Looking for some ideas for beef back ribs in the oven

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kettlemetal, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. kettlemetal

    kettlemetal Fire Starter

    I picked up a 2 pack of cryovac beef back ribs on special at Walmart on Fri night. I actually didn't look closely enough and thought this was one thick rack, not 2 thin ones. Oops. Looking around here and elsewhere, it seems people get mixed results and skimpy meat is a big complaint.

    I was planning to do these on the kettle or mini, but after trimming and getting a better look, I've decided to save the fuel (pork spare ribs on sale this week!) and try them in the oven instead. I'm happy to report that they had a great smell right out of the packaging, very beefy. Going simple here, just kosher salt and black pepper.

    I don't know my way around a cow the way some of you do, but the 2 racks appear to be from different parts. The longer rack didn't have much of a membrane and has unequal sized bones. Note the large one at the end in the 3rd picture:

    Pretty skimpy, but should work fine as dinner for 2.

    As for the cook, I'm not sure which way to go here. I thought about braising but am leaning towards doing them on a wire rack at 225, possibly with some time in foil with beer and or beef stock. Since they're thin, I don't see them taking very long, but I'm trying to figure out when to get started.

    Any ideas? I was thinking 3-4 hour range. Thanks!
  2. kettlemetal

    kettlemetal Fire Starter

    I'm still hoping for some discussion here, but had to pull the trigger. Ribs went into a 225 oven, uncovered, on a wire rack at 4:15. Will update as we go, any input appreciated!
  3. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Are you sure the packageing labels were right? You may have gotten a set of back ribs where you thought you had short ribs.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    They are just a rack of Side Ribs cut in half. Think Beefy St. Louis Cut. 225°F until tender is fine. Foiling will save some time. If you choose this route, brown them in the Broiler after they come out of the foil to add extra flavor and crisp the surface...JJ
    kettlemetal likes this.
  5. kettlemetal

    kettlemetal Fire Starter

    I thought they were back ribs. BUT...
    Never even considered them being side/spare ribs! Admittedly, I haven't done much with beef ribs beyond korean style flanken cut short ribs, so the ID help is appreciated. I kinda thought there were only 2 main parts: short rib plate, and the back ribs cut off of a rib roast.
  6. rogerwilco

    rogerwilco Meat Mopper

     We had a couple of racks, just as yours. They were simply placed in the middle of the off set cooker, between a slab of full beef spares (with some serious meat) on the left, and a turkey placed on the right-hand side.

     Those little racks cooked much faster than the "real" stuff and made for some absolutely delicious snacks for everybody while they waited on the rest of the fare. There wasn't a lot of meat but everyone enjoyed having a "taste" of things to come.

      I'd smoke 'em.
  7. kettlemetal

    kettlemetal Fire Starter

    On with the cook. Here we are at the 2 hour mark:

    Looking pretty good, internal temps range from 145-160. Very little liquid under the ribs. At this point I foiled them with a strange brew: 1/2 cup of Pabst mixed with a teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon beef stock concentrate. A teaspoon typically goes with a cup of liquid, but I wanted it more concentrated. I'll let this go about 30-45 min, check on things, then finish up unfoiled, possibly at a higher heat.

    I have an older oven with the broiler in a bottom drawer, which is a major PITA. I'm not sure the pan I'm using will actually fit in there either, so I may not go that route. Stay tuned...
  8. kettlemetal

    kettlemetal Fire Starter

    I sure considered it! If I had something else to cook too it would have been a no brainer, but these weren't worth the fuel for me. I missed the KBB Labor Day sale this year and am just about through my Memorial Day haul. It's inevitable that I'm going to have to pick some up at full price, but I'm not looking forward to it.

    That said, I did fire up the smoker for some measly pork neck bones last week! Those and these ribs would have made a nice cheap eats combo.
  9. kettlemetal

    kettlemetal Fire Starter

    I was busy after dinner last night, posting the rest now.

    The ribs sat in foil for about 40 min, then I cranked the heat to 375 and put them back in uncovered for another 20-30 min while I made a quick mac n cheese mix. Here's how they looked:

    I poured off the foil liquid and thickened it up a bit. Very tasty, I'll be using the beer/BtB combo again.

    My girlfriend is generally on board with whatever I make, but I knew beef ribs would be a tough sell. I cut the meat off the smaller rack and plated for her:

    I went with a few dino bones:

    I'm sad to say we didn't enjoy this meal very much. Her smaller chunks were almost completely made up of membrane and other nasty bits. I was able to cut her a few nice slices from my pile, as I didn't mind working on the tougher bits as much. The flavor was good, and the meat wasn't exactly tough, but it's just surrounded by too much nastiness. Those inner membranes that run between the meat and bone are very tough to deal with. Will ANY cooking method melt those away?
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Unfortunately some of the connective tissue is there to stay. There is a main membrane on one side, like Pork Ribs. This can be removed but that's it. There was a place in Oklahoma, not far from OU, that served all you could eat beef ribs like these. The meat was tender but you used your teeth to work the meat away from the connective tissue, almost a scraping action. I don't mind a little Hardcore eating but my Wife hated them, too much trouble and grease all over her hands and face. Look for some Chuck Short Ribs, bones 2,3,4 and 5. More meat than bone and less solid connective tissue. They are still pretty fatty and not necessarily for the casual Beef eater used to steak...JJ
  11. kettlemetal

    kettlemetal Fire Starter

    You described that well, definitely not for everyone. I too enjoy a little hardcore eating, but it's a very greasy process with these.

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