Saturday, June 7, 2008

Jun 7 Barbecue Prep - Spare Ribs

A neighbor is having a going away party for an international student they are hosting.

Growing up in California, barbecue and grilling are used synonymously. Both use coals to cook food, right? However, as I learned in my adventures in meat cookery, they have two different meanings.

Barbecue uses the concept of cooking proteins "low and slow". Low indirect heat applied over a matters of hours. Indirect heat just means that coals are off to the side of the meat being cooked.
Grilling implies cooking with high direct heat. Cooking times are usually under an hour with the meat directly over the coals.

My contribution to the party is barbecued spare ribs. With all the rainy weather, I've been getting antsy to use my smoker/grill.

A slab of spare ribs.
Note the crease below the first 5 rib bones on the left side of the slab.

My intent is to trim the ribs St. Louis Style.
Below the crease is the sternum (mainly cartilage) that runs perpendicular to the ribs.
When you trim the ribs, you cut off the sternum cartilage, plus you try to square off the slab.

Cut and try to run parallel to the end of the ribs.

The next step is to remove the then membrane covering the ribs. You can slip the tip of the knife under the membrane to create an gap. Afterwards you use your finger to enlarge the opening and work to the end. Afterwards, you can use a paper towel (get get a good grip) and peel the membrane off the ribs. Trim off any large chunks of fat and membrane from the rest of the backside.

(Optional) Flipped the ribs over. The ribs are a uniform thickness. However, there's usually an extra portion of meat (on the left end of this photo). I usually don't trim it off, but for today I did.

The extra portion trimmed off. The fat and membrane was trimmed off the ribs.

The spare ribs trimmed St. Louis Style.
Note the clean line of of pork running diagonally about mid-slab.
This is a little flap of meat that some people trim. I left it on.
Also, note the right end of the rib was trimmed to square off the slab.

The ribs were seasoned an allowed to sit overnight.
A light coating of mustard.
A light coating of Susie-Q.
A light coating of Louisiana seasoning.
Note: When I used a chili based dry rub, I apply a much heavier coating. With Susie-Q, it contains msg and salt, so I go much lighter on the salt based seasonings. I'm not making salt pork... lol

Tomorrow - Cooking Day!

No comments: