Last summer, we weren't allowed to have anything but an electric grill on our balcony, and what's the point of that? We wanted to wait until we were home (house, specifically) owners and get a gas grill. So I made BBQ beef ribs the way any condo owner would: on the stovetop and in the oven.
I did beef ribs for a couple of reasons. I still did not eat pork if I could help it (which I will return to as soon as this meat-loving baby leaves my system), and my friend Lindsay was coming over. In her pregnancy, the smell of any pork made her sick. Funny how bossy these kids are in utero, eh? Upon shopping for my dinner party, I discovered that a gigantic slab of beef ribs are about SIX BUCKS. Wow! This is gonna be great, I thought! I'll feed everyone on the cheap, and please the whole crowd.
Well, mmm... Not so much. The recipe I used wasn't the problem. I wanted to poach the ribs first, then finish them in the oven, so that they are fall-off-the-bone tender. I'm sorry to say that I apparently did not print out the recipe as I normally do, and while I remember it being an Emeril recipe, I cannot find the exact one that I used. However, it was similar to this one, only not so complex. I basically covered the ribs in a large pot, using a lot of water, some broth, and a couple bottles of beer. I added peppercorns, a couple bay leaves, salt and pepper, and some rosemary (use a light hand with the dried rosemary -- the flavor REALLY comes through) and I think some carrots, celery and onions. I poached the ribs for about a half-hour, or until the meat started pulling away from the bones (per the instructions that I now cannot find.)
Next, I put them in the oven on a foil-lined pan. If memory serves, I did them with a light spice rub (salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and a little cayenne), and cooked them low and slow (250 degrees) for about 30-45 minutes, covered in foil on top. Then I removed the foil from the top, brushed on some BBQ sauce (yes, store bought), and finished them off under the broiler. You'll notice that in this particular Emeril recipe I'm linking to here, he boils them longer and skips the low-and-slow part to go straight to the broiler. Most poaching recipes I find for ribs do one or the other.
They were beautiful when they came out!
However, I found that the beef ribs had disappointingly little meat on them. After cooking, they were mostly bone. Guess there's a reason why those are so cheap!
Still, I would do a similar recipe the next time I do ribs. We are now the proud owners of a Weber gas grill at our new house, which get its maiden voyage today with a couple of steaks (I figured on starting slow.) When I do the ribs, I'm gonna use a recipe that's a combination of poaching, and low-and-slow cooking on the grill. Some folks say that ribs should have a "tug" on them, but I don't agree. I like them to be very, very tender.
But there will be potato salad! I've finally learned to use a very light hand when adding the mustard.
Our friends were gracious about gnawing on the big beef ribs, and Baby #1 seemed to enjoy the experience, too.
We'll let you know how the grill works out!