Picking up the cryo-pack of beef ribs, I really didn’t look at it that closely. $10 for an 18″ double layer package of Short Ribs was a good deal…no.. a great deal. I quickly stuffed it under the bundle of asparagus and the bag of fresh greens, and quickly made my way out of the meat counter – lest someone realize they’ve made a pricing error and the meat police come to snatch them back out of my hands.
Even after I got home, my sight was blinded with thoughts of slow braising the delicious short ribs (al la Alton Brown), the fat and connective tissue literally dissolving into the muscle, creating oh so tender morsels of meaty goodness. Oh, the stews we’d have…. the stories we’d tell…….
If only I’d been a little less dazzled, a smidge less greedy. Opening the package yesterday to begin the day-long slow roast and expecting to find this:
Instead – there is this:
|Beef Back Ribs|
Back Ribs…. the anemic, half brother of the short rib.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing … Nothing… wrong with back ribs. It is still, generally, the same thing. A little less meat, a little more connective tissue, but still a fine meat for slow cooking…. you just can’t do them the same way. A 12-hour braise and slow-roast on a back rib will result in meat putty…and bone. I was really looking forward to those short ribs….
I had to rethink things….
I scrapped the paprika heavy rub, ditched the 200 degree oven in favor of the slow-cooker, and traded in the 12-hour slow cook for a 4-hour braise and 20 minutes in the oven… and got this:
4- Hour Back Ribs
Serves 4 to 6
2 Racks of Beef Back Ribs
2 Oranges, Quartered – (I used Clementines)
1 Rib Of Celery – Whole
1 Clove Garlic – Whole
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Lager Beer
1/2 Cup Beef Broth
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar – Basting
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce – Basting
1 Slow Cooker
1 Medium Sauce Pan
1 Roasting Pan
1 Basting Brush
- Place all the liquid seasonings in the slow cooker except the ones marked as “Basting”
- Place all the dry seasonings with the garlic in a mortar and grind together
- Score the slabs between each bone to cut through the connective tissue on the back side of the rib
- Mix all the dry ingredients and garlic – thoroughly rub into the slabs – front and back.
- Add the celery and orange quarters to the liquids
- Place the slabs in the slow cooker
- Cook on the high setting for 4 hours
When the time is up –
- Remove the slabs and transfer to a roasting pan
- Preheat the oven to 425
- Transfer all the remaining stuff to a medium sauce pan and add the vinegar and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil
- Remove from the heat and puree with the immersion blender
- Return the pan to the heat and reduce by 1/2
- With a pastry brush (or basting brush) coat each slab with a generous layer of the puree
- Place the coated ribs in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the fat and puree begin to bubble
- Cut each rib through and transfer to a serving plate.