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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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A mysterious gift of ribs

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  • Lost in China
    Charter Member
    • Mar 2015
    • 409
    • Wenzhou, China
    • 22" Weber kettle
      Slow 'N Sear
      Hovergrill
      Maverick 732
      Thermopop

    A mysterious gift of ribs

    Out of nowhere yesterday, my girlfriend told me yesterday that she had ribs. Ribs? What the heck did she mean? No, she meant that she had a rack of ribs. For me. I was flummoxed and asked where this had come from. "My colleague," she answered. Now I'm really confused. "Why did your colleague give you ribs?" I asked. "She got them from her hometown," my gf replied, as if that answered anything. "What kind or ribs? Pork? Beef?" I only wanted to present those two options, I wasn't really looking forward to any other kind of animal's ribs. "Pork ribs," she replied. Look, the mystery I'm trying to solve here is why ribs just dropped out of the sky and into my lap. If any of you remember my older stories, it is next to impossible to find racks of ribs here. They all chop them up small into tiny pieces and you have to get the right butcher in a good mood in order to get some ribs cut the right way.

    So I play Sherlock Holmes, follow a trail of deduction, and by careful questioning I decipher that a coworker of hers went to her hometown to celebrate the recent Chinese New Year, where someone had butchered a pig, and my gf having told her that I like ribs, saved the ribs for me and transported them back to the city. Whew, mystery solved. I was a bit worried how long the ribs had spent unrefrigerated, but fortunately the hometown was nearby so that wasn't an issue. So, now I have a rack of ribs ready to go. I'd better cook them today, and not keep them in the fridge too long.

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    Looks OK I guess! Nine ribs altogether, the scale says 4.9 pounds. They just cut the spine off and these are the whole ribs. I don't know how I'm going to cut them into baby backs and St. Louis cut without a saw. I'm not looking forward to peeling off the membrane from under the rack. That is always a super pain in the ass and even with a butter knife prying, I could never get it to peel evenly. It would just break and then the only thing I could try to do was rip at it with pliers and hope it would peel. Nope. Ended up cooking with most of it still on.

    And I just so happen to have a very specific set of ingredients available, among them rosemary powder, ginger powder, onion powder, and paprika. Sounds pretty mundane but try finding any of these in the spice rack at the grocery store around here - no way. I bought them from my Christmas vacation in the States specially with the intent of making Meathead's Memphis Dust. It'll be my first time using it and I'm looking forward to it. However it's going to be in the oven instead of trying out my new smoke-n-sear, as it's still too cold to go outside and sit around (52 degrees brr!) Unfortunately I did not look ahead far enough and bring the liquid smoke for the oven ribs recipe. Oh well, it'll go on the list for the next time to bring back.


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    Last edited by Lost in China; February 20, 2016, 06:15 AM.
  • Jon Solberg
    Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 4819

    #2
    Nice looking ribs at that!

    Comment

    • carolts
      Charter Member
      • Dec 2014
      • 245
      • Cookers:
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        Primo Jr. + accessories
        Pit Barrel Cooker
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        Gadgets:
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        Coffee stuff:
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        And, while cooking:
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        Dogfish Head American Beauty
        Bent Water Thunderfunk

      #3
      Congrats on the gift from heaven. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble getting that membrane off! I love the Memphis Dust...gonna use it today on my own racks of ribs.

      Comment


      • Breadhead
        Breadhead commented
        Editing a comment
        When removing the membrane...

        Pry a portion of the membrane lose at the wide end of the rack. Grip the membrane with a dry paper towel and peel to the narrow end. It should come right off.👍
    • HorseDoctor
      Charter Member
      • Sep 2014
      • 1147
      • Central Iowa

      #4
      Looks like you got at least a good portion, if not the whole backstrap (loin) with the side of ribs. Personally I would trim that off and do something else with it. It's too lean to treat like rib and too good to turn to jerky trying to treat it like rib. Then just treat the rest as a rack of ribs. No need to break down any further unless the length won't fit your equipment. Guessing that the pig maybe a bit older than most of what we get here in the states. Not necessarily a bad thing but it would make the membrane (pleura) tougher to remove. If the membrane is that hard to get off, just leave it on. It'll be fine. If you really believe that it will stop smoke or spice from getting through to the meat, just score it with a knife between the bones. Come on, 52 degrees isn't too cold to grill ribs! Go for it! Enjoy!

      Comment

      • Lost in China
        Charter Member
        • Mar 2015
        • 409
        • Wenzhou, China
        • 22" Weber kettle
          Slow 'N Sear
          Hovergrill
          Maverick 732
          Thermopop

        #5
        Yeah, you were right about that! There was a slab of loin attached. There was also the entire spine attached, which made the ribs quite difficult to separate when eating. The loin meat did indeed dry out in the heat. I thought it was just the "meaty part" of the ribs. Oh well, live and learn. I wish I could take a course in butchery or something.

        The ribs didn't come out so well. I found a tutorial on oven-baked ribs by Meathead, but there was no recipe to follow! It didn't actually say how to cook the ribs. The assistant guy said something about wrapping them in foil first, but that was it! It was actually really unhelpful as instructions. They spent all their time eating ribs instead of talking about the cooking process. It's like they were only interested in the finished product and not showing us how to get to the finished product.

        This is the first time I've used Memphis Dust. Boy, that recipe makes a lot. I found out when my oven broke, the chuckleheads who repaired it evidently took the parts from the broiler to fix the bottom heating element. So, I couldn't properly broil the ribs to melt the sugar. Evidently this is a really important step with Memphis Dust because I still had granulated sugar sticking to the ribs. I tried turning up the bottom element to maximum to melt the sugar, but that caused the ribs to drip fat and it pooled in the oven and caught fire. I put it out, it wasn't serious, but I just yanked the ribs out at that point, we were starving. The ribs were OK but not nearly as good as I know they can be. Even if I had turned on the broiler, I get the idea that the hump would have melted or even burned while the sides were still sugary. This was a full untrimmed rib rack and it was almost hemispherical.

        I also found out that the membrane comes off easily after it's been cooked, it came right off in sheets. Unfortunately it took all my rub with it. Man, I suck at this.


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        Last edited by Lost in China; February 22, 2016, 01:52 AM.

        Comment

        • Breadhead
          Banned Former Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 0

          #6
          Lost in China ...

          Wow what a man has to do to get decent ribs in China must be overwhelming.

          Here is an easy way to mix Memphis Dust if you have a digital scale. Just collect all of the ingredients from your pantry. Put a mixing bowl on your scale. Add each ingredient and then hit the tare button after each addition to the mix. Whisk it all together and you're done. No measuring cup, teaspoons, tablespoons necessary.👍

          https://app.box.com/s/a0o9ibecm8p4366qe5uibhbt4n0netbt

          Comment


          • LangInGibsonia
            LangInGibsonia commented
            Editing a comment
            That's a great timesaver but you forgot the rosemary!

          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            Oh Damn... Thx for the heads up. I'll add rosemary and repost it.
        • LangInGibsonia
          Club Member
          • Jan 2016
          • 134
          • Gibsonia, PA (suburban Pittsburgh)
          • Lang Riley

            Suburban Pittsburgh, PA

            22.5" Copper Weber Original Kettle Premium (2016)
            Slow n Sear
            Grill Grates
            Drip n Griddle

            Camp Chef 24" Smoke Vault.

            Cheap Blue Ember 3 burner gas grill.

            ET-732
            Thermopen

          #7
          Lost in China
          ​Here's a really good oven ribs recipe and video from Alton Brown. I've done this numerous times before becoming obsessed with barbecue. I must admit I'm a bit of an Alton Brown worshiper because of the way he incorporates food science into his techniques. Now that I think about it, maybe thats why I love this place so much. HeHe
          On Good Eats, Alton Brown's Who Loves Ya Baby-Back recipe for ribs starts with a flavorful dry rub of brown sugar, chili powder and other spices.

          Comment


          • jholmgren
            jholmgren commented
            Editing a comment
            If you get the chance, go see his live show. I saw his first show "The Edible Inevitable" tour. It was a lot of fun. Got to meet him before the show too - what a great experience.

          • LangInGibsonia
            LangInGibsonia commented
            Editing a comment
            I did see it last year and planning to go to the new one this year. He is the best!!

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        Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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