Am I the only one that makes decisions based on what I don’t know?? I hope not.. but maybe that’s the researcher in me. I am going to call them learning opportunity decisions. I love when I go to my local market or butcher and they have something I’ve never cooked, not really sure what it is or what to do with it. Hence how I ended up with St. Louis Ribs. Now I’m sure you are thinking ribs are ribs.. Any they did have the standard rack of pork ribs right next to these, but give me an unknown cut and I am sold!
In researching what exactly St. Louis ribs were I came across a few explanations one of the best and best all around explanation of different pork cuts in general was out at amazingribs.com. Well worth a read if you wanted a pork-meat-education. Basically St. Louis Ribs are a specific cut of spare ribs with the rib tip removed, they come from next the belly aka the tastiest spot on the pig (think bacon). These ribs should be smoked but at the very least my research tells me dry rubbed and slow cooked.
We have a tendency to eat dinner later than most. Growing up my Mom always tried to hold dinner till my workaholic Dad made it home, so 8 p.m. dinner seems normal to me. Now when our family is all together there are lots of times we don’t sit down to eat till 9.. even 10 if we’ve planned an overly ambitious meal or there’s a golf tournament on. Yesterday I admitted got a little distracted with work and didn’t get the ribs onto the BBQ till late so this did turn into a very late summertime meal. But when the sun is still up eating at 9 pm doesn’t seem so bad. I would probably suggest this undertaking on a weekend when you can sit out and enjoy the backyard and the delicious smell of these ribs cooking.
I decided to make my own dry rub which turned into my ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ rub.
- 1.5 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp roasted garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp white pepper
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp BBQ spice – I used Hoochie Mama BBQ Rub I picked up in Texas
After putting a generous coating on the ribs I returned the ribs to the fridge for 6 hours. Next time I will leave over night with the rub on to enhance the flavour.
To slow cook on the BBQ – set one side of the BBQ on LOW HEAT. I kept the heat around 225 – 250F. Place the ribs on the opposite side to the heat. To ensure the ribs are cooking evenly, I turned them every hour. This also allowed the fat distributed to keep the meat tender, which means no need for basting or sauce. I cooked the ribs for 5 hours, they probably could have used another hour but it was 9 pm. The last hour I turned the ribs every 20 mins. You will know the ribs are done when the bones easily pull any from the meat i.e. the last few turns with the BBQ tongs should be a little tricky.
I served the ribs with a potato salad (using the same dressing from my ham salad) and ‘Mom’s Summer Squash‘ from simplyrecipes.com. I love love love this summer squash recipe. It is so simply and tasty!! A great way to get lots of veggies in and add colour to your plate. If you try nothing else, try this recipe you will not be disappointed.
Happy Grilling 🙂