Beef Ribs

I was walking through the Squaw Valley parking lot the other day and ran into a friend I haven’t seen in a while. We chatted for a bit about what we had been up to and were just parting ways when he yelled back to me, “Hey, what’s this week’s article?”

There is a little time involved cooking them to insure your ribs come out nice and tender.

We started talking again and I asked him if he had a recipe he wanted me to write about. His answer was beef ribs. He went into a tirade about the lack of appreciation and coverage beef ribs receive. I did have to agree with him.

Rarely do you see anything written about beef ribs or even see them on many menus. I do know a few places that serve them, but for the most part, it is all about the pork ribs and baby backs. Maybe it’s because any kind of pork rib seems so much daintier next to a beef rib, which always seems to conjure up that scene from the Flintstones when the brontosaurus ribs are placed on the side of the car and the weight tips the car over.

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You can be a little suave eating a baby back rib, nibbling away, keeping the mess to the lips and fingertips if you try hard enough. But, let’s face it, that is not going to be the case when sitting down with a plate of beef ribs.

Beef ribs would have to be classified at the farthest end of the scale from dainty. There is absolutely no way, no matter how proper you try to be, you will prevent getting sauce all over your lips and chin.

Beef ribs are awesome. What is your favorite cut of beef? For me it is definitely the rib-eye or prime rib, which is where the ribs come from. As a matter of fact, how many times have you had a rib-eye steak still on the bone? After eating the steak, trying to get every little smidgeon of meat off the bone, you pick up the bone and gnaw as much as you can until you feel the eyes of others upon you. Then you sheepishly return the bone to the plate and let the waiter take your dish before the caveman in you returns.

The meat closest to the bone is usually the most flavorful meat there is and ribs are about as good as you get. There is a little time involved cooking them to insure they come out nice and tender. They just need time cooking for the connective tissues to break down. You can do this on the grill if you have a lot of time or in a smoker if you are lucky enough to have one, but the easiest way is to pre-cook them in the oven.

Beef Ribs
2 racks beef ribs (3 to 4 ribs per person)
2 T kosher salt
2 T black pepper
1 T paprika
1 t sugar
½ t chipotle pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely diced

Mix all the herbs and spices together. Season the ribs liberally with the mix and place them on a rack in a roasting pan. Add a little water keeping the water level below the ribs and cover the pan tightly with foil.

Cook at 250 degrees for 4 to 6 hours or the meat is tender. Remove from the pan and finish on the grill adding barbecue sauce, if you want. Let the sauce caramelize just being careful not to let it burn.