Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Beef Back Ribs with Chimichurri on the Big Green Egg

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I do not receive any compensation for this post; however, I will be paid for my book sales.

The gauchos of Argentina knew what they were doing when they paired grilled beef with chimichurri.  The pungent flavor combination makes my mouth water every time.

This past weekend I found a nice rack of beef back ribs and decided to make the Beef Back Ribs with Chimichurri from my new book, The Offset Smoker Cookbook (Ulysses Press).  The only difference was this time, I used a Big Green Egg instead of an offset smoker.  Everything in this book can be cooked just as easily on a kamado instead of an offset.  The full recipe details are in the book but you can probably figure everything out from the details given here.

Beef Back Ribs with Chimichurri from The Offset Smoker Cookbook
Picture from The Offset Smoker Cookbook.

Types of Beef Ribs

I need to do an entire post about different types of beef ribs, but for today's purpose, I'll generalize and say there are two types of beef ribs (there are more). 

  • Beef Short Ribs - Cut from the Plate or Chuck primals, beef short ribs eat like brisket - luscious and beefy.  We smoke them whole, but in the grocery store, you'll see them trimmed down to half-sized individual ribs or flanken-style (Korean).  They are big, take a long time to cook, and a single rib will feed 1 to 2 people.
  • Beef Back Ribs - These are the rib bones that you see on a bone-in prime rib.   Beef back ribs are the leftovers once the butcher breaks a whole ribeye down into a boneless roast or ribeye steaks.  Naturally, these eat more like ribeye steak.  They LOOK big when you buy them, but they will shrink down quite a bit.  Back ribs are scrappy little things but still delicious.  Count on 2 bones per person.  

I started with a 3-pound rack of beef back ribs. 

How to remove membrane from a rack of beef back ribs
Just like with pork ribs, beef back ribs have a membrane that needs to be removed.  I used a dull knife to lift the membrane at one end.  Then I grab where it started to come off with a paper towel and pull it all of the way off.  It gets a bit resistant towards the wider end of the ribs, just keep pulling steadily and it will come off.

I lightly oil the ribs and season both sides with my NMT Beef Rub v.2 seasoning recipe.

How to smoke beef back ribs on a kamado smoker and grill
My set up on a large Big Green Egg was:  Kick Ash Basket filled with Tennessee hardwood lump charcoal and 2 splits of post oak.  I used an Adjustable Rig with an oblong heat stone.  You could accomplish the same with a standard convEGGtor and grill grate.

How to smoke beef back ribs on a Big Green Egg kamado grill
I cook these at 275°f for a couple of hours, spritzing them with beef stock occasionally.  

How to make beef back ribs on a Big Green Egg kamado grill
When the ribs had the dark crust that I wanted, I wrapped them in Oklahoma Joe's butcher paper and put them back in the Egg for a bit.  The TOTAL cook time was about 3 1/2 hours with about 2 hours unwrapped and 90 minutes wrapped.

While the ribs rested, I made chimichurri with flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, fresh garlic, oregano, red chile flake, pepper, salt, red wine vinegar, and oil.

You can see how beef back ribs get a bit "scrappy" during the cook as the meat contracts.  These taste fantastic, there's just not a lot of meat on the bone compared to a beef short rib.

BBQ Beef Back Ribs with Chimichurri
Beef back ribs with a punchy chimichurri.  
I have a little of the chimichurri left over, I think I might grill some strip steaks tonight and spoon some of the chimi over the sliced steak.