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Costillas (Grilled Beef Short Ribs)
Total 20 mins, includes cooling time
Active 15 mins
Makes 3 to 6 servings
Argentinian culture is no doubt synonymous with beef, and the asado, or barbecue, is practically the national pastime. The festivities begin with empanadas while the wood fire is prepared. Once the coals are hot, faster cooking meats like chorizo and morcilla (blood sausage) are first on the grill and sooner in people’s mouths. Then come costillas (short ribs), sweetbreads, tripe, and tri tip steak. Mirta likes to serve a salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and rings of white onion dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil alongside.
TIP: Mirta buys her ribs at an Argentinian butcher and doesn’t have to ask for 3-bone ribs because that’s just how costillas come. This cut of meat is best for grilling and uses the 6th, 7th, and 8th rib bones, next to what her butcher calls the prime rib, closer to the back, not the belly. (The 4-bone ribs are much fattier, longer, and are better for braising.) Sal parrillera (similar to kosher salt) is a medium-grain salt used almost exclusively to salt steak and other meats for grilling. Mirta likes Dos Anclas brand in the blue bottle.
Special Equipment
a large 2-burner ridged cast-iron grill pan
Special Equipment
a large 2-burner ridged cast-iron grill pan
Ingredients
    • 6 flanken-cut grass fed 3-bone beef short ribs, each 1-inch thick, at room temperature (see Cook’s Note)
    • Kosher salt or sal parrillera (see Cook’s Note)
    • Chimichurri, for serving
Directions
  1. Heat a large 2-burner ridged cast-iron grill pan over medium heat (Mirta puts it just a smidge over medium, but it’s not medium-high) until you can hold your hand 3 inches from the surface for only 5 counts, about 10 minutes. Make sure your exhaust is on or a window is open. Alternatively, you can grill your ribs outside, preferably over a wood fire.
  2. Pat the ribs with paper towels if needed. Salt the ribs very well on all sides, about 3/4 teaspoon per rib, pressing it into the meat and rubbing it on the bones (this is very important). Place the ribs on a diagonal on the grill so they are close but not touching. Cook until the blood starts to seep through the bones, the meat is browned and crusty, and the ribs release from the grill surface, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip and cook until the meat is pink from edge to edge and registers about 135°F on an instant-read thermometer, another 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Remove the ribs from the grill and let rest for just a few minutes. If this is the only meat for the meal, serve 2 ribs per person. If there is an assortment of meats or you have a bigger group, cut the ribs into thirds on the diagonal and serve them family-style. Serve the ribs with chimichurri.