My short rib sandwich is the epitome of a rich, saucy sandwich that you'd crave from your local BBQ joint. For loads of sweet and savory flavor, beef short ribs are braised until fork-tender in a combination of Guinness extra stout, BBQ sauce and beef stock , then shredded and piled up onto a bun with a cool homemade coleslaw!
A Short Rib Sandwich With Rich, Smoky Flavor
Because I love to recreate, as closely as possible, some of our favorite restaurant faves so that I can whip 'em up whenever we're hungry for them, this short rib sandwich is one that I had some fun tinkering with to create those rich flavors we love...
I'm talking beef short ribs that are gently braised in Guinness extra stout, some BBQ sauce, plus some beef stock until the meat just falls off the bones.
Then, that succulent meat gets shredded with a fork and folded right back into that delectable sauce!
Spooned onto a soft, onion roll or honey-wheat bun and then topped with a cool and creamy coleslaw, this short rib sandwich ends up being the perfect treat when we're craving the finger-licking, smoky flavor of BBQ!
My Recipe for Short Rib Sandwiches with Homemade Coleslaw
If I'm craving a big short rib sandwich, then the saucier and messier the better. I love it piled high with lots of delicious bells and whistles to the point of everything falling out the sides!
To create this for my version here, I've opted to braise the beef short ribs in a sweet and savory combination of liquids that the shredded beef will then be folded back into, then spooned onto buns to make the sandwiches.
I love the flavor of stout in my short rib sandwich, as well as some good quality BBQ sauce that's extra smoky.
The addition of beef stock to the sauce balances out the flavor along with some caramelized onions, garlic and a hint of tomato paste for zip.
The short ribs basically braise themselves without a lot of babysitting, which I love. Once they're seared off in the Dutch oven, and the liquids are added, then everything goes into a low, 325° oven to cook for about 2 ½ hours, until super tender, and with no fuss or muss!
Here's a sneak peek at my short rib sandwich recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I season my beef short ribs and sear them on all sides for a few minutes in a large Dutch oven.
- When seared, I remove the short ribs, then caramelize my onions and add my garlic, along with some tomato paste, in the dutch oven.
- Next, I add my liquids into the pot, then nestle my seared short ribs into the liquid. I transfer the dutch oven to a 325° oven, and the short ribs are braised until the meat falls from the bones and is shreddable, about 2 ½ hours.
- While the short ribs braise, I prepare my coleslaw and keep it chilled until ready to use.
- Once the short ribs are tender, I remove the short ribs and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.
- I allow the sauce to reduce for about 10 minutes, stovetop, to thicken.
- Next, I shred the meat and add it back to the thickened, rich sauce, and fold everything together.
- To make the short rib sandwich, I spoon the saucy short ribs onto an onion roll or honey-wheat bun, then top with lots of cool coleslaw, and enjoy.
Short Rib Sandwich
by Ingrid Beer
This short rib sandwich is brimming with the flavors of BBQ sauce and stout, then piled high with a creamy homemade coleslaw!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 1,058 calories per sandwich
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hour 45 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Short Rib Sandwich Ingredients:
- 3 pounds beef short ribs (roughly 8 ribs)
- Black pepper
- Avocado or vegetable oil
- 2 onions, quartered and sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup stout (I used Guinness “Extra Stout” in a bottle)
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- Onion rolls or honey-wheat buns, toasted (or other style)
- Mayo, for buns
Homemade Coleslaw Ingredients:
- ½ cup mayo
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups of shredded slaw mix (red and green cabbage, and shredded carrots)
- To begin, gather and prep all of your short rib sandwich ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Preheat your oven to 325°.
- Place the beef short ribs into a bowl and season with a couple of good pinches of salt and pepper.
- Place a Dutch oven or large braising pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is very hot, add the ribs in and allow them to sear and brown on that first side (about 4 minutes), then flip and brown on the other side, a few minutes more. Remove from the pan and set aside for a moment.
- Drain some of the fat from the pan, leaving about 2-3 tablespoons. Add the onions and saute those until lightly golden and softened, about 5 minutes, then add in the garlic, and stir.
- Once the garlic becomes aromatic, stir in the tomato paste, cooking it for about 30 seconds. Then add in the stout, the beef stock, and the BBQ sauce, and stir to combine.
- Nestle the short ribs back into the sauce, and bring to a simmer. Cover with the lid, and place into the oven to braise for about 2 ½ hours, or until fork tender and meat is falling from bone.
- While the short ribs braise, gather and prep your coleslaw ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare your coleslaw, combine the mayo with the remaining ingredients up to and including the salt, and whisk until smooth. Add the coleslaw mix into a bowl, and drizzle the dressing over top, and toss to combine. Keep cold.
- Once the short ribs are tender, carefully remove them from the pan, and once cool enough to handle, shred the meat with a fork, and set aside for a moment.
- Puree the sauce that's left in the pan with an immersion blender, then place back over medium to medium-low heat, and gently simmer the sauce until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Return the shredded short ribs into the sauce and fold to combine.
- To assemble the short rib sandwiches, spread a touch of mayo on the top and bottom bun, then add some of the shredded meat with sauce, top with some of the coleslaw, and serve.
Tips & Tidbits for my Short Rib Sandwich recipe:
- Sear the short ribs for added flavor: Whenever I prepare short ribs for a recipe, I always sear them first to create a bit of an outer crust, which equals added flavor. So season the ribs generously, then allow them to brown in your Dutch oven (or other heavy-bottom pan/pot) for a few minutes per side.
- A trio of flavorful liquids for braising: Because the short ribs braise for about 2 ½ hours, the liquids I use impart a lot of delicious flavor. I love to use Guinness extra stout for the beer component (though you can substitute your favorite), some good quality BBQ sauce for smokiness, and some savory beef stock to thin things out. You can even leave out the beer if you prefer, and add more beef stock instead.
- Homemade coleslaw, or good quality store-bought: My recipe for coleslaw is quick and easy with a balance of sweet and savory, but if you prefer to save a bit of time and effort, feel free to use a good quality store-bought coleslaw.
Craving more rustic and delicious sandwiches? Check out this Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Pesto, this Korean BBQ Burger, this Portobello Mushroom Burger, this Mediterranean Salmon Burger, this Spicy Chicken Sandwich!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2017, and has been updated with even more love!
I am such a fan of your blog and Pinterest posts. I look forward to trying this recipe...
The Cozy Apron
Patricia, thank you so much! Truly appreciate that, and I hope you enjoy the recipe!
I just made these this weekend and it was legimately one of my favorite meals I've ever made. So easy and fun and so incredibly delicious. Amazing.
The Cozy Apron
Casey, I loved reading that! I'm honored that you enjoyed these so much, and that you even had some fun preparing the recipe! Thank you for your comments.
Hi. I so enjoy reading your blog and trying your recipes. I would like to make this bbq a day ahead and rewarm it for a party. Could you give me a recommendation for the best way to reheat this dish?
Thank you & have a wonderful weekend!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Sharon, thanks so much for your kind words! As far as re-heating the recipe, it's extremely simple: just go ahead and shred the meat and put it back into the sauce, as the recipe says; then keep it in the fridge until you plan on serving, and then re-heat stove top gently until hot. Hope you all enjoy this! 🙂
Made this tonight, turned out amazing! My husband asked to put it in rotation. Only thing I changed was put the sauce on the side (meat was juicy enough) and topped with a pickled jalepeno and white onion!
The Cozy Apron
Aero, thanks so much for sharing your experience with the recipe—so happy you & your hubby enjoyed!
I'm honored to have it be a part of your rotation now as well, and I must tell you, the sides of pickled jalapeño and white onion sound like the perfect additions!
Could the ribs be seared, like stated, in a pan and then put into a crockpot while I'm at work? I've made beef short ribs one time and it didn't really turn out (too short of cooking time, I'm blaming) but I have some in the freezer and this looks like an excellent recipe to try.
The Cozy Apron
Hi Jerilea, short ribs definitely benefit from a long, slow cooking. I always hesitate to advise in crockpot settings and times, as I don't own one myself; but I think you could do as you mentioned, and sear them then allow them a long, slow time in your crockpot while at work. It's better to go longer on braising than not long enough—the meat will just get more and more tender. Especially if it's a gently cooking.