The types and shapes of ribs are as varied as there are ways of preparing and eating them. ButcherSA takes a peek at the assortment the butcher and deli vendor should keep.
Although their appearance has nothing in common, ‘no condiment, no fuss’ is an apt description for smoked pork spareribs and Kassler ribs, which do benefit from a honey and mustard baste. Both are quickly baked or grilled in the oven. Methods of eating them, however, are very different.
With 11 to 13 long bones with a covering of meat on top as well as between them, smoked pork spareribs are consumed individually by hand, with the small amount of meat adhering to the bone usually gnawed off by the eater. In contrast, a knife and fork are used for eating Kassler, just as is the case when other meat rib chops are consumed.
Then there are pork, beef and lamb spareribs cut into riblets, which are great with sticky marinades.
Slow roasting rack of lamb conjures images of meat brushed with a mixture of vinegar and olive oil and seasoned with salt, rosemary and garlic, and basted frequently with a vinegar and honey mixture during roasting. Roasting is also the cooking method used for a whole pork loin with the back ribs attached, called a pork rib roast.
Lamb, beef and pork rib chops are different altogether. Cooking these cuts is unthinkable, but when they are spiced and baked, grilled or barbequed, they are mouth-watering.
Beef short ribs have nothing in common with spareribs or chops. There is also a world of difference between the two major cuts of beef ribs, back ribs and short ribs.
Back ribs have meat between the bones; short ribs have meat on top, and contain muscles and tendon, and a layer of boneless meat and fat which is thick on one end of the slab and thin on the other. Back ribs are good for braising because the marrow is a rich, tasty source of flavour for stews, and they are popular for braais when cooked to well done to be made tender.
On the other hand, herb and spice-infused beef short ribs – tough when not softened and cooked for long enough – are slow-cooked in natural meat tenderisers such as red wine, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
In a class of its own, barbequed or plain boneless ribs are prepared within minutes in the microwave, or over coals before being placed on a bread roll or used as a pizza topping.
Ribs really do offer something for every palate, and many suppliers of quality processed and fresh meats make the most of this fact.
Lynca Meats – from its humble beginnings as a family-run piggery in 1988, Lynca Meats has evolved into a leading pork producer in South Africa.
Lynca Meats has a vast selection including cooked and marinated pork loin rib, rib smoked cage, riblets, frozen and chilled sparerib and finger rib, and marinated or plain boneless rib patties.
BRM Brands, with its head office and manufacturing plant in Johannesburg and a Cape Town depot, has built a reputation for producing succulent marinated ribs. The company produces a complete range of pork, beef and lamb ribs to national retailers, leading restaurants and steakhouses.
BRM Brands has a complete range of ribs, including baby back pork loin ribs, St Louis style pork belly ribs, pork belly spare ribs, as well as their legendary beef back ribs and trimmed lamb ribs. The group prides itself on continuing to be South Africa’s leading importer and processor of pork loin ribs.
Eskort – Eskort offers a wide variety of fresh, naturally wood smoked and processed products. We adhere to the highest international food safety standards and have provided delicious uncompromised quality products to South Africans for over a century.
Eskort manufacture marinated loin ribs, pork spare ribs, smoked spare ribs, smoked shoulder ribs, Mexican chilli marinated mini ribs, BBQ marinated mini ribs, fresh marinated belly ribs and BBQ spare ribs.
Meat Mania, a family-run businesses comprising a meat factory, deli and supermarket, has its head office and meat factory in Boksburg North, from where processed meat products are supplied to retailers and members of the hospitality industry.
Meat Mania specialises in marinated ribs, smoked ribs, fresh ribs, including Kassler ribs, with ingredients used in every recipe sourced from renowned meat producers.