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Mar 25, 2010 10:02 AM

Roasting Beef Ribs?

I got a sweet deal on some gorgeous ribs marked "beef back ribs" which are clearly what was trimmed off rib-eye steaks -- that is, the same thing as prime ribs but without all the meat. There's plenty there though! I know I heard or read about these before but I can't think where. My thought is to S&P and roast at very high heat, like 475, and obviously not for very long. Then commence to gnawing. Your thoughts?

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  1. I think that roasting them "at very high heat...not for very long" will result in more gnawing than you bargained for.

    This cut is thick with connective tissue and you will need lots and lots of slow cooking to dissolve the collagen into something worthwhile. My suggestion is to season them, wrap them tightly in foil and then roast them at more like 175 for three hours, then unwrap them, glaze them with whatever sauce and let them crust up a bit.

    I suggest before you wing it that you do a little more reading on the effect of low, steady heat on collagen in cuts like these. It isn't difficult to get things right, but again, it isn't difficult to mess it up, either.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ernie Diamond

      Are you thinking of short ribs? Because that is NOT what these are. The reason I was thinking fast and high is that I roasted a pork rib roast recently at 500 that was completely amazing. I remembered reading in Cooks Illustrated that if you cut a beef rib roast off the bone and then tie it back on before roasting, then you get the benefit of roasting on the bone but the ease of slicing a boneless roast so I did the pork rib roast that way. The roast itself was delicious but the cook's treat of the bones was even better and very tender. These are those same bones but beef instead of pork.

      1. re: GretchenS

        Even so, the method I describe above is pretty much the same I use for pork ribs. I can't imagine that a quick blast in a hot oven would have the desired effect.

        But then, I have been wrong before...

        1. re: GretchenS

          I know what you've got and Ernie's way is still the better one to go.

          The ribs you have are not the cow ribs that one would find at a TX barbecue, but low-temp will get you pink tender meat.

          High-heat for this specific cut works really nicely when these ribs are flanken-cut (and marinated as galbi) but when they're long like this and exposed they'll still tighten up and be tougher than when wrapped into a boned roast (when they're tied back that big lump of meat still acts like an insulator).

          Of course, you could just cook them in two batches and decide which cooking method you like better.

      2. I love these too and the way I pre pare them is more like Ernie and the others have suggested. I put flat racks (like cake racks) in the bottom of my roasting pan. Then I season up the ribs well (you can go Roast Beef style or barbecue style and then include some smoky paprika and/or liquid smoke). Put 1 1/2 cups of water in the bottom of the pan; lay the ribs onto the racks and seal the pan up with foil. Roast the whole thing at 400 - 425 for 1 1/2 hours so they steam and get tender. Then uncover and let them crispen up in the oven, under the broiler, on the grill, however.

        1. While I wouldn't cook them *exactly* as Ernie Diamond suggests (simply a matter of preferences), he's right - there's way too much connective tissue in/between the bones to cook fast and high. I'd put a Dalmatian rub (S&P) on 'em and smoke 'em low and slow...say, 200F for at least three hours, possibly more.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ricepad

            Smoking is ideal but it ain't easy to do without some preparation. The foil trick does in a pinch, especially if you finish it on the grill.

          2. OK, there's a clear consensus here. Thanks to one and all.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GretchenS

              A recipe for salt and pepper ribs from Blue Smoke via the Times: