Pork ribs are a favorite recipe among diners, as they are a perfect combination of fat and lean meat, making them very tender and juicy. And, because this dish is so versatile, it can be served with a variety of side dishes or dipped in a variety of sauces such as barbecue.
Choosing the right rack of pork
You may be surprised to know that there are three different types of pork ribs and that the cooking of the ribs depends on which rib you choose. This classification, which is particularly used in America, divides them into:
- Baby back or baby ribs: these are small ribs and are taken from the upper part of the ribs. They are characterized by having more meat and are shorter and curved.
- Spare ribs: these are the sternal ribs and are below the baby back and above the sternum. They are flat and have more bone and fat; this makes them much softer.
- St. Louis: The St. Louis are also spare ribs, but have no bone or cartilage. Their shape is almost rectangular.
From the above it can be concluded that you can get different cuts from the same rib and the cooking times vary between them. The baby back, for example, is cooked faster than the St. Louis.
How to prepare grilled pork ribs?
Preparing grilled pork ribs is an art that requires a lot of patience. A good pork rib roast will be one in which the meat comes off the bone easily and, for this, it is necessary to cook the ribs very slowly and to marinate them well beforehand.
Before cooking the ribs, it is necessary to clean them and remove excess fat; this prevents the meat from becoming tough and difficult to chew. You can grill the ribs whole, or cut the ribs into pieces to achieve the grading described above. To do this, ask your butcher for help, or use a suitable knife.
If you want the ribs to be very juicy and tender and the bone to fall out of the meat easily, you should follow a number of tips, starting with pre-cooking.
Pre-cooking the ribs
To get the ribs perfect, the first thing you should do, apart from cleaning them, is to cook them before putting them on the barbecue, grill or in the oven. Remember to leave the meat out of the fridge so that it is at room temperature before cooking. Fill a saucepan with plenty of water and place the ribs in it, over a very low heat, with the rest of the ingredients. The ribs should be left for two hours.
It is also very important, after pre-cooking, to leave them to cool.
Ingredients for pre-cooking
- One pork rib
- One onion
- Two tomatoes
- A pinch of saffron
- White wine
Grilling the pork ribs
There are two ways to prepare the ribs, grilled (with a special grill) or in the oven, using the oven's grill. You will only need the ribs and the broth from the pre-cooking process.
- Once the ribs are cold, after pre-cooking, you should paint them with the resulting broth. Use a kitchen brush and coat both sides well.
- If you are using an oven, preheat the oven to 200º C.
- Place the ribs on the grill at 180º C. At this temperature, you should remove the ribs three or four times and brush them again with the stock.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
- You will know the ribs are ready when the meat pulls away from the bone by itself.
Prevent the juices from escaping from the ribs.
Not only pork ribs, but any meat, should never be pierced with a fork; this causes the cooking juices to escape. Therefore, it is important to:
- Cover the ribs with a lid, aluminum foil or a special plastic bag.
- Use tongs or two spoons to turn the meat, but never prick the meat while it is cooking.
Sealing the meat
If the ribs are not roasted, but stewed, it is important to seal the meat before stewing. Sealing consists of placing the ribs in a frying pan, over high heat with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. As soon as they are browned, remove them from the heat. This will prevent the ribs from losing their juices, and they will be cooked on the outside.
Do not cut the ribs
Many people prefer to cut the ribs and remove specific parts of the ribs, but a cooking trick is to cook the ribs without cutting. Cooking the ribs uncut is much easier, but it also makes the result much tastier, so the meat is browned on the outside and the meat is juicy and tender on the inside.