Pork belly ribs vs pork back ribs

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taxlady

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I have a Danish recipe for "gode ben", good bones. It is usually made with "nøgleben", "key bones". That would be the clavicle and the rest of that joint or the equivalent hip joint. I am trying to buy only locally raised meat. I can't find these bones from locally raised pork. I can find pork belly ribs and pork back ribs. I know that some people use ribs for this dish. Can someone explain the differences between these two types of ribs, please? I know where they come from on a porker. I have looked at butcher charts. I want to know about fat to meat to bone ratios, or at least get an idea of the differences. Also, would they cook about the same? This recipe has you cooking these bones in water for anywhere between two and a half to six hours. They would be cut into pieces for browning before being simmered in water.
 

pepperhead212

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The back ribs here are almost always called "baby back ribs", since they are much smaller. Usually more expensive, but not always - sometimes there are deals on either of them. They don't seem like they have a lot more meat:bone ratio, though I can't really tell you for sure.
 

dragnlaw

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taxy, this might be one time you'll have to 'see' for yourself - at the butcher's.
Or
... order one, do your recipe, making copious notes and taking pictures. Then when you are ready - order the other cut, folllow the first routine religiously. Sit down and complare notes.

I personally buy ribs only when I can see them. I like to see a bit meat on them, each and every one will differ. I'm one of those people you see pawing their way thru the bins till I find the one I like.
I'm also thinking, what is the ratio that you are looking for? If the ones you get are lean you can always add more lard. I know Fortino's (Loblaw's) now sells pkgs of fat back, leaf lard and caul. President's Choice meats are more often than not 'locally sourced' - it is now one of their promoting gigs.

Then again, I would chat with Lufa Farms, I'm pretty sure they could order these bones for you. Obviously, as a special order, you'll probably pay thru the nose as compared to box store prices, but there yuh go! got what'cha wanted. That (sometimes) is worth hte extra.
 

Roll_Bones

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The back ribs here are almost always called "baby back ribs", since they are much smaller. Usually more expensive, but not always - sometimes there are deals on either of them. They don't seem like they have a lot more meat:bone ratio, though I can't really tell you for sure.
Costco sell back ribs and St Louis cut ribs. This is a good question. We all know what the St Louis cut is, but is there a difference between back ribs and baby back ribs?
The back ribs at Costco have a medium size bone. And the large end when cut looks like mini rib chops. It looks to me the back ribs are just cut higher up on the animal and the St Louis cut is the lower part or the same bones structure? Actually I'm not sure where the back rib cut comes from.
When I see baby back ribs in other stores, the bone is thinner and the cut is more narrow and not as long. Therefore looking like baby backs.
I have asked myself this question. Maybe I should ask the meat man at Costco.
 

Andy M.

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When I get baby backs form Costco, it looks like one end of the bones has part of the backbone attached. "back" ribs.

St. Louis ribs are cut down version of spareribs. The bottom, less meaty end of the spare ribs is cut off to give a uniform shape similar to baby backs. St. Louis ribs are meatier and bigger boned than back ribs so take longer to cook.
 

taxlady

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taxy, this might be one time you'll have to 'see' for yourself - at the butcher's.
Or
... order one, do your recipe, making copious notes and taking pictures. Then when you are ready - order the other cut, folllow the first routine religiously. Sit down and complare notes.

I personally buy ribs only when I can see them. I like to see a bit meat on them, each and every one will differ. I'm one of those people you see pawing their way thru the bins till I find the one I like.
I'm also thinking, what is the ratio that you are looking for? If the ones you get are lean you can always add more lard. I know Fortino's (Loblaw's) now sells pkgs of fat back, leaf lard and caul. President's Choice meats are more often than not 'locally sourced' - it is now one of their promoting gigs.

Then again, I would chat with Lufa Farms, I'm pretty sure they could order these bones for you. Obviously, as a special order, you'll probably pay thru the nose as compared to box store prices, but there yuh go! got what'cha wanted. That (sometimes) is worth hte extra.
I do check Provigo (Loblaws), Metro, etc. for locally raised pork. But, mostly they don't distinguish between locally raised and locally prepared. Also, they might say it's locally raised one time and then tell me, "Oh, locally raised isn't always available, so we use what we can get."

I'm not really willing to pay more than what ribs would cost. If I could get bone-in shoulder, that would work fine. I can find other uses for the meat that is further from the bones. And, I most certainly don't want extra fat. I'm going for the least fat in a fatty piece of meat. DH doesn't like eating meat off bones and he doesn't like chunks of fat.
 

dragnlaw

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I re-read your original post. I might mention that spare ribs are often boiled or sometimes even pressure cooked first. This gets them either cooked or at least started and then finished grilling or however you were going to do them. It also renders the fat. It sounds like your recipe is doing the same thing.

What I'm not sure about is any meat on the clavicle but the bone in hip joint is more meat than bone. Not sure how your compare the two. Once the recipe is done, are the bones removed? has the meat all fallen off?
 

Andy M.

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. . . that spare ribs are often boiled or sometimes even pressure cooked first. This gets them either cooked or at least started and then finished grilling or however you were going to do them . . .
In the normal course of events, i.e. smoking ribs, there should be no pre-cooking. Raw, seasoned ribs go on the grill. The object of this recipe is different.
 

taxlady

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I re-read your original post. I might mention that spare ribs are often boiled or sometimes even pressure cooked first. This gets them either cooked or at least started and then finished grilling or however you were going to do them. It also renders the fat. It sounds like your recipe is doing the same thing.

What I'm not sure about is any meat on the clavicle but the bone in hip joint is more meat than bone. Not sure how your compare the two. Once the recipe is done, are the bones removed? has the meat all fallen off?
Cooking won't render all of the fat. They are cooked until very tender. They are usually served with the meat on the bones. I would be removing meat from the bones for DH. To a large extent, the point of the recipe is to make what people are describing as a fabulous sauce.

I am pretty sure this was originally a recipe to use up something that might be considered waste. I went down a bit of a rabbit hole trying find out. One blogger wrote that he uses all the bones, from slaughtering pigs, that are "too good" for making stock to make this recipe. Another blog led me to this, which is specifically sold for this dish, "gode ben".

Screenshot 2023-01-20 at 21-00-45 Gode ben - Blandet kogeben - Madsen’s Gårdbutik & Nr. Onsild...png
I did a quick lookup and nearly cried.

Screenshot 2023-01-20 at 20-58-19 10dkk in cad at DuckDuckGo.png
 

dragnlaw

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OMG, taxy! less than $2.00 per pkg. I'll assume the pkg is 1 k or at least 1 lb. Making me cry too!
but those sure are regular type ribs from what I call the thick end. I think you would be best to order them and try. They do have fat but not an excessive amount, your meat when you remove will be very small chunks, almost shredded.
Making my mouth water. Please try it and let us know!

Andy,
Baton Rouge, IS a well-known grill house chain in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. I was craving ribs and had heard they were great, my son and I went for dinner there once. What a disappointment. I had to scrape a ton of bbq sauce off for starters as it was so thick, could hardly see the ribs. Then when I did tear into the ribs - they were tender, yes, but all I could taste was boiled meat.
Nor is it a cheap restaurant.

I can understand why restaurants would do this, a customer is not going to wait an hour or two for supper, but...
I have had them when they were done in a pressure cooker first and then put on the grill - at least those didn't taste boiled. Plus they didn't put on a huge amount of sauce. I still don't like BBQ sauce tho.
I'll stick to my own - oven baked for 1.5 hours or 2 depending on the quantity of meat on the bones. Dry rubbed both sides, flipped every 1/2 hr so so, you know they are done when the bones stick out from the meat and the skin that many take off the underside is crispy, snappy. DELISH! - I don't even use a homemade rub. My favourite rub is no longer available but Montreal Steak House for Chicken (?! lol) is wonderful.
 

Roll_Bones

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When I get baby backs form Costco, it looks like one end of the bones has part of the backbone attached. "back" ribs.

St. Louis ribs are cut down version of spareribs. The bottom, less meaty end of the spare ribs is cut off to give a uniform shape similar to baby backs. St. Louis ribs are meatier and bigger boned than back ribs so take longer to cook.
The ones we get from Costco do not say baby back. It says back ribs. When cutting up the larger end, they resemble tiny pork chops. This is why I asked. When I have bought baby backs they don't have this thicker larger end. They are thin and uniform. Also when eating out I don't see this exact cut.
I prefer the St Louis cut. I was buying the back ribs.
I also never cook ribs in any way before they hit the grill or smoker. I season them with a rub the night before (when I remember) and they go on the grill this way.
Since I have the 26" Weber kettle now, I never use my smoker. I use the offset method on the Weber.
And my offset smoker is engineered so badly it takes 4 times as much fuel as the kettle does.
This seems to be the case with all horizontal offset smokers. There are hacks but they are expensive.
 

Andy M.

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The ones we get from Costco do not say baby back. It says back ribs. When cutting up the larger end, they resemble tiny pork chops. . .
Huh! I've never seen back ribs at Costco. Of course I don't check every time I go but whenever I've bought ribs, either St. Louis or baby backs were what was available.
 

taxlady

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@dragnlaw Bâton Rouge is wonderful for steaks and a lot of stuff. Their ahi tuna salad (a whole meal) blew me away. I never tried their ribs and now I won't for sure. Did you ever go to Bofinger BBQ? They have a resto in NDG on Sherbrooke. They used to have one in DDO at Centenniel Plaza, not far from Singh Farms, the South Asian grocery store. In any case, they have wonderful ribs, done Southern style, low and slow. They ask you what kind of BBQ sauce you want on them and they have a good variety of sauces that they make in the resto. It never occurred to me to say "none", but I'm pretty sure you could, or tell them to put it on the side or "not much".
 

dragnlaw

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Nice to know taxy, thanks! I'm ashamed as I wasn't trying to put Baton Rouge down. I see now I could/should have worded it differently. I was really only referring to my own tastes. My son enjoyed his steak tremendously. Everything else was great.
 
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