Sous Vide: Advance Seared Beef Short Ribs

A pre-searing process melts surface fat, providing flavor and color. It also reduces the accumulation of juices in the bag.


Beef short ribs, 8 each, approximately 10 oz/300 g each–they vary widely in size.
Vegetable oil, 2 oz/50 ml.

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Flat bottomed skillet, approximately 12″/30 cm. and 3″/90 mm deep.
Infrared or probe thermometer.



Serves: 4-6

Level of difficulty–2

Note: This procedure can serve as a point of departure for almost any recipe that calls for beef short ribs. Once the ribs have been processed, they are fully pasteurized, preserved and tenderized. Therefore, the preliminary browning, braising, and simmering steps of most recipes can be eliminated. This can save as much as four hours of production time from standard recipes–time that would have been spent hovering over a hot stove. Time that would have been spent hoping that the crock pot would achieve its purpose promptly.

Here are three unique applications that we have created especially for Lipavi:

Short Ribs in Cannelini Bean Ragu

Spanish Style Short Ribs with Sweet Anise and Saffron

Herb Crusted Short Ribs with Roasted Vegetables


Preheat the sous vide bath to
183 F/84 C.

Sprinkle the short ribs lightly with kosher salt.

Heat the skillet to 250 F/121 C.

Add 2 oz/60 ml vegetable oil to the pan. Begin to add the short ribs without crowding each other. Make sure that there is at least 1″/3 cm space around each piece of meat to facilitate the browning process. Give the meat at least five minutes on each side without moving to achieve the desired appearance.

Use the tongs to turn them on to each side. As pictured below, they can be propped up against the sides of the pan to sear the narrow surfaces. The sound of sizzling should continue interrupted. If you detect hissing or steaming, increase the heat. If you hear popping sounds, reduce the heat until you hear sizzling again. Melt away as much fat as possible.

As the process continues, push the ribs that are further along up to the top of the skillet. This will save you time without jeopardizing achievement of the desired color. The surface heat is higher near the handle because its weight causes the pan to tilt slightly toward it.

When all the short ribs have been browned, pour off the excess oil and discard it. Add a little water to the pan to facilitate easy cleaning. I try to use as few pans and utensils as absolutely possible. We just don’t have the time to go through the rigmarole that we used to, do we?

Vacuum seal the meat. I recommend using small bags with just one or two short ribs per bag. This makes it easier to check for tenderness later without exposing numerous pieces to the elements simultaneously. Some recipes may only require half of a batch for assembly. The enthusiast may occasionally want to have one or two ribs simply prepared. Individual packages make cold shocking quicker and safer. They are also easier to organize in the refrigerator. Remember–if the seal on the bag is not broken, the shelf life of the contents is greatly extended.


TO 140 F/60 C. 

Sous vide process the short ribs for
72 hours.

While the ribs are processing, select the dedicated application from the list above–or use your own. This will give you a head start on acquisition and preparation of the ingredients for each unique recipe. No more hurried shopping while you try to put together a meal in your head!

After the 72 hours have elapsed, shock the bags in iced water until they reach 70 F/21 C. Refrigerate at 40 F/4 C until use. Now you can execute your favorite recipe at your convenience without devoting an entire day to preparing it.

Norm King


The Maillard effect is a heat driven reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars. Similar to caramelization, this process creates the distinctive flavor that meats develop when exposed to temperatures between 140 and 165 °C (280 and 330 °F).

The pre-searing method provides flavor and color. The extended processing interval results in pasteurized, tender beef short ribs. At the bottom of the page there exists a list of special recipes that utilize the advance-seared short ribs. These recipes involve a minimum amount of preparation, after which they require two hours or less to complete. As an added benefit, they entail little or no conventional stove top cooking.

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