The transverse rib, also known as the dwarf or tension rib, is a section of the beef. It is the front part of the cattle ribs and lies below the neck and the high rib. The flesh on the transverse rib is very strained by the cow and therefore contains a lot of connective tissue.  The transverse rib is therefore not suitable for short frying, but only for long, slow cooking methods such as boiling or braising. Only then does the connective tissue transform into chewable, juicy gelatine with the help of heat and water, making the flesh of the rib tender.

Use of the transverse rib (short rib)

Short rib is particularly suitable for cooking or braising, i.e. for hearty stews or braised roasts as well as for goulash or as ragout meat. The piece of meat is also well suited for the production of soups or broths.

Transverse rib is offered with or without bone. The transverse rib is also used to cut the so-called “ladder piece”, a piece of transverse rib in which the ribs are embedded in the meat like the rungs of a ladder. After cooking or braising the ladder piece, the rib bones can be easily removed from the meat and pulled out.

Barbecue with short ribs

After American meat cutting, the transverse rib is referred to as the ‘short rib’ because it contains a short part of the ribs which are surrounded by layers of streaky meat.

Short ribs are popular meat pieces at the barbecue. They are the counterpart to the spare ribs from pork, but are much more meaty. Their cooking time at the barbecue is correspondingly longer. For short ribs of normal size, a cooking time of at least 6 to 8 hours is to be expected.

Grilled short ribs Recipe

Ingredients for 6 portions:

2 tablespoons salt (sea salt flakes)

1 teaspoon salt (celery)

1 tsp oregano (dried)

1 tsp thyme (dried)

2 tsp paprika powder (hot)

4 cloves of garlic (pressed)

1 tsp peppercorn (crushed)

2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 onions (large, finely chopped)

1 Chili (red, cored and finely chopped)

120 ml maple syrup

3 tbsp sugar (Muscovado sugar or brown cane sugar)

600 ml cider

3 tbsp mustard (hot)

2 tbsp Worcester sauce

2 tbsp tomato paste

3 sprig thyme (fresh)

3 kg ribs (short)


2 days before cooking: Mix sea salt flakes, celery salt, oregano, thyme, paprika powder, pressed garlic and peppercorns and put into resealable bags. Add the ribs and rub well with the spices. Store in a cool place. For glaze, heat oil in a large pan. Fry the onions and chilli in it for about 10 minutes until soft. Add maple syrup, sugar and cider, bring to the boil and stir. Remove from heat. Add mustard, Worcestershiresauce and tomato paste. Puree with a blender to a smooth sauce. Set aside and allow to cool completely. Then store in a cool place.

1 day before cooking: Preheat oven to 130° C. Remove the ribs from the bag and rinse the marinade under cold running water. Place the meat in a large casserole dish with a lid. Put the glaze over the ribs, close the casserole tightly and braise for about 5 hours until the meat is tender. Leave to cool at room temperature and put in the refrigerator overnight to rest.

Preparation on the grill: Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and remove the hardened fat. Place the meat on a plate and heat to room temperature. Remove some of the glaze and set aside – but leave the ribs well covered with glaze. Light the charcoal grill about 30 minutes before grilling. Then place the ribs over medium-hot coals and grill for 10-12 minutes on each side so that the meat is completely well heated and the edges sizzle. Brush every 5 minutes with the previously removed glaze. Garnish with thyme twigs and offer with plenty of napkins.

Tip: A fresh tomato-basil salad is suitable as a side dish.

Note: The short ribs are a grill recipe for a special occasion. They will impress everyone! They need some time to prepare, but there is little to do on the barbecue day itself.