Father’s Day is an especially important day for me. For the many years that the Berghoff Restaurant has been in business, it has been owned and operated by four successful generations. My great-grandfather, Herman Berghoff, founded the Berghoff Café in 1898. He inspired the three generations of Berghoffs that followed. My grandfather, Lewis Berghoff, and my great Uncle Clement Berghoff were challenged to expand the original Berghoff Café into a full-fledged restaurant. My grandfather and he were responsible for enlarging the menu as well as the business, making Berghoff’s into not only a full-service restaurant, but a Chicago institution. As the third generation owner of Berghoff Restaurant, my father, Herman Berghoff (pictured above), was challenged to keep pace with the public’s changing tastes and balance the old with the new.

As the fourth generation to continue the Berghoff legacy, my father and grandfather and great-grandfather have been solid role models and supporters in my life and career. They have each individually experienced different successes and challenges from which I have been able to learn. I have them to thank for teaching me so much about the restaurant business as well as giving me the strength to carry on the tradition that began about 117 years ago.

In the heat of the summer and in celebration of Father’s Day, I would like to share with you a traditional recipe that my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather each thoroughly enjoyed and one that is truly a Berghoff classic.  I like to call this a “one-pan wonder.” It’s easy to make and requires a grill, but it’s a perfect summer recipe that your family will be sure to love. Enjoy!

Berghoff Bourbon Short Ribs

Serves 8

Short Ribs:

6 pounds boneless beef short ribs (or 9 pounds of bone-in)

Salt and ground black pepper

6 cups beef stock, or enough to cover ribs in pan

2 ½ cups Berghoff bourbon

2 cubes beef bouillon

1 ½ cups prepared barbecue sauce

Nonstick cooking spray


To Make the Short Ribs:

Preheat oven to 350⁰F.

Rinse the ribs in cold water, pat dry. Place in a large (18 by 12-inch or larger) roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add enough beef stock to completely cover the ribs. Stir in 2 cups of the bourbon and the bouillon cubes. Cover the pan tightly with foil and place on the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 3 hours, or until very tender. Remove from the oven. Remove the ribs from the braising liquid and keep warm.

Skim off and discard the fat from the top of the braising liquid and over high heat reduce the liquid to 1 to 1 ½ cups, 35 to 40 minutes. Stir in the barbecue sauce and ½ cup of reserved bourbon and mix well. Heat to a boil, remove from the heat, and set aside.

Heat the grill. Spray each rib with cooking spray, and grill to heat completely through and brown slightly. Brush with the barbecue sauce mixture and grill over low heat until well caramelized, brushing with extra barbecue sauce as needed. Don’t allow to char or burn.

Serve the ribs stacked on a platter with potato salad, roasted corn on the cob, and steamed green beans.

Find more delicious Berghoff classics like this one in The Berghoff Family Cookbook.