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Greek Inspired Shortribs

2012 January 19

Short ribs have recently popped onto my radar.  People rave about them, flavor them uniquely, and they simply look interesting.  Finally, a few months ago, they showed up in my local grocery store.  I bought 5 pounds of them.

I cooked the first package and after dinner when my husband simply said it best: “Never make those again.”

It didn’t hurt my feelings because he was right.

I had washed my hands at least 3 times.  The kitchen sink was covered in a fatty, slimy, film.  Every bite we took seemed to be laced with the same gelatinous feeling.  The flavor was good but the fat was….bad.  BAD.

And when he said ‘never make those again’ I knew I was in trouble – I had another 2.75 pounds of short ribs sitting in my freezer.

I’m one of those unlucky ladies whose husband travels for work.  Back in the day, I was okay with it.  I was working a low maintenance job that I could leave at the office, had two well behaved dogs, and a maid.  Now I have a high maintenance job, three dogs, one cat, and two horses and I don’t think any maids live in the same county as I do.  So when he’s gone, my needles are pinned.  But I knew I could only rid ourselves of these short ribs if I cooked them while he was gone and recovered from the fatty mess on my own.



I put on my thinking cap to develop a cooking method that significantly decreased the amount of fat left in the final product.  The recipe was so good, in fact, that I saved just a little bit to serve him when he came back from his trip.  He, of course, with his super fast metabolism, ate his over pasta.  As you can see above, I ate mine over shredded yellow squash ‘noodles.’

The truth about this cooking method is that it takes more time than the other.  This isn’t a “a feel like short ribs for dinner!” recipe.  It requires planning.  If you’ve ever wanted to love short ribs like I have, however, but couldn’t get past the fat then this is the method for you.  I’ll include the recipe I used as well but I think this method can be used for a variety of recipes.

Greek Style Short Ribs (inspired by Elly Says Opa)


2.75 lb beef short ribs
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1 can diced tomatoes, juice included
1 tablespoon dried parsley or a few tablespoons fresh
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste


  1. Trim shortribs of an easy-to-get-to fat chunks and place in a slow cooker.
  2. Add to the cooker all remaining ingredients and stir to distribute.
  3. Cook on low 10-12 hours. (I did this step overnight so when it was time for step two, the ribs would cool while I was working and be ready to handle after work in the afternoon.)
  4. Place crockpot in the refrigerator and allow to cool completely. Fat will come to the top and solidify.
  5. Scrape fat from top of crockpot and discard.
  6. Remove short ribs from crockpot. Remove bones from ribs and shred meat, place into a large saucepan.
  7. Pour remaining liquid from crockpot (it will have suspended chunks of fat floating around!) through a strainer over the saucepan containing the shortrib meat. This will give you about 1/2 cup liquid, minus the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and fat chunks.
  8. Bring meat and liquid to a low simmer and shred completely. At this point you can serve the shortribs as desired.
  9. To further remove fat from the sauce, chill shredded meat completely. Remove fat that rises to the top. Return defatted meat to a sauce pan and add 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a low simmer and serve as desired.

  • Kaytorade

    I liken shortribs to pot-roast anyway, so crockpot short ribs sounds like a no brainer!

  • Kerstin

    What great tips!  I made short ribs once and thought they were pretty tasty, but they do tend to be fatty so I’d like to try your technique!

  • elly

    I’ve made very similar short ribs before (no surprise there, hah) and added the famous giant Greek beans in at the end with some greens. This looks great and I’m so glad you were able to make a short rib recipe you guys enjoyed!