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4.84 from 6 votes

Sous Vide Beef Ribs (Mouthwatering!)

If you are the one who reaches for the bones when eating a prime rib of beef, these sous vide beef ribs are for you. Rich, succulent, tender meat with incredible flavor. They take little effort to make and a long time to cook.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 hrs 10 mins
Total Time20 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 3 or 2 large portions
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds beef back ribs rack of ribs or individual ribs
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning, Note 1

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup beef juices (accumulated in bag after sous vide)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or brown sugar) use less if you like less sweet
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, good quality optional
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  • PREPARE SOUS VIDE WATER BATH: Fill water in a large pot or container about 3/4 to the top. I use hot water from the tap to shorten the heating time. Set the temperature on the immersion circulator to 155F/68.3C and heat water to that temperature. Note 2 for other sous vide times and temperatures.
  • PREPARE BACK RIBS: If using a rack of beef ribs, remove connective tissue (white membrane) from back of the ribs (Note 3).
    Sprinkle seasoning on all sides of beef ribs. If using rack of ribs, cut into 2-3 sections so it fits a bag.
    Seal ribs in bag using vacuum seal method or water displacement method, (Note 4)
  • COOK BEEF RIBS SOUS VIDE: When water reaches correct temperature, submerge bag with the ribs into the sous vide bath. Cover and cook for 18-24 hours to a maximum of 36 hours.
  • MAKE GLAZE: Remove ribs from water bath. Pour 1/2 cup/118 ml of beef juices from the bag into a small saucepan through a sieve (to strain the juices). Place in fridge or freezer for 30 minutes until fat starts to congeal. Spoon fat off top and discard. Add Dijon, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar (if using) and cornstarch. Stir to combine well. Bring sauce to a boil on high heat on stove, lower to medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened. It will coat the back of a spoon when it's ready. Taste and adjust seasonings. Note 5 for Shortcut.
  • FINISH RIBS (3 alternatives):
    To Grill: (my preferred method) Clean and oil grill. Heat grill to high. Brush glaze on both sides of ribs. I spray them with cooking oil to prevent sticking. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until starting to char, adding more glaze as you turn them.
    To Broil: Line a pan with aluminum foil. Brush glaze on both sides of ribs. Heat broiler and place oven grill 6 inches from the top of the oven/broiler. Place ribs (meaty side up). Broil for 2-3 minutes until browned. I don't bother broiling the bone side but it's up to you. Spread any remaining glaze on top of beef ribs. Cut into serving pieces and serve.
    To Bake: Heat oven to 500F/260C. Brush glaze on both sides of ribs. Place on baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 6-10 minutes until browned.

Notes

  1. Rib seasoning alternatives: Use your favorite steak spice rub or simple salt and black pepper (with a sprinkle of garlic powder if you like)
  2. Alternative temperatures and times for beef ribs to try, based on other online sous vide resources:
    • 131F/55C for 4-10 hours, more tender at 24 hours - medium rare
    • 140F/60C for 24-48 hours, closer to medium
    • 146F/63C for 48 hours
    • 150F/65C for 18-24 hours
    • 176F/80C for 12 hours
  3. To remove membrane on back of beef ribs if using rack of ribs: Slide tip of a sharp knife under the tissue on a bone at one end of the rack. Loosen membrane from bone, then grab it with a paper towel and peel the skin off the entire rib. With any luck, it should peel away in one large sheet. Here's a video on how to remove membrane from ribs.
  4. Methods to seal bag for sous vide cooking
    • vacuum seal method: Fold back top of vacuum seal bag about an inch to create a flap (this ensures no food touches the top of the bag where it gets sealed). Place ribs in bag – as many rib portions per bag that will fit in a single layer, ensuring no overlap. Unfold the flap and vacuum bag using a vacuum sealer. 
    • water displacement method. (my preferred method). Place ribs in a freezer ziplock bag, lower into water bath until seal of bag is just above water line (air will be pushed out), then seal the bag. You want to get air out of the bag so it doesn't float. Since the cooking time is long, you can double bag the ribs to be extra safe. 
  5. Glaze alternatives: Instead of the recipe glaze, keep it simple with salt and pepper (no glaze or sauce) or use your favorite bottled bbq sauce or other sauce. 
  6. Make Ahead:
    • Same day: The ribs can be made ahead up to the point of saucing and grilling/broiling. You have a window of an extra couple of hours in the water bath if you like.
    • Within 2-3 days: Cook the ribs sous vide. Drain the juices, cool and place in an airtight container or bag in the fridge for 2-3 days. When ready to use, re-season (or add the glaze) and grill for 2-4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the meat.
    • Freeze and reheat: Place bag of ribs after sous vide into  an ice bath to cool down. Remove juices from bag and reseal (or transfer to another airtight bag or container). Freeze ribs for up to 3 months. To retherm (rewarm), place them in a water bath at 150F/65.6C for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then finish them with glaze (or not) as per recipe. 
    • Storing leftovers: keep cooked ribs in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.  
 
Nutrition values are rough estimates and will vary based on the fat content of the beef and the amount of meat on the bones. I figure about a pound (450g) per person, but the meat is so rich that 1/2-3/4 pound per person may be enough with side dishes. 
Calories: 974kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 102g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 281mg | Sodium: 850mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 472mg | Iron: 12mg