Sous Vide Short Ribs are Worth the Wait

Sous Vide Short Ribs

Why Stout-Glazed Short Ribs are Perfect for Sous Vide

Short ribs tend to be meatier and tougher than other cuts of ribs thanks to various connective tissues, including collagen. But when cooked slowly at a low temperature, something magical happens. Sous vide hydrolyzes the collagen, which is fancy talk for a chemical process that melts the collagen fibers into gelatin. Gelatin is your friend because it makes cooked sous vide short ribs exceptionally juicy. When cooked at higher temperatures with traditional methods, short ribs simply become chewy and aren’t nearly as flavorful. Ready to try the sous vide method to see the difference?

This recipe is from our Sous Vide at Home cookbook, which includes over 100 mouth-watering recipes for foodies and newbies alike. You can purchase the cookbook from our website here.

Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Sous vide time: 48 hours (or up to 72)
Yield: 4 main course servings  


– 2 lbs. beef short ribs (boneless)
– Freshly ground black pepper & salt
– 3 cloves of lightly crushed garlic
– 1 bay leaf
– 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
– 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
– Fresh, chopped flat-leaf parsley (we recommend 1 tbsp.)
– 1 cup of Guinness or similar dry stout
– 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce, steak sauce, or bbq sauce
– 1½ cups low-sodium beef broth

Phase 1: Meat

1. Cut your 2 lbs. of short ribs into four equal pieces while trimming excess fat and sinew as you go.

2. Preheat your Nomiku water bath to 57°C (134.6°F).

3. Put short ribs in a gallon-size heat-safe bag and use a vacuum-sealer, or the easy water displacement method, to push out all the air.

4. Submerge the bag of ribs and cook for 48 hours.

5. Remove the bag when ready and let everything rest for 10 minutes.

6. Put the meat on a platter and pat thoroughly with dry paper towels before seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Make sure you save the leftover juices in the bag for the glaze.

7. Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a large cast-iron skillet or sauté pan. Place the short ribs, fat side down, in the pan. Sear each side for about a minute.

8.Transfer the short ribs back to the platter and drain everything from the pan with the exception of one tablespoon of fat.

Phase 2: Glaze

1. With your pan set to medium heat again, add your garlic and lightly brown it for about 2 minutes.

2. Pour in the stout beer and add bay leaf while you scrape the bottom of your pan with a wooden spoon.

3. Stir in the hoisin sauce, beef broth, dark brown sugar, and the leftover juices you saved in the gallon-size bag. Bring the mixture to a boil.

4. Reduce until thick, syrupy, and a quarter its original volume (takes about 15 minutes).

5. Set to low heat and stir in the last tablespoon of butter.

6. Remove the garlic cloves and bay leaf.

7. Place the short ribs back in the pan and spoon the sauce over them until coated.

8. Finally, sprinkle the sous vide short ribs with fresh parsley.

The Secret is in the Sous Vide Sauce

You may be thinking that a hoisin sauce and Irish stout mash-up sounds mighty odd, but bear with us. Hoisin is sweet and salty in taste and typically includes soybeans, garlic, and red chillies. As a result, this adds a depth of flavor to the glaze that pairs perfectly with the rich malt flavor of the stout.

Have you ever wondered why beer is a popular ingredient for glazes? When reduced, the sugar found in beer makes for a splendid syrup-like consistency. But won’t this make a rather unhealthy glaze? Guinness, our dry stout of choice for this sous vide recipe, has less sugar compared to other varieties. It’s also low in hops and alcohol.   

Pro tip: If you’re making the sous vide short ribs in advance, we recommend chilling the bag of cooked ribs in an ice water bath for 30 minutes. You can refrigerate them for up to a week, then reheat them with your Nomiku at 57°C (134.6°F) for 30 minutes before searing.



Tags: beef, recipes, ribs, short ribs.