Experiment: Oven ‘Barbecued’ Beef Ribs
I am not a huge fan of beef ribs, usually. I often find them too fatty… especially the short rib cut. However, these nice long, lean ones you see above are the ‘Prime Rib’ variety and, since they don’t appear in our stores very often, I just had to grab a few for supper.
Lately, I have been having a bit of a hankering for barbecue but, sadly, ‘tis not yet the season here in the North and, since my last cookout fiasco, I need to buy a new barbecue unit before I can do the real thing once again. Accordingly, I decided to cook these ribs in the oven with a nice barbecue rub made right here in my kitchen…
- ‘Prime Rib’ cut Beef ribs
- 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil
- 1 ½ tbsp. Garlic Salt
- 1 tbsp. Porcini Powder
- 1 tbsp. Peppercorns
- 1 ½ tbsp.. Sugar
- 1 Smoked dried Chili
The rib section you see above contains three ribs and will do my wife and I nicely (although I will have to hack one in half with a cleaver after cooking). The Porcini powder is just ground dried porcini mushrooms. You can omit this if you like but it will add a nice depth of flavor if you can lay your hands on it. The chili you see is one I smoked and dried myself and I will show you how this is done in a future post once we get some decent fresh red chilies here again. Use store-bought smoked chipotles if you can find them, otherwise, just substitute a pinch or two of your favorite chili powder.
First, cut the ribs into individual sections, trimming off any excess fat, and grind the rub ingredients (excluding the oil) to a powder using a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle.
Now rub the spice mix into the ribs, making sure not to forget the ends and the sides. You don’t need to use it all (I had a teaspoon or so left) but make sure they are really nicely coated. Next, brush the ribs well with the oil and set them aside to rest for an hour or so.
Heat your oven to 450 degrees and place the ribs on racks on a foil lined baking sheet with the meaty ‘upper’ portion facing down. Pop then in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or so (turning halfway through) until they are nicely browned and the meat is starting to pull away from the ends of the bone. Keep an eye on them during the cooking and baste with a little of the cooking fat from time to time, if necessary. At the end of the cooking time, if they are not quite as crispy and charred as you like, then do as I did and give then a minute or two on each side under the broiler. Leave them to rest for 5 or 10 minutes and then serve
I served the ribs with a simple salad and some nice crusty bread. The ribs, I have to say in all modesty, were top-notch. My wife even said that these were the best she has had since our friend Ann made some for us many years ago. I remember those ribs very well and they were actually the first beef ribs I ever really enjoyed so my wife’s favorable comparison was quite a compliment.
The quality of the cut was very good, it must be said, but the rub really made the dish, I think. Funnily enough, the smoked chili I added didn’t really come through very noticeably but, on reflection, I don’t think I would try and improve things by increasing the amount. The balance of the blend was just right and tasted great. With pork or chicken I might add something with a little tang … some powdered citric acid, or ground lemon peel, maybe … but for beef the mix worked well. I will definitely be cooking this one again…