Hello there, and welcome to anatomy 201. Today we’re going to be talking about the rib section of the Bos primigenius, the common cow. As many of you are aware, cows come fully equipped with a rib cage just like you and me, which serves the purpose of protecting their insides, just like you and me. However there are some good tasting muscle fibers on these here ribs, unlike you and me (what, I was hungry in cadaver lab…too much?). The reason ribs are so darn tasty is that it’s not really used that much because cows like to spend a lot of time on all four legs. Now for the purpose of science, I would like you to get on all four and spend the whole day grazing in a field…go on, I’ll wait. As I’m sure you’ll no doubt tell, you’re neck, and legs are quite tired, but your back is probably not that bad. And there you have it, the reason why some meats are better than others.
Now to move on to the rib section.
As you can see from our own cow cadaver, there are approximately 13 ribs on a cow
Now come closer
(yeah that’s right, we dropped an Aladdin reference, that’s how awesome the Kosher Gastronome is)
Better…You can see, this is the whole rib cage, and even though there are 13 total ribs, we only care about numbers 6-12. When you go to the butcher and ask for a prime rib (aka a “standing rib roast”), what you’re asking for is the rib bones, and the muscle on the inside (the roast). However, they don’t give you the whole rib, the butcher cuts it like a 1/4 -ish of the way down the bone.The next part of the rib, is what’s called the short rib.
The short rib comes in two cuts, “english short ribs” are cuts made parallel to the bone, in between each rib, and “flanken” which are cut perpendicular to the bone, and usually has three or four bones with it. Both of these can be sold as “boneless” assuming the bone has been removed. We’ve all seen flanken being sold in the stores, and I’ve always wondered if they’re actually the “flanken” that are really perpendicular cut short ribs. With me so far? So I figured, I’d do a little experiment, and make these short ribs with “boneless flanken” and see how they come out.
I found this recipe on TheJewishHostess. The only issue is the recipe calls for mirin, which is an asian rice wine, similar to sake, and isn’t so easy to find kosher. Luckily I had a bottle lying around, that I brought back with me from Phoenix, Az when we visited Rabbi and Rebetzin Fresser last time.
wait – jersy shore is on…I’ll be right back.
Ok, so yeah, combine the mirin, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, toasted sesame oil, minced garlic,
put it in a ziploc bag along with the short ribs and let it marinate over night, turning it over every time you think about it.
The next day preheat your oven to 350, put the ribs and the marinade in a roasting pan, and bake covered for 2 hours.
Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds, and enjoy.
As for my experiment whether “boneless flanken” they sell in the supermarket is really “boneless short ribs cut perpendicular to the bone,” I’m still undecided, but they also sell something called “crosspieces” which are technically the real “flanken” and that’s $11.99/lb, whereas the “boneless flanken” is $8.99/lb…I dunno.
Asian Style Short Ribs
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup mirin
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 pounds short ribs (flanken)
- 2-3 scallions, chopped
- sesame seeds
- Combine: soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic, and pour into ziploc bag, and add short ribs, and marinate over night.
- Preheat oven to 350
- Place ribs and marinade in roasting pan, and bake for 2 hours covered
- Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds