Welcome to Eatymology’s Meat Beat where I help myself (and like-minded dummies) build our meat vocabulary, beginning with the 8 (or 9, depending on who’s asking) basic US primal cuts for beef. That’s butcher parlance for the slabs of bloody, lard-marbled, pre-delicious protein stripped from a cowrcas. Note that UK primal cuts and pork primal cuts are different.
Meat products from the vast rib region (situated directly behind the brawny chuck) are nicely marbled in fat, thoroughly tenderized from use, and comprise the most well-known middle-brow red meat menu items – including the short-rib burger, the rib-eye steak, prime rib, and rib steak.
Because the meat is (so very) tender, rib cuts don’t require a slow or lengthy cooking process*. This is a cut you can marinate mildly, slap on the grill, and serve to a happy carnivorous dinner party without being a practicing chef.
*That’s not to say that you can’t ostensibly liquefy short ribs by braising them. That’s the stuff that melts in your mouth when slow-cooked.