It’s summertime and like most people world wide, we like to cook meat over over a fire. Perhaps what’s most attractive is the primal aspect to it, an ancient connection to the elements that lures us outside on the hottest of days to stand over a flame. Or maybe it’s simple cost efficiency- cooking inside causes the AC to go into overdrive. Either way, many nights a week we find ourselves at the grill, explaining the properties of fire to our 3 year old.
In light of this habit, I decided to take an adventure into the heart of southern cooking. Ribs. Beef ribs, no less. They looked amazing, and how hard could it be, right? And even if it went bad, I was comforted by the idea of bone broth after the meat was gone- that’s how I can justify such expensive cuts, by making several meals out of it. Truth be told, I was still daunted by these ribs. Little frightens me these days, as I’ve hacked my way through heart, liver, kidneys, and slurped bone marrow over the last several years. Yet, beef ribs caused me angst.
After some recipe searching, we settled on a rub and then a low-and-slow bake in the oven, to be finished on the grill. Creating the rub was fantastic. I’m not a fan of measurements or exactitude, so the experimentation with a variety of vivid and fragrant spices was thrilling for the senses. Rubbed on (quite a fun activity), I was ready to roast.
With the oven prepped to 225 degrees, the ribs were to cook for 3 hours. Leaving the oven on for any length of time in the summer is counter-intuitive to me, but I went with the recipe, something I rarely do. 3 hours later, with the AC on overdrive, we put the ribs on the grill to finish.
The taste? Well, it was fantastic. Pure, sweet, juicy delight. Though I’ve far from perfected ribs as the texture wasn’t the melt-in-your-mouth I was going for, it was a delicious dinner which was confirmed by my 16 month old sucking on the ribs. But that wasn’t the best part.
It came 2 days later, when all of those immense, thick rib bones were turned into bone broth, together with some onions, carrots & garlic. Thick, rich colored, gelatinous broth, which my children gulped down with loud slurps. They fought over the globs of bone marrow, with the little one happy to have won the bone to suck on and nibble any last bits of meat off. I couldn’t help but beam with pride.