Monday, October 19, 2009

Ribs and Wings

When the market place goes topsy that doesn't mean you have to. Take spare ribs.
Spare ribs are what is left over when the butcher is finished taking off the prime cuts of the pork carcass. Prime cuts include chops, and roasts, You can recognize a prime cut, they have meat on them. In the day, when true value was not market driven, spare ribs were the cheapest cut in the meat case. Now that demand has outstripped supply you have a situation where baby back ribs (from the loin area) cost two to three times what the boneless loin costs. And on a yield basis, how much meat you get, the factor may be ten fold.

Lets be honest. The rib is really just a sauce delivery vehicle. (For some bone suckin, crunchin, freaks of which I am one, the bone is an important part of the experience. To you I say, save the bones from the next order of ribs you eat, clean and store them, and have them on the plate for dipping the next time you BBQ some loin.)

Buy a loin roast. Halve it longways. Rub in your favorite rub. Sloooow roast at 250 for 4 hours or till internal temp reads 140, check every hour or so, bathe in sauce for last 20 minutes. Let rest. Slice in half inch strips, dip in yet more sauce. Forget about ribs.

Chicken wings now cost more then breast meat for the same reason. Supply has outstripped demand. Buy a good heavy chefs knife. Learn to use it.

Buy chicken thighs (which are inherently juicier than wings). Chop them in half. Cook as for wings but a bit longer to compensate for the added meat on the bone.

And when all of the cuts are boned out of the respective animal, the scrapes, the leftovers are turned into sausage. Some sausage is now more expensive then any cut of the animal, particularly chicken. Making your own is so simple and so healthy by comparison there is no reason not to do it. You do not have to stuff sausage into intestines. Make patties formed from fresh meat and spices or crumble and use in your favorite recipe.

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