Robb Walsh is right, beef ribs are both wonderful and taking the Texas Barbecue scene by storm. Read his great story about them in the Houstonia Magazine. JWS.
Published Sep 19, 2013, 10:24am
By Robb Walsh
Don’t miss the beef ribs at Killen’s BBQ pop-up in Pearland this weekend. Beef ribs are getting more popular among the barbecue cognescenti, and Ronnie Killen is doing amazing things with these underappreciated cuts. It’s all about the flavor: a well-cooked beef rib is just as succulent as a perfectly cooked brisket, but with a softer, silkier texture.
In Korean barbecue, sliced and marinated short ribs (galbi or kalbi) are rated alongside ribeye (bulgogi) as the best cuts of beef. Top chefs raised the profile of braised beef ribs in restaurants and that popularity spilled over into the realm of Texas barbecue.
“I think they have become popular because they have so much meat on them. Before the barbecued beef ribs were always dry and chewy,” says Ronnie Killen. “Now, cooked right, they are like the fatty end of the brisket but without all the fat.” Killens is cooking two varieties of ribs—the shorter ones are served on barbecue plates, and the big ones are sold by the pound. Since the big ones run from a pound and a half to two pounds, they are best eaten family style—one rib serves two or three people.
I have had some wonderful beef ribs over the years. Gonzales Food Store used to serve crispy smoked square-cut short ribs, but discontinued them. Crosstown BBQ in Elgin did an amazing job with the giant ones—before they went out of business. But Ronnie is right; beef ribs used to be the worst bet on the barbecue menu. Now, they’ve moved into the spotlight.
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