So far this summer I have only barbecued pork ribs, but these beef ribs looked fantastic on Cook’s Country. They turned out wonderful and were no more work than any other low-and-slow BBQ. The homemade sauce is made like any other on the stovetop, but is not applied during cooking.
The result is a solid 4-star; these are delicious. I love the flavor of nicely barbecued beef. My supermarket usually sells bone-in beef ribs for $5/lb, but these were only $3. Chris Kimball recommends “us[ing] beef ribs with a decent amount of meat, not bony scraps.” Of course that is easier said than done, because my butchers don’t leave much meat. It’s just a case of butchers maximizing profits, as they can sell boneless cuts for a lot more than $2.99/lb.
- I discovered last year that I don’t like adobo sauce, so I substituted a plain jalapenos. Because I used a fresh jalapeno, I sauteed it with the onion. The chipotle chile is added with the tomato juice.
Cost: $14 for 4 pounds of ribs.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess? Low/Medium.
Start time 2:30 PM. Finish time 6:30 PM.
Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared it today are given below:
For the Barbecue Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small onion
1 medium clove garlic, pressed
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups tomato juice
3/4 cup white vinegar (1/4-cup of which is saved to the end)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
1 teaspoon chipotle chile in adobo (I substituted 1 jalapenos)
2 tablespoons molasses
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- In a small bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder and 1 tablespoon water; mix to form a paste. Mince half an onion, which should yield about 1/4 cup. Mince your chile (with or without adobo sauce).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When butter is foaming; sautee onion for 2 to 3 minutes. Use a garlic press and add garlic directly into saucepan; also add the 1-1/2 teaspoons of chili powder. Stir and cook for 20 seconds.
- Add 2 cups of tomato juice, 1/2 cup white vinegar (leave the remaining 1/4 cup for later), Worcestershire sauce, the prepared mustard paste, minced chile, molasses, and salt to the sauce pan. Increase to high heat and bring to simmer. After you’ve reached a simmer, reduce to medium heat. Continue simmering for 40 minutes until sauce has thickened and has reduced to 1-1/2 cups.
- Remove from heat and add pepper and 1/4 cup of white vinegar.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
For the Ribs:
4 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons table salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
5-lbs beef rib, between 3 to 4 ribs per slab
- In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Evenly rub the mixture into all sides of ribs. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, take 2 large chunks of wood, and submerge in water for 1 hour. You can put a plate on top of wood chunks to keep them submerged.
- Open bottom grill vents completely. Light a chimney starter about one-third with full (about 30 briquettes). Allow to burn for 15 minutes until they are covered with thin gray ash.
- Remove wood chunks from water, empty charcoal against one side of grill and place 1 wood chunk on top of coals. Replace grill grate and adjust lid vents two-thirds open.
- Place ribs with meat-side down on the cool side of grill. Cover so that the vents are directly above ribs. If desired, you can check the temperature through a grill vent and it should be about 300 degrees. Cook for 1 hour (the grill temperature should now be 250 degrees).
- After 45 minutes, light another 30 briquettes in chimney starter and allow 15 minutes for it to become covered with a fine grey ash. Carefully set aside the cooking grate, add charcoal to the hot side of the grill and add the second wood chunk.
- Replace cooking grill and flip ribs so that the meat-side is now up; rotating so that the edge once closest to coals is now farthest away. Again cover grill, positioning lid so that vents are above ribs and cook for another 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. The ribs are ready when a fork can be inserted into and removed from meat with little resistance.
- Let ribs rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes, then slice between the bones to separate into individual ribs. Serve the sauce separately.