Prime cuts: Elevating the humble rib

Prime cuts: Elevating the humble rib

At first glance, the humble rib appears to be a relatively useless cut of meat.

A rib’s meat-to-bone ratio is often more bone than meat, and they’re tough as nails when quickly grilled, baked or sautéed. However, with a bit of knowledge and a lot of practice, one can manipulate this measly cut of meat into an almost transcendent eating experience using time, temperature, seasoning and a bit of smoke.

Below are some tips on how to make delicious ribs. All temperatures cited are in Fahrenheit.

Remove the silverskin
After you take ribs out of their packaging, the first thing you need to do is remove or peel the white-coloured membrane from the back of the ribs. Using a sharp knife, lift up one corner of the membrane and then using a paper towel, grab the loosened corner and pull the membrane off the ribs.

Never boil
Contrary to popular belief, never boil ribs before cooking. Boiling removes most of the flavour from the meat and all you'll taste when eating is barbecue sauce. The key to tasty ribs is cooking them "low and slow" — low temperature and for a long period of time.

Pork ribs
Rub ribs with yellow mustard and then cover with brown sugar and a dry seasoning like Carnivore's Usual Suspects. Let sit 4-24 hours. Wrap each rack individually with foil and bake in the oven at 300 degrees for approximately 2-1/2 hours until tender. Remove from the foil and coat with barbecue sauce before finishing on the grill or in the oven on broil.

Beef ribs
Liberally coat the ribs with seasoning like Carnivore steak spice and smoke over hickory or mesquite wood at 250 degrees for 4-5 hours. Remove from the smoker and wrap the ribs in butcher paper or foil and return to the smoker until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

Lamb ribs
Season the ribs and steam braise them in the oven until tender. Once tender, remove and finish on the grill with some extra spice blend and a quick coat of vinegar-based barbecue sauce to cut the richness of the lamb fat.

Whether you like them dry rubbed or slathered in sauce, sweet or spicy, smoky or oven baked, falling off the bone or with some firmness to the bite, ribs might just be the perfect food for summer barbecues. For those who like the work done for them, Carnivore will host Cayman’s inaugural Rib Fest on 4 July.

The all-day event features a 10-team rib-cooking competition, music, games and activities, a car and motorcycle show and plenty of beverage options.

This article originally appeared in the June 2021 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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About the author

Dylan Benoit is the owner of Prime Group and Carnivore Premium Meats in Camana Bay. He is also the host of the "Fire Masters" television show on Food Network Canada, Cooking Channel US and Blaze TV UK.

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