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Friday, June 18, 2004

Test Recipe: Faux BBQ Beef Ribs

I didn't have the time to take pictures for this one. Recently, a local store was selling beef back ribs for less than a dollar a pound. In my area, that's a good deal. Unfortunately, when I got to the store I realized that most of the meat from the ribs was trimmed off. I picked the piece that had the most meat hanging off of it and set to work preparing it in the least troublesome manner, for hopefully a decent tasting return. Beef ribs are more meaty than pork ribs which tend to be tender and falling off the bone. If you like a strong flavor and hearty texture, then beef ribs are the way to go.

I started with two racks of about 6 or 7 beef back ribs each. I prepared a rub by tossing together two tablespoons of ground black pepper, a tablespoon of oregano, two teaspoons of cayenne pepper, and two teaspoons of celery salt. I then placed the ribs in two 9x13" baking pans and rubbed all the surfaces with the spices.

I then poured enough apple juice into each pan to cover the bottom by at least 1/4 inch. Covering each tightly with aluminum foil, I placed them onto a center rack in a 300°F oven.

I then let them bake for two hours.

After the two hours, I uncovered the ribs and let them bake for a few more minutes until the outside developed a slight char. You could also finish them over a grill, but I wanted the least amount of trouble and since the oven was hot, why not use that heat?

Using an 8 inch chef's knife, I cut between ribs which I held up vertically on a cutting board. I've served these plain with salt on the side as well as with barbeque sauce.

Faux BBQ Beef Ribs
2 racks of beef back ribsrubbake at 300°F for 2 hr.
2 Tbs. ground black peppermix
1 Tbs. oregano
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. celery salt

posted by Michael Chu @ 6/18/2004 10:00:54 PM   6 comments
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At 8:58 AM, Anonymous said...

There is another trick for expedient ribs. To get them "fall off the bone tender" in a hurry try boiling them for 1 to 1.5 hours in salted water. Then grill them until the outside looks right. Add some sauce, and grill a little longer to thicken the sauce.

This will produce tender ribs in less than 2 hours.

At 7:52 PM, Anonymous said...

Problem with boiling them is they lose all flavor. For best results, you first have to remove the back membrane and have your ribs marinate for about 24 hours in your favorite bbq sauce. They place them, covered, in the oven for 3 hours at 200o. The ribs will really get the taste of the sauce.

Once they're out of the oven, wait about an hour before broiling them a little on the bbq, with diamond marking for best results, and add some more sauce to cover it all. Restaurant-style perfect bbq ribs. Takes a little longer to prepare, but results will impress you!! You can also try liquid smoke if you want to add a little smokey taste.

At 9:41 PM, Anonymous said...

Two words: pressure cooker.

Beef ribs are tough, but the quickest and tastiest way outside of a long, slow grilling or smoking, is to use a pressure cooker, followed by a grill or broiler.

I've marinated, and cooked them in the marinade under high pressure, then grilled. Or used storebought sauce in the pressure cooker, then grilled, with some extra slathering on of the sauce at the end of the grilling, making them in under an hour this way on a whim. Storebought bbq sauce is mostly sugar, which burns on the grill, so it can't really be basted on. But it only takes a little while at the end to put some color on the ribs.

Takes about 25 minutes under high pressure, just be careful that the meat doesn't slide off the bones while taking them out!

Steaming is much gentler than boiling. The flavors of the marinade penetrate, and the connective tissue breaks down under the high pressure and heat.

Also the quickest pot roast this side of the Mississippi. Whip up a 3lb pot roast in 45 minutes. Or a beef stew in 25, that tastes straight out of a crock pot. The wonders of pressure and a higher boiling point.

At 4:50 PM, Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous who said to marrinate, cover, and bake for 3 hours. I use a higher 250 degree oven, but the results are the same. After baking let them cool off (so they don't fall apart when you put them on the grill) and grill and slather with more sauce.

Everytime I make these for guests they are blown away.


At 1:24 AM, Anonymous said...

My absolute favorite method of cooking ribs is this, which I've made many times over the last several years:

Although this is meant for *pork* back ribs, it should still work for beef ones, if you're willing to cook it a little longer.

I also use straight apple juice, as the oil doesn't seem to help.

And while the other ingredients of the spice rub are optional and some may not be a good idea depending on your chosen sauce, the brown sugar is essential. You can rub it in until it completely "melts" just before cooking, if you don't want to do it ahead of time.

You could even brine the ribs before adding the rub to make them even better.

As the recipe says, it's amazing how much fat comes out of them and they don't lose any taste like boiling them or over grilling them causes. They litterally fall off the bone. It's time consuming, but worth it.

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous said...

re: pressure cooker

Your comments reminded me of the pressure cooker (still unused) that I was given last year as a gift after I had expressed interest in using one. I guess after reading some of the directiions and warnings that came with it I was a little intimidated and stowed it with the seldom used; I'd love to hear some practical advice from someone who uses a pressure cooker rather than the heebie-jeebie invoking technical directions that were provided. Thanks


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