Fire & Oak: Montvale, NJ
Marco Polo: Glen Rock, closed

Beef: Ribs, BBQ

I'm not sure why I haven't posted about this deliciousness yet.  In fact I'm not sure that I've posted about any deliciousness recently.  Today's (or technically tomorrow's, I suppose - 5/24/09) article in the NY Times Magazine reminded me that I should.


We all know that pork ribs make great BBQ.  Texans know that beef ribs are the way to go.  And by God, they might be right.
I've used very simple rubs of just salt and coarsely cracked black pepper.  That's it.  Just add smoke and low heat for about 4 or 5 hours, and my goodness, you have some wonderful beef ribs.  They take on an incredible bark, and the meat is intensely beefy.  I go with the beefier woods for BBQ cow, like mesquite or hickory. I use fruit woods (apple, cherry) for pork, chicken, and most other stuff.
Beef ribs aren't easy to come by.  You can use beef short ribs, which are readily available, but they aren't preferable, and I've not had consistently good results with short ribs.  They're darn good for braising, though.
The article in today's NY Times Magazine confirms my suspicion that beef ribs are from (duh) the rib section, but specifically they're the bones from the rib roast (and your ribeye steak).  Since Americans don't like bones in their beef any more than they like bones in their chicken McNuggets, you can probably talk to your butcher (even the guys who work in the back of big supermarkets) and ask them to sell you some of the bones that they're throwing away as they make boneless rib roasts.  If you ask nicely, they'll make sure they leave a lot of beef on them for you.   
You'll see that Kenny Callaghan, of NYC's Blue Smoke, is featured in the article.  That's only fitting, as the beef ribs at Blue Smoke have become one of my favorite menu items.  That burger, I think, is still #1.  Blue Smoke, as I've mentioned, is one of the greatest places on the planet.  It just is.  
Fairway in Paramus has taken to stocking racks upon racks of beef ribs (for $1.69/lb no less).  I hope they keep up this practice.  They seem a little too trimmed for me, but I'll find out if they do the trick in about 24 hours.   Fairway didn't, however, have any pork butts today.  So, tomorrow, instead of a pulled pork and beef rib day, is a pork and beef rib day.  It might be fun to have people taste them side-by-side.  Then they'll read the NY Times article and be all like "that effing tommy is right on the leading edge. effing trend-setter.  eff."  Yay me.