92°F
weather icon Clear

Satisfy rib cravings on budget

Do you love ribs? Who doesn’t? (Sorry to all my vegetarians. Look away.) Although ribs are already quite inexpensive, did you know there are cuts of pork, similar to ribs, that are even cheaper? I’m talking about riblets and rib tips. Perhaps you’ve seen them in the meat department of your grocery store but weren’t sure what to do with them. If you like ribs, and being frugal and fabulous, these cuts of pork should be on your radar.

What are riblets and rib tips? This can be confusing because the terms are often used interchangeably. But technically, they’re both scraps left from trimming ribs.

St. Louis-style ribs are trimmed to be straight, flat and rectangular for even cooking and beautiful presentation. Rib tips (aka riblets) are the boneless strip of meaty rib ends or tips that are trimmed off the bottom of the ribs. They taste like pork belly but with cartilage. Sometimes the top of the rib bones (close to the spine) are curved and when those pieces are trimmed, they’re called riblets. Both cuts are delicious, easy to cook and much less expensive than ribs.

Not to be confused, there is another cut called “riblets” that’s made by cutting a rack of St. Louis-style ribs in half, running the length of the ribs to produce two thin slabs. These are often served as appetizers.

Back to the riblets I’m talking about.

You can find riblets precut in the supermarket but there’s an even more economical way to get them. You can purchase a full slab of ribs (less expensive than the St. Louis cut because the butcher didn’t have to trim them) and trim them yourself. You pay less per pound for your ribs and get the riblets as a bonus.

For this recipe I’m using the rib tips. Just like ribs, the best way to cook them is low and slow. It takes time but I find a two-step cooking process yields consistent, melt-in-your-mouth riblets. First, they braise in the oven. This step cooks off a lot of the fat that can easily be discarded. Second, they finish on the grill or under the broiler to caramelize the sauce and make them gloriously sticky.

What goes well with riblets? We like sweet potato fries and coleslaw. But all the usual barbecue accompaniments such as cornbread, baked beans, corn on the cob, macaroni and cheese, and Hawaiian rolls are wonderful.

When you serve these riblets, people will know they’re delicious, but never guess they’re so inexpensive. Just be sure to have lots of napkins and don’t wear white. Bon appétit.

GLAZED RIBLETS

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Time: 4 hours

What you’ll need:

3½ to 4 pounds riblets

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup water

Dry rub and barbecue sauce (use your favorites or recipes below)

Preheat oven to 250 F. Season riblets with salt and pepper or dry rub of choice. Place in a shallow baking pan (one with sides because they get drippy). Add vinegar and Worcestershire to ¼ cup water and add to pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and braise in the oven for three hours.

After checking for falling-off-the-bone tenderness, remove the riblets to another pan and either broil or barbecue.

To broil, preheat your oven broiler with rack in the upper third of the oven. Baste riblets with barbecue sauce and brown, turning and basting until you’re drooling.

To barbecue, prepare your grill for indirect heat. Place the riblets over indirect heat and baste with sauce. Turn often and repeat until the riblets are sticky, glazed and irresistible.

Easy dry rub: Combine 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon paprika, ½ tablespoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Customize this to your heart’s content.

Easy barbecue sauce: Combine 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard and ½ cup ketchup.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is a recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Schools prepare for start of new year

Schools in Boulder City are finalizing their distance learning plans and preparing their students and parents for online instruction as they get ready for the new year.

Creamy ice cream easy to make at home

It’s fun to be a little decadent now and then, right? So, how does this sound? Cold, luscious, velvety, vanilla-infused ice cream. What? Vanilla not your favorite? Would you like indulgent chocolate ice cream? Perhaps sweet peach ice cream with raspberry swirl or creamy espresso with chocolate pieces that melt in your mouth? Intrigued?

Remote wildlife refuge offers beauty, diversity

If you are a wildlife photographer, aspire to become one or simply enjoy a very remote place “where the wild things are,” consider investing some of this long summer in a visit to Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in extreme northwest Nevada.

Class of 2020 finally gets graduation ceremony

Boulder City High School’s Class of 2020 was finally able to celebrate graduation even though the commencement ceremony was different than ones in the past.

Best dam places to cool off during the pandemic

With Boulder City being in the middle of global pandemic and high summer temperatures, it can be difficult for residents to find a place to get out and cool down. To help them know what is open, the Boulder City Review has compiled a list of places to cool down, swim or just play in some refreshing water.

Simple savings on summer salads

It’s so stinkin’ hot! I barely want to eat, let alone heat up the house cooking something. So, we’ve been on a salad kick lately. One drawback to having salads is the cost can add up. Here are some tips to help you save some green while buying your greens.

Shining a (UV) light on sanitizing surfaces

As COVID-19 persists in our lives, so too is the manner in which we’re combating it. Best practices for business cleaning and sanitizing during the pandemic are in place from CDC, FDA, EPA, and OSHA. Residentially, we should be upping our disinfecting game as well.

New laws protect funding for student veterans

Much has been written in recent months about financial relief for individuals, families and businesses affected by the COVID-19 virus. Almost lost in the shuffle were college students attending classes under the GI Bill and who, among other things, had been receiving government subsidies toward housing. Recent legislation has corrected that oversight.