My brother was coming to visit. He knows I have difficulty getting some cuts of meat here in the mountains. Fortunately, he lives in Northern Alberta. Even more fortunately, my brother is generous and brought me several varieties of beef ribs, a full packer brisket, and a large piece of side pork to make breakfast. All this meat came from Love's Meats in Vegreville, Alberta.
As soon as I opened the box, you could tell this was high quality beef. The ribs had a nice layering of fat but lots of meat on them. The brisket is a thing of beauty. Great brother, huh!
The only downside is my brother and his lovely wife don't care for very spicy food so I would have to do a smoke that was not too highly seasoned for them. This was not a great sacrifice when you are dealing with great beef. It has a wonderful taste of its own.
For the meal I was serving him, I chose a wonderful rack of beef ribs. I had to just stare at them for awhile. If this isn't a work of art, nothing is.
I cut the rack in two so it would fit in a pan for the way I foil. I sprinkled them with SPOG (salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder).
I put them in the pellet smoker preheated to 210 F with oak pellets.
I smoked them for 3 hours.
I put some onion, celery and carrots in a roasting pan and added 175 ml (3/4 cup) beef stock. I put the ribs in and covered them with foil and put them back in the smoker.
I smoked for an additional 2 hours.
I put the ribs back in the smoker for one hour to crisp up.
I defatted the liquid from the roasting pan and added 175 ml (3/4 cup) beef stock, 50 ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce, 50 ml (1/4 cup) red wine and 10 ml of Worcestershire sauce to the liquid in a saucepan. I brought it to a boil and made a slurry of 15 ml (1 tablespoon) cornstarch and 15 ml (1 tablespoon) cold water. I added this to the liquid and cooked until thickened and shiny.
Here are pictures of the finished ribs.
Really good beef isn't just well marbled and pretty, it has a rich beefy flavour just like these. The smoke added a great compliment and the SPOG didn't overpower that great flavour, just added to it. If I didn't love it here in the mountains, I would have to consider moving to Vegreville just to have access to a butcher as high quality as Love's. As it is, I may have to visit my Brother more often. Only because he is a great guy. The fact he is near a great butcher has no impact whatsoever.