We don't cook much red meat at home. I would say maybe twice a month at most. It's not really something I crave and I still believe it's better to limit your body's exposure to something that is quite difficult to digest. Mike may very well disagree with me on that last thought, but he doesn't complain. Because when we do eat red meat, we eat it well.
Of all the cuts of beef to choose from, ribs are probably my least favorite. I have never cooked them at home and I cannot remember the last time I had beef ribs at a restaurant that didn't take a good gnawing at to get any meat worth eating off the bone [and a run to the restroom afterward to floss the strings of dry meat that always seem to get shoved in between your teeth]. Now this may very well be due to the lack of good quality beef ribs on the Central Coast [go figure], but that is my experience.
When we do have a hankering for bar-b-que, I always order brisket or pulled pork - or, if the ribs have a good reputation, I will try a few baby backs. But never beef.
Well, these beef ribs may just have changed my mind forever. At least in my own kitchen. Full of meat, low on fat and gristle, these ribs are so tender you barely need to chew. Of course, it's not just the recipe, but the source of the meat itself. Rancho San Julian beef has yet to let me down. Grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free, their cattle is happy, well-fed and tasty. Find them at the Santa Barbara Farmer's Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I am sure you will find that almost any grass-fed cattle in your area will provide the same result - if you don't have access to this Central Coast specialty.
The secret to this fall-of-the-bone, finger-lickin' good recipe is slowly cooking the meat at a low temperature. If you can get your hands on some meaty ribs, you will have enough to feed 6 people on one rack. I was amazed that one rib each was plenty.
Serve these succulent ribs with tomato and bread salad, sauteed greens, and corn on the cob. Or roast up some potatoes, squash and onions.
Whatever you do, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. And lick those fingers clean.
dry-rub beef ribs
1 rack of 8-10 beef ribs
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp celtic sea salt
1/2 tbsp onion powder
3/4 tbsp cayenne
1 tbsp herbs de provence or rosemary, thyme and oregano
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut [palm] sugar or brown sugar [optional]
Mix together all of the spices and herbs.
Lay the ribs on a foil covered baking sheet. Rub the spice and herb mixture into the meat, being sure to completely cover all areas.
Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours or until meat is super tender and begins to fall off the bone. Allow to rest, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.