These Texas beef ribs prove that great barbecue isn’t complicated at all. If you can manage to keep your barbecue at a steady 107°C /225°F you can make these bad boys. Just like everywhere else there are trends in barbecue. Here in the Netherlands I see beef ribs getting more popular. A lot of the starting barbecuers made chicken on a beer can and pulled pork and are looking for something new to impress their friends, well these Texas beef ribs will do the job nicely.
Probably the hardest part for us in Europe is to track down the right cut of meat. You want short ribs, ask you butcher for it or source them from an online butcher that specializes in barbecue cuts.
I used corn fed black angus this time, I have used wagyu in the past, both give great results. You want a lot in intermuscular fat in your meat otherwise you’ll end up with dry ribs. A slab of four ribs will easily feed four people if you add some side dishes.
In terms of smoke wood you can add quite a bit of heavy smoke. Oak, hickory or mesquite go great with the beef and add that real barbecue flavor.
Texas Beef Ribs
slab of short ribs approx. 2 kilo (4 pounds)
smoke wood, 3-4 chunks (oak, hickory mesquite)
aluminium foil or butchers paper for wrapping
meat thermometer or a skewer
Prepare your barbecue for indirect smoking at 107°C/225°F. ( A smoker or ceramic barbecue will make your life a lot easier for this.)
Remove the membrane at the back of the ribs. I do this by prying it loose with a piece of kitchen paper between two ribs. You can also use a butter knife or phillips screwdriver to get you started.
If you have a lot of fat on top of the ribs trim that off with a sharp knife.
Rub a thin coat of vegetable oil on the beef ribs and sprinkle them liberally with salt and black pepper. Go heavy on the pepper, it will mellow out during the cook.
Add your smokewood, place your beef ribs in the smoker, away from the fire and close the lid.
After 3-4 four hours check the bark, the crust on the outside. You do that by pushing it with your finger, if it isn’t attached to the meat you’ll have to wait a little longer, come back in 30 minutes or so. If the bark is set and the color is a nice mahogany it’s time to wrap your ribs.
Warp the ribs in a double layer of aluminum foil or butcher paper and put them back in the smoker.
After a further 3 hours open the foil or paper and use the probe of a meat thermometer or a skewer to check for doneness. It should slide in with hardly any resistance. If it’s still a little tough wrap it up again and check back in 30 minutes.
When the meat is done take the ribs from the smoker and open the foil or paper. Let it cool down for a few minutes, there shouldn’t come anymore vapor of the meat.
Wrap it back up and let it rest for 30 minutes or longer. If you have longer to go you can wrap it in an additional towel to keep it warm for up to two hours.
I serve my Texas beef ribs by cutting the rack into individual ribs and then cut the thick layer of meat of the bone. I cut the meat into slices and the bones are for the caveman among my guests to gnaw on.