Monday, May 24, 2010

Beef Ribs, German Potato Salad & Cucumber Salad

You've heard the saying "it's the next best thing to being there"? That's kinda how I feel about beef ribs; they are the next thing to a Prime Rib and about everybody loves Prime Rib. Anyways, on the way back from the course Saturday morning I ran into the store and was just minding my own business walking by the meat case and these two slabs of ribs jump into my buggy. I was glad though because it had been like forever since I cooked beef ribs and I was oh so ready for some. I do a lot of my cooking on the Backwoods Chubby and this little insulated water smoker is perfect for this type of cook. They turned out great and I learned something that I either never realized before or had forgotten and that was how important it is to remove the membrane. I read some recipes from some great bbqr's and most didn't mention it and I think it's only because they felt you should know that already. One person wrote that the beef ribs actually have two membranes and it is more critical on beef ribs than spare ribs that they be removed and I agree. I didn't make any effort to see if two membranes were there but was careful to remove all of the first one and still had some that it was quite obvious a membrane was present, so I believe there is two of them. I cooked these Saturday afternoon and it took only 3 hours at 250 to get the internal temp to 180 at which point I wrapped in foil a few min while we set the table. Since I had to mow the grass while the ribs were cooking the sides limited to just the Olive Pasta Salad and some bread, which was fine by me especially since I knew we would have plenty of ribs for Sunday too. Soooo, yesterday found me a little more ambitious when it came time to put some sides together and I chose two that like the ribs had been a long time since I had them. German Potato Salad and German Cucumber Salad and they did pair very well with the ribs. My Dad use to trade body work for motor work with a German friend in town named Paul Bender. Paul served in the German navy on a submarine and was quite a character. I was just a 12 or 13 yr old boy back then but in my 20's or around about 1972 or so I ran into him at some local rodeos where he had his son entered in the jumping horse events and I wound up stabling my horse with his for a while and during that time he hosted a cookout where his German wife made these two dishes. I can almost taste them some times when I think back about that day and I put my heart into making these and they tasted just like I remembered. Good weekend of cooking and fond memories for sure.

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