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View Full Version : How to Trim St. Louis Style Spare Ribs



TentHunter
07-21-2011, 02:02 PM
This post was inspired by a fellow forum member; Thanks Duke!

Trimming spare ribs to a St. Louis cut can seem difficult, but it's really quite simple if you keep it that way. There's NO need for special skills or bone cutting equipment!


What you need: A good sharp Chef or Boning knife, some paper towels & a clean cutting surface.
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-6o79SuJKlIw/TiiLR8J227I/AAAAAAAABTM/3Qzt-eypebk/RIBTRIM1.JPG



Here's a typical whole rack of spareribs.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-njzpJpvVMrM/TiiL4qaNMsI/AAAAAAAABRU/ItFsh2ekNps/RIBTRIM2.JPG



Start by trimming off the Skirt Flap. Don't throw it away; use it for stir fry or put in on with the ribs as a snack (trim off the silver skin).
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-JjR0YTjBN6U/TiiJ6NSh-mI/AAAAAAAABQs/F8moPY5eWQk/s640/RIBTRIM3.JPG


Trim along the black or red lines Whichever you prefer. The Black line follows the bone tips and will make it look more like Baby (loin) Back Ribs.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BwomC5lia2E/TiiJ6L6m__I/AAAAAAAABQ0/4wdVVuQ_TRA/RIBTRIM4.JPG

The bone here is cartilage-like and not hard to cut through. Don't worry about cutting through in one pass.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ILvMNgPhNb0/TiiJ6ekHIoI/AAAAAAAABRA/ZAJDPZkV7F8/s640/RIBTRIM5.JPG

You can separate the breast bone from the rib tips if you like and cook them up as well.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-YVOUcIfI4FY/TiiJ6Zqa4vI/AAAAAAAABRc/wndcphx15XU/RIBTRIM6.JPG



Trim up the end of the rack or leave it alone whichever you prefer (more stir fry meat).
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-gNtbGdlNOkQ/TiopkeIQu1I/AAAAAAAABS4/ioKnpwwBVg4/RIBTRIM7.JPG

The dreaded membrane. I like to start up at the corner by the meat because its easy to slip your finger under it there. Work it loose and use a paper towel to grab it & slowly work & pull it loose.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-8wkyEgMCZmE/TiiJ6xz9BlI/AAAAAAAABRE/xEHkGEzfJY8/s640/RIBTRIM8.JPG

All that's left is to flip the rack over and trim any excess fat as you see fit.
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BOV-g6XtehY/Tiopkp-1KZI/AAAAAAAABS8/K0EPUt_uykI/RIBTRIM9.JPG


Thanks! :)

Cliff

TentHunter
07-22-2011, 10:28 PM
I want to say thanks to everyone for the kind comments in the original thread. You guys are always an inspiration!

mmmarvel
04-08-2012, 07:56 AM
Wonderful pictures, I still have problems/issues dealing with the 'membrane' - never sure if I got it all, too much, not enough. Question - any idea why the butchers leave it on there? Does it hold the ribs together better while handling or something? Anyone ever ask/have the butcher take the membrane off at the market? Do they, will they do that for you?

TTNuge
04-08-2012, 07:59 AM
Wonderful pictures, I still have problems/issues dealing with the 'membrane' - never sure if I got it all, too much, not enough. Question - any idea why the butchers leave it on there? Does it hold the ribs together better while handling or something? Anyone ever ask/have the butcher take the membrane off at the market? Do they, will they do that for you?

It's just as much a pain for them to remove as it is for you, except you are only removing the membrane for 1 or 2 racks at a time and they are selling ribs by the case. If you have a good relationship with a good butcher you could probably convince him to take the membrane off for you.