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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
Ron_L
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Default Beef Chuck Short Ribs (lots of pics)

Brother cmohr74 met at Restaurant Depot before the Chicago Area Lunch Bash on Sunday and I picked up some tri-tips and some chuck short ribs.

Since it's almost 60 degrees here today I decided to cook some of the beef ribs. So, at lunch I pulled the Memphis Pro pellet cooker out of the garage and go it warming up to 250 degrees and prepped the ribs. Since this was a last minute decision I didn't do much in the way of prep. No injection, and the rub only sat on the ribs for 15 minutes before they went into the cooker.

There were four pieces in the cryo, each with 4 bones. I picked two to cook today and vac-u-sucked the other two for another day.



I received some og Big Mista's Bitchin' Beef Rub last week, so this was a great time to try some out. I put a medium light coat on the bone side and a heavy coat on the meat side. I let the rub sit for 15 minutes to rehydrate a little and then touched up any spots that I missed.



I did not trim the fat. I may regret that later, but we'll see.



I stuck the ribs into the Memphis Pro at about 12:15pm. I checked them in between telepresence calls and at 90 minutes they were already looking good.



You can see the meat starting to pull back from the bones.



I peeked again after my next call, after they were in for about 3 hours. The internal temp was around 160 and the meat had pulled back quite a bit more.




I had another call so I decided not to foil them until they are headed for the cooler.

More pics later
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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:12 PM   #2
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Looks great! I've been thinking about getting a KCBS membership so I can get into the RD. That looks like another good reason.

BTW, if you would have waited a few more days, I think those would easily qualify for the "Lesser Known Cuts of Meat" TD.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:18 PM   #3
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Beefy ribs! Beauty
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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ---k--- View Post
Looks great! I've been thinking about getting a KCBS membership so I can get into the RD. That looks like another good reason.

BTW, if you would have waited a few more days, I think those would easily qualify for the "Lesser Known Cuts of Meat" TD.
I'm not sure about that. Lots of guys cook beef ribs around here. Now if I can find some Aardvark ribs...

BTW, During the comp season I'm at RD in Lombard quite a bit. We could meet there and you can go in as my guest. I met cmohr74 there on Sunday and he asked about the KCBS day pass and they gave him one without question. He didn't need it since we were already in, but it worked.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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i envy that dinner. looks great
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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:28 PM   #6
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Yup...Beef ribs are on my next smoke.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:32 PM   #7
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Looking Fantastic so far. I love ribs like that!

Cheers!

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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:35 PM   #8
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Those are some meaty good looking ribs. You'll have to let us know what you think of the rub.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:36 PM   #9
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Outstanding!

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Unread 01-31-2012, 04:37 PM   #10
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It's been a beef rib kinda week! Still eating off of mine from the weekend, although mine were back ribs.

Looking forward to more pix

So, are short ribs necessarily chuck ribs and vice versa? Or are short ribs a part of chuck ribs? Where do plate ribs fit into this? I've had this explained to me before, but I wasn't paying attention.

I am clear on what back ribs are - I cooked those this weekend 'cause I couldn't find the others. I used the Bitchin Beef Rub - they were fantastic! I also did some short ribs, but they were cut across the bones.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 05:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtr View Post
So, are short ribs necessarily chuck ribs and vice versa? Or are short ribs a part of chuck ribs? Where do plate ribs fit into this? I've had this explained to me before, but I wasn't paying attention.

I am clear on what back ribs are - I cooked those this weekend 'cause I couldn't find the others. I used the Bitchin Beef Rub - they were fantastic! I also did some short ribs, but they were cut across the bones.
Here is a good article by Meathead on the Amazing Ribs site...

http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/b...beef_ribs.html

The Zen of Beef Ribs

There are two major cuts of beef ribs, back ribs and short ribs, and there is a world of difference between them. This page has a discussion of their merits and drawbacks and descriptions of the subcuts. Click here to see three detailed charts of all the different cuts of beef and download them as pdfs.
When I was a boy the most common form of beef I ate was beef ribs. Dad loved them because they were cheap. He cooked them on a hot grill and they were ready in less than an hour. I remember them being sooooo fabulously beefy, and I sooooo loved gnawing on those bones. Problem was, the meat was sooooo chewy. But at the time I thought that was what all beef was like.
Beef ribs, like pork ribs, are not so cheap anymore because more and more of us are onto them. But they are a lot cheaper than the meat they lie near, ribeye steaks. Like ribeyes, beef ribs are well-marbled with fat which is why they are rich in classic beef flavor. But these muscles get a lot more work so they are full of the connective tissue and sinew that make this scrumptious option almost unchewable unless prepared properly.
In addition, the chewy meat is attached to the bone by a tough, thick, leathery layer of connective tissue, and there is another leathery membrane on the bone side. As a result, beef ribs demand special strategies to tenderize and release all their flavor.
Four paths to tenderness

This tough cut can be made tender and deicious by four different preps:
1) Barbecue them. When roasted low and slow with dry heat and a bit of wood smoke, you get a dark brown exterior, and flavorful, tender meat. Click here to learn how to make BBQ Beef Short Ribs two ways, Chicago style and Texas style.
2) Kalbi them. When the meat is cut thin, marinated, and grilled hot as they do in Korean Kalbi, you get relatively tender, powerfully tasty meat, with both beef and marinade mingling to perfection. Click here for my recipe for classic Korean Kalbi from beef short ribs.
3) Braise them. When simmered low and slow in a flavorful liquid, as they do it in France, you get very juicy, very tender, flavor packed meat that has absorbed the richness of the braising liquid. In return, the meat has given up most of its innate essence to the greater good of the stew. Click here for my Braised Beef Short Ribs Provencal recipe. It's a classic.
4) Tenderize them. First you sprinkle meat tenderizer, and then you pierce the flesh with a Jaccard meat tenderizer. The Jaccard has razor sharp blades that penetrate the meat and drive the tenderizer into it. This method results in very fine pieces of rare meat, very juicy and beefy, equivalent to $6-8 per pound meat or more. It also drives any E. Coli 0157H:7 on the surface down into the meat. These bad bugs from the gut of the animal get onto the surface of meat during the butchering process, and can get into the interior of the meat if you grind it or drive it in using the Jaccard. But they are killed if you cook the meat well done, to 160°F or higher.
Back ribs vs. short ribs

There are 13 ribs on each side of a steer, and the rib cage of a steer covers a lot of territory, from the backbone to the breastbone, perhaps 3 linear feet, and from the shoulder to the last rib, another 3 feet or more. So it matters a lot where the ribs come from.
You can buy beef ribs in large racks, like pork ribs, or more commonly small sections. A complete rack, usually from the 2nd to 10th rib, can have bones up to 18" long, and is almost never sold as a whole at retail. Buying ribs is tricky so it is important you klnow what you are looking for.
There are two major sections, and they are very different: Back ribs and short ribs.

At the top is a ribeye steak with the back rib bone still attached. Below is a boneless rib roast, pretty much the same muscle with the bone removed.


Back ribs: The meat is between the bones

Back ribs are popular for barbecue, but I am not a big fan. I suspect their popularity is because they are cut from some expensive steaks and back ribs are popular pork cuts.
The ribeye steak is among the most expensive cuts of beef, and that's a back rib on the left of the steak in the photo. The ribeye is a fabulous hunk of meat that is tender and juicy, in my humble opinion the best meat on the cow. Ribeyes lie in the dorsal area, on top of rib bones near the spine, towards the front of the animal, just behind the shoulder.
As you move further towards the midsection of the animal, the steak on top of the ribs is called the strip steak or shell steak, another highly desirable cut. Sometimes the ribeye has a smaller round hunk of meat on the other side of the rib bone, the filet mignon, another highly desirable cut. If the filet and the ribeye are both there on either side of the rib bone, you have a porterhouse steak. If it is from further back and there is a strip steak with a small filet, you have a T-bone steak. These are all first-rate steaks and very expensive.
Ribeyes and strip steaks are often sold boneless which leaves the back rib bones available for sale separately. The bones usually are 6-8" long, slightly curved, with very little meat on top and a nice finger of meat between them. Why so little meat on top? Because it is so valuable the steaks are cut "to the quick" off the bone, leaving little meat behind. The bones often show through, and are called "shiners". They usually come in sections of about seven bones.
Back ribs are good for braising because the marrow is a stupendous source of flavor for stews, and they are popular for barbecue, but they are not my favorite cut for barbecue because they have so little meat and they must be cooked to well done to be made tender.
Short ribs: The meat is
on top of the bones


The best cut of beef ribs comes from the lower, ventral, section, from the 6th through 10th rib, roughly the same cut as the St. Louis cut of pork ribs. It is called the short plate, and the ribs are called short ribs not because they are short in length, but because they come from what is called the short plate. The short plate is located right in front of another inexpensive, chewy but flavorful cut, the flank steak, and just behind another favorite cut for barbecue, the brisket.
The bones are almost straight and they have 1-2" of meat on top. They are good for barbecue, kalbi, and braising. Shorties are my favorite cut for barbecue because it is possible to cook them medium rare. That's the temp at which beef is most flavorful.
Short ribs are cut several ways:
English Cut Short Ribs

Shown below, this is the most common cut. There are usually 4-5 bones from 3-8" long. They can be sold as a rack or as a package of individual ribs. This is the way I like to buy them. The slab is about 7" x 8" and about 1" to 2" thick.
Short ribs often have a layer of fat on top, although some butchers remove it. This cut, about 9" x 5" is typical. Notice the meat is not all the same thickness, ranging from 1 - 2" thick.
This is the same slab of English Cut Short Ribs shown from above with the fat cap removed. The meat is wonderfully marbled, which means big flavor. The meat is thicker on one side from near the shoulder and those are called chuck ribs sometimes. They're the best.
Here is the same slab bone side up. You can see the thin leathery membrane which should be removed.
Flanken Cut Short Ribs

Flanken cut rib bones are typically only 1/2" to 1" long and they are popular in Asian and Mexican groceries. There is a lot of hard fat but the meat absorbs marinades well and is tasty if grilled. Try the Korean Kalbi marinade. This cut is also good braised. and I've even cut it off the bone and used it for stir fry.

Short Rib Riblets

Often shorties are sold in individual bone sections ranging from 1" to 6" long. Here is a typical riblet, a section of a single bone about 2" long and 1.5" wide. These are very versatile and they're great for braising, for slow cookers, for barbecue, and for Korean Kalbi. Just try to select a package with meaty hunks. Butchers usually try to hide sections that are mostly fat among the good ones.
Boneless Short Ribs

You can occasionally buy boneless rib meat cut off the bone. The cut on the left was about 1/2" thick and 8" long when I bought it. The cut at right was about 2" thick and 8" long. Both cuts work well on the grill but they can be tough at high temps. I recommend a Jaccard meat tenderizer.
If you can't buy boneless rib meat, you can remove it from the bone yourself. With a fileting knife, cut the meat off the bone, trim the thick silverskin and thick fat from the top, and remove the connective tissue from the bottom. You will have slabs of beautiful meat and super bones for soup or stock.
Dino Ribs

If you want something really showy, ask your butcher for Dino Ribs. These are short ribs 12" or more long. They're a special order, and a special meal.
Buying short ribs

Buying short ribs requires attentiveness. There are often 1/4" thick veins of fat running through the muscle layers, so you need to inspect the package carefully. Butchers seem to like slipping a nasty one or two in each package like the section of flanken cut at tight.

Beef grades

To further complicate things, there are several grades of beef, listed here in increasing quality and price: Select, choice, prime, and kobe (aka wagyu). The higher grades have a delicate web of fat threaded in with the muscle making the meat more tender, rich, and juicey. Click here for more info on beef grades.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 06:00 PM   #12
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Those are some nice lookin' ribs Ron! Can't wait to see them when they're finished.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 06:06 PM   #13
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I'm with gtr, I think I can figure out what back ribs are but I could really use a beef rib road map if anyone knows where I can find one. Nice lookin' short ribs Ron!
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Unread 01-31-2012, 06:08 PM   #14
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You're the man Ron. It's like you can read my mind. Either that or I'm really s l o o o w.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 06:16 PM   #15
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Absolutely beautiful ribs, Ron. I think I know what I'm putting an order in for this weekend! (and I hope they come out half as well).


Also, thanks for the beef-cut primer, Ron. It's nice to see it all lain out there like that and I loved the pics. There were a couple of ... unconventional things that stood out for me though, like,

"If the filet and the ribeye are both there on either side of the rib bone, you have a porterhouse steak."

"Shorties are my favorite cut for barbecue because it is possible to cook them medium rare."

I think the latter statement says a lot about where the author is coming from. There's nothing wrong with this viewpoint at all, but keep this in mind.
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