I like experimenting with new flavors, new cuts of meat, etc., as you no doubt know, based on emails I get from many of you :)
I found these beautiful beef back ribs at Whole Foods and decided to give them a try. They’re on the order of a short rib, which I love, but a little more like a St. Louis-style pork cut.
It’s a great Sunday game-day dish - a little spicy and very meaty.
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce - I like Sriracha
2 racks beef back ribs 2 lb. each
2 teaspoons smoked salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
Preheat your oven to 250. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil (for easy cleanup).
In a small jar or bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar and the hot sauce. Set aside. You can add the sugar if you like your ribs a little sweeter, but watch for scorching. I like pork on the sweet side, but not so much beef, so I left it out.
It’s better if you remove the thin membrane from the bone side of the ribs. The flavor will get into the meat more fully, and it will be much more tender - no matter what kind of rib you’re cooking. This is easy to do once you get the hang of it. See the picture below (although those are babybacks). Just use a spoon or a butter knife to wiggle under a corner of the membrane and use a paper towel to pull it back. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come off in one piece. Here’s a YouTube video on how to do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8ofS8ZpiQo
Place the ribs on the prepared baking sheet, bone side down. (Use two baking sheets if they don’t fit in one). Rub the tops of the ribs with olive oil and sprinkle them with smoked salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Bake the ribs, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Mix the apple cider vinegar marinade again, then pour it into three small bowls, dividing it evenly. Baste the tops of the ribs with ⅓ of the marinade.
Return the ribs to the oven and bake them for three more hours, uncovered, basting the top with ⅓ of the marinade every hour (make sure you rinse the basting brush after each basting with hot soapy water - raw meat isn’t something to mess with).
After 4 hours of baking, the ribs should be nicely browned and very tender. At this point, you can serve them. But to make them even better, reduce the oven to 200, and keep them in the oven for one more hour. This will ensure extra tender beef with a crispy, caramelized exterior. (If the ribs are already singles and not a part of a rack, skip this extra hour.)
Remove the ribs from the oven, cut into six portions and serve.
Sunday. Beef. Beer. Ball. Right?