Thursday, May 4, 2017

St Louis Style Ribs BBQ

Baby bak ribs tend to dry out quickly are leaner, while St Louis are larger, meaty and full flavored. These are the ones you want for the fall-off-the-bone tender ribs. St Louis style ribs are spare ribs trimmed of the sternum and flap ends, leaving just the most desirable parts. In preparation, these have their membrane removed, dry-rubbed with your favorite rub, and set aside overnight to marinate. I include a smoke component in the rub but little sugar as the sugar has a tendency to burn. The key to fall off the bone tender is not to dry out the meat in the grilling phase and to allow a low slow fisnish foil-wrapped in a low oven.
St Louis Style Spare Ribs

Removing the Membrane
Each slab has a meat side and a bone side. The bone side has a membrane called the pleura covering it. It can be leathery when cooked, and, ideally, it is removed and discarded. Many butchers remove the skin or may be asked to do this. If the membrane has not been removed, you should remove it yourself. In the middle of a rack, on the bone side, insert a fork tine between the membrane and the meat. Work a finger in to help separate the membrane. Use a paper towel for a better grip; gently begin peeling it off, trying not to rip it. If patient, you should be able to pull it all off in one long strip.         

Ribs will be cooked on the upper rack of your grill not sitting over the direct heat. The grill will be lid down to keep a steady heat. Start out with just one center burner on medium high to see where the temperature will stabilize then adjust up of down as required for a correct temperature. Preheat the grill to low 220-270F. Grill ribs grill-cover down  for a total of two hours on low tuning once after first hour. After 30 minutes in the second hour of cooking, mop top of ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce. Cook 15 minutes, turn over ribs, mop this side of ribs, the finish grilling grill lid down for 15 minutes. Now that the ribs have some char and color, wrap in a double wrap of heavy-duty tinfoil. It is important to seal these so the moisture stays in while oven baking.

Pre-heat oven to 275 F.

Bake at 275 F for two hours. (You can cook longer if starting a a lower heat.) Let rest wrapped for 20 minutes, serve with one or more sauces on the side.

Mesquite and Chilies Rub

A good rub is a combination of fresh spices, seasonings and herbs. Let rest overnight, if possible, or several hours, the prep time is the same, but the depth of flavor is deeper if overnight.

Sea Salt
Mesquite Smoke Flavoring
Sweet paprika powder
Merken1 Mapuche Chile powder
Ground Pasilla Chile powder
Chile chipotle powder
Garlic powder
Black and white pepper
Onion powder
Ground Makrut2 lime powder
Optional ground Cascabel Chile
Optional ground aji amarillo
Optional ground ancho chile

St Louis Style Ribs BBQ

  1. Merken is a traditional Chilean seasoning created by the indigenous Mapuche people. The local version is made from Goat’s Horn chile (aji cacho de cabra), which is mildly spicy and smoky, but not nearly as strong as chipotle.
  2. Makrut lime leaves are indigenous to Southeast Asia. Many of the trees now thrive in Hawaii. They have a citrus-like, floral aroma and impart a unique flavor. 
  3. Serve  with garlic bread and Vicky's Potato Salad

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