|barbequed back ribs|
In Brazil, back ribs are a highly desired cut of beef, and are consequently one of the more expensive cuts. In North America the ribs are valued less and because they surround the ribeye they are often "leftovers" in the butchering process, and can be picked up relatively inexpensively.
If being grilled, back ribs must be allowed to cook until well done, since rare or medium-cooked ribs are not tender at all and, though flavorful, can be too chewy to enjoy. It's the long cooking that tenderizes the meat.
Alternatively, back ribs can be cooked in the oven and there benefit from the presence of moisture to help them become tender. Back ribs, like their cousins the short ribs, take marvelously to the braising process, in which meat is cooked with liquid at a relatively low temperature, for a long time. Or the ribs can be roasted covered, which allows the trapped steam to aid in the tenderizing process. Either technique will result in tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs.
Coming up on Flavors of Brazil - some ideas on how to cook back ribs Brazilian style. Stay tuned.