Try Chef Will’s BBQ Short Ribs

BBQ Short Ribs with Vegetables

For those of you who don’t know, BBQ Short Ribs is a specialty item made by our own Chef William Towle that can be added to your company picnic package. We have received requests from previous picnic attendees asking for the recipe. We sat down with Chef Will so you can make it for your very own summer barbecue. Below is the recipe, along with the ingredients and equipment you will need. Enjoy!

What You Will Need


  • 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or high smoking point oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups liquid, such as beer, wine, or low-sodium broth
  • 2 to 4 sprigs fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme
  • 1 cup of cranberry juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup of tangy bbq sauce


  • Pastry or basting brush
  • Dutch oven or deep sauté pan with a lid
  • Tongs


  1. Heat the oven and season the meat. Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven, remove the racks above it, and heat to 325°F. Brush each short rib with the oil, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Brown the short ribs. Heat a deep, wide Dutch oven or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the short ribs in one layer, leaving room between each and working in batches if necessary. Now would be a good moment to turn on your hood vent or fan, if you have one! Sear the short ribs without moving for several minutes on each side, letting them brown deeply. Use tongs to turn and sear all sides. This will take about 15 minutes total.
  3. Cook the onions. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion and garlic around the browned short ribs. Let the onions cook until they soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add liquid. Add all the liquid and bring to a simmer.
  5. Braise in the oven. After the liquid comes to a simmer, add the herb sprigs. Cover and place in the oven. (Alternately, this is the point where you can transfer to the slow cooker for 8 hours on the LOW setting, or continue cooking on very low heat on the stovetop.) Braise in the oven until the meat is very tender and pulling away from the bone, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  6. Rest the meat. When the meat is done, rest in a covered pan for 20 minutes before serving. Serve by gently tugging the chunks of meat away from the bone and spooning the saucy onions over top.
  7. OPTIONAL STEP Refrigerate overnight. While short ribs can be served immediately, they are a very fatty cut, which makes the dish very rich and even greasy. I prefer to let the ribs sit in the sauce and cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate them overnight. At this point, you can scrape away the hardened layer of fat from the top before reheating. They will also improve in flavor and tenderness while resting overnight.
  8. Reheat. To reheat, cover and warm over low heat on the stove for 15 to 20 minutes.


Want to experience Chef Will’s BBQ Short Ribs for yourself at your next picnic?

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