BBQ-style by using your favorite rub and basting with BBQ sauce during the air frying process. Alternatively, you can marinate the ribs in a citrus-based marinade and pair them with your favorite fruit salsa.

These tender and juicy cuts of beef are highly versatile and growing in popularity, making them easier to find in grocery stores. In fact, where I live, English cut ribs are rarely available, so I often opt for the flanken style.

How to Make Flanken Short Ribs

This recipe utilizes the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper, a versatile and efficient machine that can handle all aspects of this delicious dish. However, if you have an Instant Pot without a crisping lid, you can broil the ribs in the oven for a few minutes per side to achieve that golden brown color and render the fat.

Prep or Mise En Place

Gather all the marinade ingredients, a large freezer bag, and take the ribs out of the refrigerator. In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and spicy mustard. Next, add the seasoning blend and minced garlic. The amount of garlic is up to you, but I recommend using around 1 tablespoon, depending on your preference. Whisk everything together and set the marinade aside while you prepare the ribs.

Before marinating the ribs, it’s a good idea to wash them under cold water to remove any bone fragments from the saw-cutting process. This quick wash will ensure no unwanted surprises end up in your cooking liquid. Place the ribs in a single layer in the bag, alternating layers to ensure optimal marinade coverage. Pour in the marinade and try to remove most of the air before sealing the bag. Massage the bag to evenly distribute the marinade over the ribs. Refrigerate the bag with the marinade for at least 4 hours, or overnight for better results.

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Pressure Cooking the Ribs

About 30 minutes before cooking, remove the bag of ribs from the refrigerator. This allows the marinade to warm up and ensures a better consistency. However, if you forget to do this, don’t worry; it will still turn out fine. Place the ribs in the inner pot of your pressure cooker, alternating the layers just as you did in the bag.

Pour the remaining marinade into the pot on the side of the ribs, ensuring it reaches the bottom. This is the only liquid you’ll need, so it must be at the bottom. The amount of marinade can vary, but even just ¼ to ½ cup will suffice. If you’re using an 8 qt Ninja Foodi and only have ¼ cup of marinade, you can add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of water, but don’t go beyond that. As the pot heats up, the marinade on the ribs will liquefy, and the ribs themselves release a lot of fat and juices. Rest assured, you’ll have plenty of liquid to work with.

Put the pressure cooker lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook for 5 minutes. It may take around 15 minutes for the pot to come to pressure, so be patient. After the cooking time is up, you can perform an immediate release or wait 10 minutes before releasing the pressure. Either method is fine. The immediate release works well in this recipe for two reasons: the ribs are fatty, and they are mostly submerged in liquid at the end of pressure cooking. When food is submerged, a quick release won’t dry it out since the temperature doesn’t rapidly change inside the food like it would above the liquid.

When you open the pressure cooker lid, you’ll notice a significant amount of liquid at the bottom. You don’t have to remove it before air frying, but if you prefer, you can skim off some of the fat. I’ve made this recipe using both a quick release and a 10-minute natural release, and both methods work just fine. If you have the extra 10 minutes, go ahead and let the pot naturally release the pressure before turning the knob to release any remaining pressure.

Air Frying Flanken-Style Ribs

In the Ninja Foodi OL501, which is the pressure cooker I’m using, the same lid is used for both pressure cooking and air frying. However, if you have a different model with a separate crisping lid, place it on the pressure cooker. Select the Air Fry or Air Crisp setting and set the temperature to 400℉/200℃ for 20 minutes. Close the lid and air fry the top layer of ribs for roughly 8 minutes. Then, flip the ribs and air fry for an additional 3 minutes. Continue air frying, moving the ribs around in the pot to expose as much rib meat as possible, until all the ribs have a delightful golden brown color.

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Once done, you can remove the finished ribs and place them on a platter. It takes approximately 20-25 minutes for 4 pounds of ribs to air fry on both sides. If you don’t have a crisping lid, lay the ribs in a single layer on a sheet tray and place them under a preheated broiler or bake them at 500℉/260℃ for about 5 minutes per side, until one side achieves the desired browning and the fat starts to render. Flip the ribs and repeat the process for the other side. If necessary, broil them in batches if they don’t all fit on one tray.

Making the Gravy

The liquid in the pot contains a significant amount of fat. If you want to reduce the fat content, refrigerate the liquid until the fat solidifies on top and skim off some of it. However, do keep in mind that some fat is necessary for creating a flavorful gravy.

If you plan to serve the ribs on the same day, there’s no need to remove any fat. You can proceed with making the gravy straight away. There are a few ways to make the gravy; two methods I’ve tried are using a cornstarch slurry and a flour slurry.

In the video, I used a cornstarch slurry, which turned out fine, albeit a little clumpy at first. However, when I made the recipe again the following day, I used a flour slurry, and I was extremely pleased with the results. Therefore, I recommend the flour slurry, as it produces a smoother consistency. In a canning jar with a lid, combine 3 tablespoons of flour with ¼ cup of water, and shake the mixture until well combined and free of lumps. Pour the flour mixture into the liquid in the pot. Use the Sear/Sauté function set to medium-low on the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot to cook the gravy for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. This step will eliminate any raw flour taste. Taste the gravy and add salt and pepper if needed.

Final Touches

You can either pour the gravy over the ribs or serve it on the side. I like to sprinkle some fresh or dried parsley or thyme over the ribs to add a touch of color. Serve the ribs with egg noodles, rice, or garlic mashed potatoes, and pair them with your favorite green vegetable to complete the meal.

Enjoy the magnificent flavors of Flanken-Style Short Ribs that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.