The Crown Jewel of Barbecue: Slowly-Smoked Australian Grassfeed Beef Plate Ribs
It’s New Year’s in the heart of Central Texas. And, what better way to send off an amazing 2018 than by serving the crown jewel of beef barbecue – dinosaur-sized racks of Australian grassfed beef ribs!
These gargantuan hunks of succulent beef, also called short ribs, come from the lower, ventral section of the animal’s 6-10th ribs, which by comparison, is a very similar cut to St. Louis pork ribs. Beef ribs are most often found in retail markets butchered into “shorties” – 2-3″ long hunks of rib with 1-2″ of meat atop the bone. But, these ribs derive their name not because of size, but because they are harvested from the beef short plate. When prepared appropriately, this cut of meat is the most tender, juicy and flavorful hunk of beef you’ll ever enjoy.
With that said, there are few occasions we have annually to treat the special people in our lives to a truly remarkable meal – New Year’s is certainly one of those times. An evening to stay home and gather, celebrate in good cheer, reflect on the blessings of another year past, and to look ahead with enthusiasm towards all that is in store for the next 365 days. And, in true Lone Star State-style we’re sending off the year past and welcoming 2019 in grand, live fire fashion – I’m preparing several 4-bone slabs of beef plate short ribs, which is enough to feed more than a dozen very hungry carnivores!
The meat is simply seasoned and slowly smoked over oak wood, before braising in beer until tender, fall from the bone perfection. In the fleeting moments of cooking, the ribs are caramelized in a tangy barbecue sauce, removed from the heat and carved length-wise between the bones, then garnished in fresh herbs and situated atop a bed of buttery parsnip puree and homemade broccoli floret salad. Best plated family-style, a hearty year-end meal like this served alongside loved ones, the best of friends, and two handfuls of ice cold, craft-brewed IPA beers.
-Stay hungry, my friends, and best wishes in your New Year. May 2019 be everything you choose to make of the next 365 days!
Slowly-Smoked Australian Grassfed Beef Plate Ribs
- 4-5 pound rack of Australian grassfed beef plate ribs
- Hot sauce, homemade or store-bought
- Granulated garlic powder
- Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2-3 Oak wood chunks, soaked in water for 1 hour
- 1 cheap lager beer
- Barbecue sauce, homemade or store-bought
- Fresh parsley, to garnish
- Preparation: Before smoking, remove ribs from refrigeration and using a chef’s knife, trim the meat-side fat cap if still present, but leave underside silver skin in tact. Pat the rack dry with paper towel, brush entire surface with thin layer of hot sauce and aggressively season with garlic, salt and pepper, to taste. Rest covered until near room temperature.
- Preheat the Smoker: Meanwhile, preheat off-set smoker (or grill positioned for indirect cooking) to 275°F. Insert a full pan of hot water and toss pre-soaked oak wood chunks over the heat source. Commence the cook when temperatures level and the dark, billowing smoke thins and turns blueish in hue.
- Smoking the Beef Ribs: Place ribs into smoker and lay bone-side down (if cooking on a traditional grill, set over the indirectly-heated grill gates). Cook with lid closed, for approximately 3 hours, intermittently rotating and spritz ribs with beer throughout the cook, beginning after the first hour.
- Braising the Beef Ribs: Remove ribs from smoker and wrap tightly in a double-layer of tin foil. But, before sealing the tin foil tightly, pour half a beer into the bottom of the foil. Place wrapped ribs back into the smoker for another 3 hours untouched, until the internal temperature reaches 195-200F. Unwrap the ribs, discard the foil and juices, and place ribs directly on the smoker grates. Over the final 15-20 minutes of cooking, brush one caramelized layer of barbecue sauce upon another over the ribs until the internal temperature reaches 205F and a probe moves through the meat like butter.
- Resting the Beef Ribs: Remove ribs from the grill and slather one final time with sauce. Tent with tin foil and place in a styrofoam cooler to rest for 30-45 minutes before carving.
- Plating: Slice ribs length-wise between the bones and serve individually or family-style. Finish with a simple garnish of fresh chopped herbs, plate alongside your favorite fixins’ and pair with ice cold beverage. Cheers!