I was born in Texas. I only lived there for a few years, but I really believe there’s something about arriving on the planet somewhere in Texas that creates a predisposition for the true and uncompromising love of beef ribs.
Don’t get me wrong–I love pork ribs too! Never let it be said that I play favorites when it comes to ribs. But taking the time to prepare and grill beautiful beef ribs is usually reserved for Saturday afternoons in the fall, days when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, and college football is in the air.
Beef ribs are a tad pricier than our usual fare, so I always feel a little extra pressure to do them right. I fuss over the rub, worry about the perfect time and temperature –sometimes I even forget that weekend grilling is supposed to be relaxing and fun. But in the end, I’m rarely disappointed. Beef ribs, particularly from well-loved, grass-fed, grain finished cows have such a lovely marbling and depth of flavor that it’s hard to go wrong if you follow some basic rules. Slather them in mustard, choose a rub with a flavor profile you love, make the most of the tools you have, and be patient at every step of the process.
Happily, this weekend’s beef ribs were shut-the-front-door good!
These beautiful cuts came from International Meats, our favorite Astoria butchers. The rub comes from our own kitchen, and while we change it up from time-to-time there’s one element that’s absolutely consistent. No sugar. There may be a bit of sugar in the sauce when we sit down to eat, but the rub is purely savory and spicy.
Honorable mention in the weekend food fest goes to the stuffed jalapenos we grilled alongside the ribs. We’re still working on presentation (next time I’m wrapping them in bacon!), but the results were so delicious I can’t leave them out. Sharp cheddar, cream cheese, and fresh balcony scallions made the perfect filling for this spicy side dish.