Tag Archives: beef

It’s A Beef Rib Thing

Of course I’ve had them. But I’ve never attempted to make them myself. The under appreciated beef rib. Smoked no less.

Trimmed Beef Ribs Ready To Rub

There they are in all their beefy glory. I went out and bought a vacuum packed slab to give some of my beef rib smoking theories a shot. I’m thinking, “let’s just apply all of the things we know from years of smoking pork spare ribs.” Yeah, right…

Beef Ribs Rubbed and Ready To Smoke


How about a little smoking music. I was listening to this 1972 flashback when I was doing some rib prep. Being originally from Chi-Town I have a soft spot for Chicago (the band). And, Chicago V is one of their better offerings. Thought you would like a trip back too. Enjoy!!

I split the slab into two fairly equal size pieces. Skinned them and trimmed them up. The same as I would do for pork ribs. Gave them a good dose of my pork rib rub (Cook’s Illustrated July/Aug 1994). You could (and should) really use YOUR favorite dry rub. People seem to like my spare ribs, so, I figured I would go with a proven winner. Oh, I did add a little extra cayenne pepper to the mix. The thinking here is the beef could handle the extra boldness of the additional pepper.

Beef Ribs. Ready to smoke

I like to let my rubbed ribs rest in the fridge overnight. That way the meat really absorbs the flavors of the dry mixture. Take them out of the fridge about an hour before cooking to let them warm up a bit.

The experiment continues. When the ribs were coming up to room temp I decided to inject them. Just to give them a little added flavor boost. I do this with my pork spares. So, I figured what the heck. For the injection I used a combo of beef broth, beef bullion and Worcestershire sauce. I got this from Wicked Good Barbeque. It’s essentially a 1-1-1 ratio. Beef broth, 1 TBS Worcestershire, 1 cube beef bullion. Bring to a simmer, then cool before using. This is a GREAT injection for beef. I’ve also used it on my Smoked Beef Brisket with delicious results.

Time for the smoke. I use a vertical Meco smoker. I’ve had this one for 20+ years. Still performs every time.

Beef ribs on the smoker

In case you’re wondering what’s in the water pan? I pretty much use whatever is handy. Today, I got lucky. One can PBR, one apple quartered, one yellow onion quartered, 8 cloves of garlic smashed. Then filled 3/4 full with hot water.

I like to smoke ribs at 250º. So, I’m going to use the classic 3-2-1 rib smoking method. 3 hours smoking, 2 hours wrapped, 1 hour sauced and back on the grates. I also like to let my smoker come up to temp before I add the meat.

Beef ribs after three hours smoking

They’re looking pretty good at this point. Now, off to wrap.

The secret wrap ingredients

Yes, that’s an actual picture of the super-secret wrap mixture. OK, it may not be a national security secret. You can probably find this semi-mysterious concoction on any BBQ show that has Johnny Trigg as a competitor. This is his favorite trick (modified a little). Oh, you want me to tell you what that is? Come on do a little work for yourself. Life ain’t that easy.

Wrapped, and back on for another 2 hours.

Here’s where I made a game time decision. Usually, I would unwrap, glaze with sauce and put the racks back on the smoker for another hour. But, I decided to leave them on and wrapped for another half hour. Then I would, unwrap, re-wrap with some fresh foil and paper bag them for thirty minutes.

Here’s what happened…

Beef Ribs finished and plated


Beef Ribs finished and plated

Of course served with the first sweet corn of the season.

Ah, Sweet...

Verdict. I’m probably a little more harsh on my own efforts than others would be. I thought they turned our pretty well. Maybe, a 7 on a 1-10 scale. My pork spare ribs are a 10+. So, that may have been part of the issue. The bar may have been a tad on the high side. They were moist and cooked. As you can tell from the photo. Maybe a little too cooked. That was probably the result of the bagging.

The trouble with a beef rib. At least these beef ribs is that they’re not quite as meaty as a pork spare. So, the expectation is for a tender and meaty bite. They’re certainly tender. But, lacked on the meaty side. Great, complex BBQ flavor though.

If you’re going to fire up the smoker. AND, you want to give something new a whirl, this may be a great slate for you to write your own recipe on. I may just toss some short ribs on next time. Hhhmm…


647 Tremont (Andy Husbands of IQUE BBQ, Wicked Good BBQ)
Smokin Triggers’ – Johnny Trigg’s Facebook page (I never would have thought)
Cook’s Illustrated Dry Rib Rub
Meco Vertical Smokers


Saw this recently on Food 52. I think it more than deserves some of my special attention. Love Kevin’s cooking. So, probably a home run. We shall see…

Kevin Gillespie’s Barbecue Chicken with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Kevin Gillespie's Barbecue Chicken with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Keep your eyes, ears and mouth wide open!

Pure Beef | Lynne Curry


There is beef and then there is PURE BEEF!

Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut

TITLE: Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut
AUTHOR: Lynne Curry
PUBLISHER: Running Press

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: Porcini Mushrooms
Prized as an ingredient in various foods, B. edulis is an edible mushroom held in highDried Porcini Mushrooms by Andrew Shansby regard in many cuisines, and is commonly prepared and eaten in soups,pasta, or risotto. The mushroom is low in fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Although it is sold commercially, it has not been successfully grown in cultivation. Available fresh in autumn in Central, Southern and Northern Europe, it is most often dried, packaged and distributed worldwide. Keeping its flavour after drying, it is then reconstituted and used in cooking. B. edulis is one of the few fungi sold pickled. The fungus also produces a variety of organic compounds with a diverse spectrum of biological activity, including the steroid derivative ergosterol, a sugar binding protein, antiviral compounds, antioxidants, and phytochelatins, which give the organism resistance to toxic heavy metals.[Wikipedia]

• • • • •

First Impressions
This is a substantial cookbook. It contains information, not fluff. The distinct two part division makes for easy navigation. Part one includes prep techniques. There is a beef guide and lots of beef related info. Part two contains the recipes. They are printed in a burgundy color with green highlights and titles. It’s not distracting, but, an interesting choice. Sixteen bold, colorful Images by David Reamer are in one group located in the center of the book. It’s printed on a high quality bright white, gloss stock which has a nice silky, easy to handle feel.

• • • • •

What’s Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Part I
How Grass Becomes Beef
What’s the Beef?
How to Cook Like a Butcher
Part II
Great Ground Beef
Slow Simmered Feasts
Global Beef Cuisine
Steaks Done Right
Winning Roasts
Pure to the Bone
Simple Homemade Charcuterie

• • • • •

Honestly, is there anything better than cats singing about their love of beef? I think not. Enjoy!

• • • • •

Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Poor Man’s Beef Wellingtons Pure Beef Meatloaf
Whiskey Pot Pie Korean Barbecue
Mixed Grill Chimichurri Steak Stroganoff
Dutch Oven Barbecue Short Rib Rendang
Porcini-Rubbed Tenderloin with Saba Sauce and Braised Lentils New England Simmered Supper with Whole-Grain Mustard
Grassfed Pot Roast with Parsnips, Carrots and Fingerlings Rib-Eye Steaks and Grilled Romaine with Hot Tomato Vinaigrette


When you pack a cookbook with this many beef recipes there is going to be a lot of drooling. It was unbelievably hard to pare down the recipe list for this review. But, alas, we can’t list them all. Yes, there were a number that worked their way to the top of the heap. For example, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at homemade sausage making. Not Italian or breakfast sausage, but, salami or pepperoni style. The Deli-Style Salami (p258) seems like a recipe that I could tackle without a mountain of problems. Oil poaching fish is a common preparation these days. But oil poached meat? The Olive Oil-Poached Steaks with Thyme (p179) gets a huge thumbs up.

Chicken fried anything is OK by me. So, the Chicken Fried Steak with Buttermilk Gravy (p182) is a natural. Lastly, if the words “roasted” and “marrow” appear together in the same recipe title, it’s immediately in the running for a gold medal. The White Truffle Risotto with Roasted Marrow Bones (p247) meets that requirement and more.

• • • • •

Special Features
Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every CutThere are lots and lots of specials in this book. Most of them are contained in part one. It’s a great beef primer; they’ve titled one callout section, Cow 101. One of the more interesting and unique features is a guide on How to Taste Artisan Beef. It’s accompanied by a beef tasting scoring sheet. Apparently, the Food Innovation Center Experiment Station, located in Portland, is into this kind of thing. It’s good news for us! A detailed guide to cuts of beef is included and expected. The butchering section is a great how-to on slicing and dicing any cut of beef without mangling it into an unrecognizable form. A pairing list includes not wines as you would expect, but, garnishes, sauces, spices and herbs. Very handy. The rear of the book has some online beef resources. Thankfully, no measurement conversion chart taking a two page spread at the back.

• • • • •

For beef and beef lovers this book is more than a home run, think grand slam here. It contains about everything you could possibly need or want on the subject. I usually find single topic cookbooks to be a little on the dry side. Not true with Pure Beef. Page after page has beefy information you can use day in and day out. That old Wendy’s question is finally answered once and for all. Where’s the beef? Here’s the beef!

Culinary Expertise Required: 5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut

Cookbook Giveaway! Yes, you read that right. I’ve got an extra copy of Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut to giveaway. Just click below and drop us an email. Tell us why you deserve Lynne Curry’s joyous ode to beef.


Links, Resources and Press
Lynne Curry’s Website
Seattle Times Review of Pure Beef
Perseus Books
The Artisan Beef Institute

A Brisket By Any Other Name

Poitrine, bringa, bryststykke. No matter how you say it, it’s still a brisket.

BUY IT - The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes

WARNING: This book is not suitable for vegetarians, vegans or herbivores of any stripe. However, if you love slow cooked, tender and delicious meat, grab a plate and get your fork!

It’s a cut of meat that slices across ethnic and cultural lines. A specific cut of meat. Not just a burger or a steak, it’s more than that. At first blush you would think, “How many ways could you possible cook that?”. You would be surprised.

In Texas, it is held aloft as a piece of BBQ lore and legend. Worthy of a battle for a medal, trophy or plaque. On St. Patrick’s Day, we can’t get enough of it served with a side of cabbage, potatoes and maybe a Guinness (or two). It has starring role on the other side of the world in Vietnamese Pho. And, it’s nearly impossible to imagine any Jewish holiday without a moist and flavorful brisket served on a big platter to a waiting table of family and friends.

Stephanie Pierson affectionately calls her cookbook a “love story with recipes”. When The Brisket Book hit my desk I thought, “OK, here’s another collection of the same re-tread brisket recipes”. Boring… This is a prime example of why you shouldn’t jump to conclusions. It is not possible to have been more wrong. Boring is the last thing this cookbook is.

I thought I knew about brisket. After all, I have cooked a small truckload of them. But, what I didn’t know about this versatile cut of meat could, well, fill a book. And Stephanie filled it up!

I love the list of “50 Things About Brisket That People Can Disagree About”. Example: #5 Electric Knife? You may as well give one person a can of gasoline and the other person a match and see how long it takes them to set each other on fire. People are just that insane about the topic.

Of course, I have to cook one of these versions. I opted for Chef Todd Gray’s, Classic Braised Beef Brisket. Anything classic should be a good test.

Here’s How To Do It

Classic Braised Beef Brisket

2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 3lb beef brisket, trimmed
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 quart veal stock
1 cup dry red wine
½ cup balsamic vinegar

Pre-heat oven to 350⁰. (Note: the recipe in the book does not specify an oven temperature. I used 350⁰, it seemed safe)

Mix together the salt, paprika, mustard seed and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the brisket all over with the spice mixture. It will look like this.

Classic Braised Beef Brisket

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until hot. Brown the brisket evenly on both sides. About 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Classic Braised Beef Brisket

Transfer the browned brisket to a large oven proof baking dish or Dutch oven. Add the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Also, add the garlic, stock, wine and vinegar. Cover the dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake in the oven until fork tender. About 3 to 4 hours.

When the brisket is cooked, transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil. Strain cooking liquids into a pan and reduce over medium heat to about 2½ cups. Slice the brisket against the grain and drizzle with the sauce.

Serves 6

Classic Braised Beef Brisket
Recipe adapted Classic Braised Brisket, Chef Todd Gray. The Brisket Book, Stephanie Pierson, Andrews McMeel Pub.

TIPS: I used beef stock instead of veal stock. It still turned our fantastic. This is a super easy brisket recipe. A home chef of any skill level should have no problem at all impressing their family and friends with their brisket expertise.

The Bottom Line: This book hits all the right notes. Not only is it a great collection of new (and old) brisket preparations, but, it also serves as a great resource. It’s a fun read. The contributions from professional and amateur chefs make it interesting on a lot of different levels. Writing a single subject cookbook can be tricky. Stephanie avoids the common mistakes that make these types of books a little on the dry side. Well done!

BUY IT - The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes

Author: Stephanie Pierson
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN-10: 1449406971

BUY IT - The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes


If you like The Brisket Book, here are few books from the Cookbook Man’s list that might interest you.

Backyard BBQ: The Art of Smokology Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue Texas Eats: The New Lone Star Heritage Cookbook, with More Than 200 Recipes Big Green Egg Cookbook: Celebrating the World's Best Smoker & Grill