Farm Blog

Place Order
Making Ultra-Nutritious Beef Back Ribs

Posted by: Trevor

March 7, 2016

This cut is a "little-known" way to get the best of both worlds: bones and meat. I like to have meat with the bone-in, in order to get the nutritional benefit of the collagen/gelatin and red/yellow marrow in the bones. Beef back ribs provide an ideal balance between meat and bones. Plus they're so delicious and easy to make.

Many of our friends and customers have realized it's healthier and all-round better to consume more than simply muscle-meat, and they try to incorporate bones and organs into their diets. If you only consume muscle-tissue but ignore the bones and organs, you may be over-consuming tryptophan/cysteine and under-consuming collagen/gelatin and glycine.

Just a few generations ago, people regularly ate meat with the bone-in, resulting in more nutrition as the bone's nutrients were liberated into the meat during cooking. Plus, they'd eat organs such as liver and kidney, and sometimes the lesser known ones too. This is true of many of the world's ancient cultures. But somehow food trends in North America gradually shifted away from bones and organs, and focused exclusively on muscle meats.

Thankfully though, the pendulum is now beginning to swing back towards a more healthy, balanced approach to nutrition. Demand for bone-broth and organ meats is on the increase, as are cuts of meat which have the bone-in. Beef back ribs is a favorite cut of meat because of its very high bone-to-meat ratio. Plus, it is a nice presentation on the table, the long rack of ribs having an impressive look. I've put together a simple recipe you can quickly prepare which our family likes and hopefully yours will too. I adapted the recipe from this one at The Meat Source.

By way of background, beef back ribs are similar to pork baby back ribs but are much larger. They also don't need to cook for as long as pork ribs do, especially since grass-only beef back ribs require about 30% less cook time than grain-fed beef. In the recipe that follows, I will be grilling the ribs with dry heat, but you could just as easily braise them or cook them using some other means. For this recipe I like the dry heat of a grill and, since we use a wood-chip grill, the meat picks up the smokey flavor of the wood-chips which is an added benefit.

Beef Back Ribs For The Grill

  • Two or Three racks of certified organic grass-only beef back ribs
  • Spices (paprika, cumin, sea salt, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, cayenne, brown sugar)

Before you get started, remember to check to see if the beef back ribs still have the thick membrane attached to the bone-side. Sometimes the butcher will remove the membrane, although sometimes not, so you should check. Although you can cook the ribs with the membrane intact, I prefer to remove the membrane and discard it. The membrane, if present, is almost like a thin sheet of paper-thin white tissue on the bone-side of the ribs, and will peel away quite easily. Here's a simple description to help you (this is a pork rib description but it is applicable to beef ribs too).

Beef back ribs are one of the most nutritious beef cuts because of the bone-to-meat ratio
Beef back ribs are one of the most nutritious beef cuts because of the bone-to-meat ratio

Start by combining the spices into a bowl. This will be the "rub" which you apply to the ribs. You may need up to 2 or 3 tablespoons of rub per side of ribs. So if you are just doing a single rack of ribs, then you'd need as much as 6 tablespoons of rub. Now, I tend to like more rub than others might, so keep in mind that you might have some rub left-over once you are finished! And since I am making 3 racks in this recipe, I am going with the following amounts:

  • 4 tablespoons organic paprika
  • 2 tablespoons organic cumin
  • 4 tablespoons organic brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • Make sure you allow plenty of time for the rub to seep into the meat
    Make sure you allow plenty of time for the rub to seep into the meat

    Once you've mixed the spices, season both sides of the ribs with plenty of rub, then cover and let sit in the fridge for a few hours or preferably overnight.

    When you're ready to grill them, get the temperature to around 275 degrees and place the ribs on the grill.

    Turn them every 30 minutes, and cook them for a total of no more than 90 minutes or they will tend to dry out (remember, grass-only beef cooks faster).

    Make sure you don't cook the beef back ribs for too long or they'll dry out
    Make sure you don't cook the beef back ribs for too long or they'll dry out

    Here they are, ready to enjoy
    Here they are, ready to enjoy

    Once you remove the ribs from the grill, wrap each rib in foil and put inside a paper bag, and allow to rest at room temperature for about an hour. This will continue to improve the tenderness of the ribs. Once the hour is up, they're finished! Serve them and enjoy a healthy, collagen-infused, marrow-and-glycine rich set of back ribs. Of course, our certified organic grass-only beef back ribs are our favorite, and you can buy them here.


Other Farm Blog Posts

September 11, 2017Better Than Garlic Butter, Whipped Lard Is So Good
March 17, 2016Chicken Bone Broth - A Healthy Start to Your Day
February 25, 2016How To Make Super Healthy Pork Rinds
February 16, 2016A Delicious And Easy Way To Boost Your CoQ10 Intake
February 9, 2016How To Get Your Daily Dose Of Vitamin D From Pork
August 28, 2015Air-Chilled Chicken: 4 Reasons It's Better
March 19, 2015This Orphan Lamb Is Too Cute!
March 12, 2015These Fascinating Meat-Sheep Are New Additions To Our Farm
September 9, 2014These Pigs Are Having A Picnic In The Forest, Watch Them Having Fun
July 11, 2014Why Happy Cows Love Rotational Grazing... Watch As They Get Moved
June 18, 2014Watch As These Happy Chickens Enjoy Life, On The Grass And In The Sun
June 15, 2014She Went Vegan To Cure Her IBS
June 4, 2014Just Born: New Piglets, And They're Absolutely Adorable
May 20, 2014Alpaca's Getting Haircuts, Just In Time For Summer
May 11, 2014Baby Calves Galore, Momma Cow Has Twins
May 1, 2014Pigs On Spring Pasture At Sumas Mountain Farms
April 24, 2014Could West Coast Maple Syrup Be A Nutrient-Dense Superfood?
April 23, 2014How To Make Your Own West Coast Maple Syrup
April 18, 2014Watch Out For Local Suppliers Selling Fake Organic Food
April 16, 2014How to enjoy the benefits of wild Oregon grapes and thimbleberries
April 11, 2014A Traditional Festive Roasted Ham, With The Bone-In
April 2, 2014The astonishing super-nutrition of red marrow beef bones
December 10, 2013A Christmas Pig's Head Feast
November 20, 2013Buying your chicken in the US? It could be imported from China
November 14, 2013Rethinking seafood: 4 alarming reasons why it may be unhealthy
October 15, 2013Thanksgiving at Sumas Mountain Farms
September 17, 2013Lard: the momentum just keeps growing
August 21, 2013Another big health reason to buy organic, grass-only beef
July 25, 2013How to avoid dangerous fluoride levels in non-organic food
July 18, 2013Why grass-only beef has yellow fat, and why its better
July 9, 2013Shill scientists still bashing organic
May 6, 2013Organic mixed farms vs. conventional monocultures
April 19, 2013Why buying locally produced food isn't enough
April 1, 2013More reasons to love, experience lard
March 25, 2013Dandelion chickens on spring pasture
March 19, 2013Bees and bugs: pollinators in action on our farm
October 30, 2012Small-scale family farms under attack by local governments
October 10, 2012CKNW news "The Bill Good Show" interviews Sumas Mountain Farms
October 8, 2012CBC television news visits Sumas Mountain Farms
October 3, 2012Why organic, local, small scale agriculture is healthier & safer
August 8, 2012Reflections on Lard and vitamins A, D, E & K
June 27, 20126 reasons why pastured pigs are healthier and happier
June 25, 2012The best meatballs I've ever had
June 20, 2012Why organic farms are the best way to increase "green space"
June 18, 2012This tastes so good: Bacon-stuffed Pork Chops
June 11, 2012Cows on spring pasture
June 4, 2012Making parks more useful --- food security 101
May 29, 2012Reconstructing local food economies
May 22, 2012Why our eggs are totally soy-free
April 30, 2012A cow's life at Sumas Mountain Farms
April 24, 2012New Rideshare service allows customers to "carpool" their orders
April 21, 2012Now in stock: certified organic grass-only beef
April 18, 2012Reprieve: no GMO pigs in the food supply... for now
April 12, 2012Is food really too cheap?
March 21, 2012Easter hams are now in stock; more beef in 4 weeks
March 12, 2012Pork tenderloin is now back in stock: soy-free, certified organic, pastured, heritage breed
March 5, 2012Save the bees: What were doing this summer
February 27, 2012Producing and preparing your own food
February 20, 2012Bee wars: the next frontier in global food dominance
February 13, 2012False organic claims: How some local food-suppliers are misleading consumers...
February 6, 2012The best way to avoid eating Roundup
January 30, 2012Tapping big-leaf maple trees for sap
January 23, 2012Snowing on the farm
January 16, 2012What buying local food in the Lower Mainland actually looks like
January 9, 2012Pigs head: a healthy, traditional food
January 2, 2012Why local, organic food is important to our family
December 26, 2011Lard, Raw Milk, and Organ Meat: a formula for optimal health?
December 19, 2011Livin' Lardge: rendering pork lard, for health
December 9, 2011Organic pastured pork is now in-stock... and it's soy-free
December 6, 2011Maple Sap as an alternative to bottled water
December 1, 2011Soil: the wealth of nations