It’s time to do our Eulogy Recipe for the Blues. Remember to read the Puck Daddy Eulogies over at Yahoo Sports as they are very funny. As long as it’s not my team! So what recipe is synonymous with St. Louis? Why St. Louis Ribs for sure! We may have held the Blues in contempt while we were on the ice, but we never have had any other feelings but true love for a great St. Louis Rib.
St. Louis Ribs are actually just pork ribs that have a different cut. To get the St. Louis-style ribs you have the cartilage and rib tips removed to create a rectangular-shaped rack. This cut of ribs, formalized by the USDA as “Pork Ribs, St. Louis Style”, allegedly originated with numerous meat-packing plants located in the St. Louis region in the mid 20th century.
St. Louis is also recognized by Kingsford as “America’s Top Grilling City” in its second annual list of Top 10 Grilling Cities. In St. Louis style barbecue, ribs are the main dish. They are cooked with a sauce that is less vinegary, tangier and thinner than its cross-state equivalent.
I went looking for the perfect recipe and I believe I have found it. This recipe is Myron Mixon’s Prize-Winning St. Louis Ribs. They look amazing! Of course you may have to buy Myron’s smoker to finalize this recipe, but hey, you can smoke a whole hog on it!
Myron Mixon’s St. Louis Ribs
These ribs are on the larger size, and they’re fairly easy to handle. A lot of folks favor them because they’re surrounded by more fat to flavor the meat, and when they’re cooked right, they’re tender and bursting with real hog flavor. Mixon cooks four racks for competition, so that’s what this recipe calls for. He recommends using his brand of Jack’s Old South Original Rub, of course ,but you can use any favorite.
Serves 8 to 12
4 racks spareribs
1 recipe Rib Marinade (see below)
3 cups Jack’s Old South Original Rub, or other favorite barbecue rub
1 recipe Rib Spritz (see below)
1 cup apple juice
1 recipe Hog Glaze (see below)
One at a time, place the slabs of spareribs on the cutting board, bone side down. Trim off the excess fat from the first three ribs. Turn the slab over.
Peel off the thick membrane (or “silver,” as it sometimes called) that covers the ribs. This silver prevents rubs and other seasonings from adhering to the rib rack and doesn’t allow a marinade or smoke to penetrate the meat, so it’s important to get rid of it.
The easiest way to remove the membrane is by making a small incision just below the length of the breastbone. Work your fingers underneath the membrane until you have 2 to 3 inches cleared. Grab the membrane with the a towel (which just gives you a better purchase on it) and gently but firmly pull it away from the ribs. Pulling off the membrane exposes loose fat that will need trimming, so take your pairing knife and cut out any excess fat.
The last step is doing the “St. Louis cut,” which ensures that the ribs will be uniform in size. Using a boning knife, separate the ribs from the breastbone: Pick the longest bone near the breastbone and use it as a guideline of where to make a horizontal cut along the length of the slab. You should end up with two slabs of ribs that are 5 to 6 inches in length.
After the ribs are properly trimmed, set the racks in an aluminum baking pan and cover them completely with the rib marinade. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and let it sit for 4 hours, either in the refrigerator or, if you’re at a contest or in a picnic situation, in a cooler packed with ice.
When are you ready to cook them, remove the ribs form the marinade. Pat them dry with towels. Apply the rub lightly around the edges of the ribs, over the back side of them, and on top. Then let the ribs sit, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a smoker to 275 degrees.
Put the ribs in a baking pan, put it in the smoker, and cook for 3 hours. After the first 45 minutes of cooking, spritz the ribs. Continue to spritz at 15-minute intervals for the duration of the cooking time. (The ribs should be uncovered so they can absorb as much smoke as possible.)
Remove the pan from the smoker. Pour the apple juice into a clean aluminum pan. Place ribs in the pans, bone side down, and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Place the pan in the smoker and cook for 2 hours.
Remove the pan from the smoker and shut off the heat on the smoker. Remove the foil, and apply the glaze to the top and bottom of the slabs of ribs. Re-cover the pan with foil, return it to the smoker, and let the ribs rest in the smoker for 1 hour as the temperature gradually decreases.
Remove the ribs from the pan and let them rest for 10 minutes on a wooden cutting board. Then cut and serve.
There is much more to know and learn and you can read the whole article here.
In the meantime, while we are chomping on a couple of great ribs, I will see you in the next round! The Western Conference Finals!
Go Kings Go!