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Gifted a TON of beautiful, grass fed beef ribs...best recipes please!

My wonderful neighbor came through yet again. He raises grass fed beef and now we are lucky enough to have his surplus of beef ribs, both short and regular (?). I've never bought them or made them, husband loves them but always seemed expensive to buy for the amount of meat on them. What is the best way to cook/eat/enjoy beef ribs?

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  1. Wow!

    I know beef short ribs are very popular in recent years, but I'm a special fan of the regular beef back ribs that I see on occasion at my supermarket. Ideally, the ribs will not be all-too skimpy on meat, but who really cares, if they are free? The ribs, I believe, are more or less equivalent to pork baby back ribs anatomically but are obviously larger.

    These beef ribs seem to me to require long, low and slow cooking even more so than pork baby back ribs do. My favorite approach is to generously coat them with a dry spice rub with little or no salt, maybe smearing mustard all over them, too, and then wrap them tightly in foil or whatever for a day. If I am going to wrap them only a few hours, I will use salt in the rub.

    Then I cook them at least 3-4 hours over low or at least modest heat (275-325), with most of that time usually in a sealed environment, although it is also possible to go all the way with indirect and some direct grilling. I emphasize the grill if I want wood smoke. Cook on indirect heat with wood chunks in a covered Weber for two or three hours, continue in foil if the ribs seem to be drying, and then finish over direct heat for 10-15 minutes if you want to cook on some sauce.

    Apart from using heat too high or cooking too little time, they are hard to screw up. Be aware, though, that grass-fed beef can be leaner than store-bought.

    I look forward to seeing what others suggest here! Bon appetiti!

    1. I just made a braised beef short rib dish a few days ago when we had a burst of unseasonal chilly weather. I used bison short ribs, which will be somewhat comparable to your grass fed ones. Anyway, I made a Basque-inspired dish, where the ribs braise in a mixture of Coca-Cola and red wine (kalimoxto) and with some orange zest for added flavor. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy short ribs!

      1. Lucky you!! I had a neighbor that would oven cook beef ribs (or beef short ribs) by seasoning them with s&p, garlic powder and dry thyme, then put them in an oven proof dish, lightly cover them with her favorite barbeque sauce, add some water to the pan and cook them at 325F until done, basting now and then. The smell wafting in my window was amazing!! I invited myself to dinner once and the taste equalled the smell.

        1. I love beef back ribs with a passion and now that summer is here I plan to eat them every day. Trouble is, it's hard to find good ones so you should count yourself lucky.

          While most people think you need to cook them low & slow, back ribs -- whether pork or beef -- are naturally very tender (they are, after all, the "rib" in "prime rib") so you don't really have to go the low & slow route if you don't want to. You certainly can, and they will be delicious, but it is not necessary.

          Simply salt and pepper them generously and roast them in the oven or on a grill over indirect heat at a moderate temp -- about 350F -- for an hour or so. They will come out moist, tender and juicy, more like roast beef than like barbecue. They will still have a bit of chew and won't fall off the bone, and you may find you prefer them this way. The beef flavor will really come through and won't be overwhelmed by the smoke.

          Which is not to say I don't love them slow-smoked as well. I do. But I think for every batch I do in the smoker, I do five or six in the oven. It's just faster and easier and beefier., and you can do it on a weeknight.

          3 Replies
          1. re: acgold7

            I second acgold7 on the point that you do not have to cook beef back ribs for a long time, provided you are after a roast beef flavor rather than what most of us think of as ribs with barbecue sauce. Every year my sister hosts a big dinner with two prime rib roasts, bone-in. My favorite part is the slabs of bone cut away from the cooked roasts.

            1. re: Bada Bing

              God, yes. People fight over these so I usually have to buy extra.

              If you do decide to do them this way, save the bones for stock.

              1. re: acgold7

                +1 on the 'fast grill' method for beef back ribs... sometimes, we even do them for less time and eat the meat with a little pink in it - provided we remove most of the sliverskin on the flip side, and make many incisions between the ribs so that any sinew is cut. You end up with beef fibers in your teeth, but the 'caveman' aspect and beefy flavor is SO delish.

                Favorite way to make them around Shangrila here, is a thai-ish (big on the 'ish for the rub) prep:

                make a rub of 5-spice, aleppo pepper, course salt, brown sugar, coriander. Rub ALL over the rib racks (we cut into 4 rib sections, or about that), including rubbing spice on the bones, and leave in fridge for 2-5 hours.

                Ready charcoal grill for indirect/ medium heat, or set up gas grill for this if that's what you have.

                Mix up the Thai mop sauce/dip; Equal parts rice vinegar and soy; 1/2 part fish sauce. Add sriracha and brown sugar to taste to temper the tang. Add good handful of chopped cilantro for every cup of mop/sauce you make, and a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger.

                Cook the ribs for 10 minutes per side. Mop on the tangy (VERY in this house) baste, and flip on each side again for same time.

                Serve with green papaya salad and roasted corn on the cob. Slather/ dip more of the Thai mop on both beef ribs and corn.

                One of the BEST summer BBQ meals, and talked about by friends who have had it for years... the tangy sauce just makes you want MORE!

          2. http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/as...

            I have made a few changes but the sauce with this recipe is drinkable.

            1. If you have access to a smoker, I'd recommend that. Smoke them for a couple of hours over lower heat (225 to 250), then transfer to your oven to finish using the ideas below.

              1. I get 7 bone racks from a friend who butchers hanging beef. I give them a simple rub of salt, pepper & garlic powder & let sit overnight in the basement fridge. Next day I put them in a vertical rib rack over a drip pan throw them in the smoker (BGE) with lump charcoal only at 250 degrees for about 3 1/2 - 4 hours. Come out crispy on the outside, tender, juicy on the inside and outrageously rich & delicious. So much flavor I have yet to reach for sauce.

                ***Membrane on these bad boys extremely tough and should be peeled off the back of the ribs before cooking****...

                10 Replies
                1. re: Tom34

                  Except that, from what I've been told, Texans call this membrane the "candy" and would *never* peel it off. It gets crisp and crackly and holds in all the nice fat and juice. Diff'rent Strokes, I guess.

                  1. re: acgold7

                    I did not remove it once and it had a weird tooth feel as the front teeth slid over it.. Seemed considerably thicker and tougher than pork ribs. Do you leave it on when you do yours?

                    1. re: Tom34

                      Yes, always. It sometimes isn't actually edible, as you point out, but the meat scrapes off easily and it does serve to hold in the juice and fat and flavor. I decided long ago it was way too much trouble to remove and have never regretted the decision.

                      I am actually eating some plain roasted ribs right now as I am typing this -- wiping my hands off, of course, between paragraphs -- and the membrane on this batch is soft and pliable and quite edible, but this isn't always the case, I'll admit. But today's batch is completely fine and not chewy at all.

                      But if it's an unpleasant eating experience for you, you should definitely remove it. As we've seen, BBQ is an intensely personal thing. We all know folks who insist you must boil ribs to make them edible.

                      1. re: acgold7

                        Its been a while but I will have to try leaving it on again. I usually do pork ribs at the same time in hopes the wife and kids will leave my beef ribs alone. They don't like the membrane so maybe if I leave it on the beef ribs but take it off the pork that will do the trick.

                        I like the idea of extra ribs with a standing rib roast. While everyone else is eating the eye, My Father In Law and I go straight for the bones. Do you put them in the oven at the same time? Do they stand alone or under the roast?

                        1. re: Tom34

                          Depending upon how you do your roast, the answer can vary. I do the roast low & slow, so they go on a separate tray but in the same oven at roughly the same time. If they seem to be finished early, I can wrap them in foil and hold them until the roast is ready. Sometimes they go in a bit later. They're very forgiving, as you've discovered.

                          1. re: acgold7

                            Thanks. Will definitely try that. On a side note, I know you are big on dry aging. Last week I found a 28 dry aged boneless top choice strip steak dated late 2010 in the back of the freezer. Same had been vacuum sealed in a 3.5 mil bag. Color was same as the day I froze it and not a bit of freezer burn and perfectly delicious. Point being, in addition to the obvious benefits of dry aging, the lack of moisture really keeps the ice crystals down & makes it hold well in the freezer.

                    2. re: acgold7

                      I take that off beef - especially grass-fed!, but leave it on pork. Forgive the pun, but it is a very different animal as to how the papery 'membrane' tastes/ presents from piggy to moo., IMHO :)

                      1. re: gingershelley

                        This thread reminded me I have both Beef & Pork ribs in the freezer which I am going to cook next week. Have been taking off the membrane for a long time now but those Texan's know their beef ribs so I am going to leave it on this time and see it it helps with moisture retention and flavor. Hopefully it will also keep little fingers away from my beef ribs.

                        1. re: Tom34

                          Please let us know how it works out. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.

                          1. re: acgold7

                            Left membrane on.....salt, pep, garlic, .....BGE in vertical rack @ 250 for 3.5 hrs......meat pulled 1/2 inch up the bone.....then bone side down flat on the grid to crisp the membrane for 1/2 hr.

                            Ribs were delicious....very moist....think your right about membrane holding in moisture......so rich I could only eat 2 beef & 2 pork.....crisping the membrane for 1/2 hr on the grid helped made it easier to tear & chew........ wish I had picked up a crusty piece of bread to go with them.....oh, almost forgot, 4 ice cold beers......couple bourbons little later after cleanup. THANKS FOR THE TIP!

                  2. This is a delicious recipe for beef short ribs, from the "150 Best American Recipes":
                    I find I need to cut the salt for our tastes. Sometimes I substitute soaked dried mushrooms for the tomatoes, we like it both ways.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RavaIdli

                      I second this recipe - love it and made several times since I bought the book.