Monday, September 5, 2011

Spicy Braised Rib Tips

When I demonstrated how to trim pork spare ribs St. Louis style, I mentioned in the video that the trimmings would not go to waste. Actually there is nothing wrong with cooking the rib tips right along with the ribs.  But I prefer to use the trimmings for other things.

This recipe makes a bunch of spicy shredded pork that can be eaten by itself or used to make things like:
  • tacos 
  • quesadillas
  • burritos
  • beans and rice
  • pork nachos 
  • top with a fried egg for breakfast
  • pizza
This weekend I used a batch and some of Alexis' leftover homemade rolls to make mini spicy pork subs.
Condiments were roasted red pepper mayo and a jalapeno/onion relish.

We typically freeze it in quart sized vacuum bags and then on a weeknight it can be ready in 15 minutes by putting it straight from the freezer into a pot of boiling water for just a few minutes.

It seems like a lot of ingredients but it is an “everything goes in at once” deal. 

I used a camp style Dutch oven but you could also do this by braising in your stove top/oven.

Spicy Braised Rib Tips

5 lbs pork spare rib trimmings (trimmings from 3 ribs)
1 white onion, peeled and sliced
¼ cup fresh oregano
¼ cup cilantro
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 dried red chiles, chopped (deseeded if you want milder heat)
½ cup beer
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup oil
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp seasoned salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dried lemon peel
3 cloves (whole not ground)

Put the pork and all fresh ingredients into the Dutch oven.

Whisk together the liquids and dry seasonings for your braising liquid. Pour over everything in the Dutch oven.

Braise for 2 hours. This is where I screwed up but it worked. Can you tell what I did wrong in this picture?

When using a camp Dutch oven like this the typical arrangement is 2/3rds of your briquettes on top and 1/3rd on the bottom. My plan was 10 on bottom, 20 on top. As you can see, I reversed it - DOH! Every 15 minutes I turned the bottom 90 degrees counter clockwise and the lid 90 degrees clockwise. It wasn't until an hour in that I realized my mistake. It didn't seem to hurt anything and when I replenished the coals, I fixed it.

When the tips hit 195-200f they are done. That took right at the 2 hour mark for mine.  Remove from the coals and let rest for 10 minutes.
They will look butt ugly at this point, don't worry, they taste amazing.

Then use two large forks to shred the meat like pulled pork. 

Try not to eat it all while you are shredding it.....

It looks a little like pulled pork but the texture is a little more firm than pulled pork and because of the ingredients I used, it has a Latin flavor profile.   

 It was perfect in the black beans and rice that I made to go with the flank steak the other day.

Win a $500 Carivore Kit at
Kingsford is giving away a Carnivore Kit EACH WEEK just for signing up and showing where you are grilling on their interactive map [click to enter].  Each package includes -
  • Snake River Farms meats
  • Kingsford barrel grill
  • Kingsford charcoal
  • Grilling tools
  • KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce
This is a very nice prize package.  I've had the Snake River Farms beef and it is fantastic, some of the best waygu beef around.  Tender and incredibly good.

I hope you all are having a great Labor Day! 


  1. Great use of the rib tips, I've been waiting to see what you were going to do with them. I love how it can be pulled out of the freezer on a busy weeknight. I am always looking for things like that and the recipe sounds great!
    Happy Labor Day :)

  2. oh yum!!! Glad to see that I'm not the only one who has "doh" moments. Yesterday was full of them. For some reason, I kept forgetting to add salt and pepper to every recipe I cooked. sheesh

  3. Cranky computer. This is my third try at a comment. Anyhow, I somehow knew we'd see you on patio on Labor Day. I tried watching the trimming video but Mr. computer wouldn't agree to it. I will try again.

  4. Never let those leftover bits of meat go to waste. Delicious. That's the best way to come up with varied meals, especially during the week.

  5. Great post. I try to conserve and plan ahead but not as well as you. That braising mix should make anything taste great.

  6. hee hee
    "dutch oven"
    I'm still a nine year old inside.

  7. Now I wish the ribs I purchased had been untrimmed!!! This looks amazing!

  8. I had a very hard time discerning whether you were giving tips on how to cook braised ribs...or whether you were braising rib tips. Thanks for clearing that up :P

  9. i have to show this to my husband, he loves dutch oven cooking. it looks divine, i bet it smells and tastes even better!

  10. Thank you for sharing this post,Chris!Wonderful idea!

  11. Oh man! Delicious! Delicous! Delicious!!!

  12. Good way to use the rib tips and it sounds like they had lots of flavor. Hum - top with a fried egg - now there's an idea :-)

  13. Nice. I like the idea of adding these to those black beans too. YUM!

  14. Great, tasty-looking sandwich and how you could NOT eat it all while shredding it. :o)

  15. Awesome!
    The perfect pairing is a zinfandel.


    Nannette Eaton

  16. I just stumbled onto your blog, and I absolutely love it! It's so nice to find other bloggers in my area. I would really like to have those rib tips for breakfast, now!

  17. I am not a big left over fan, but that looks so good that if there was any left I would need to attempt to create a Quesadilla.

  18. Oh Chris. That shredded pork is SCREAMING my name!

  19. Now I know I came by here for a look see earlier and left a message. I can't see it here. I bet it was super witty too... GREG


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