52°F
weather icon Clear

You can satisfy your rib cravings even on a 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 we’re talking about.

You can find riblets pre-cut 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!

GLAZED RIBLETS

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Time: 4 hours

What You’ll Need:

3 ½ to 4 pounds riblets

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup water

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

Here’s How:

Preheat oven to 250°F degrees. Season riblets with salt and pepper or dry rub of choice. Place in a shallow baking pan (one with sides – because drippy!).

Add vinegar and Worcestershire to ¼ cup water and add to pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and braise in the oven for 3 hours.

After checking for falling-off-the-bone tenderness, remove the riblets to another pan and either –

A) Preheat your oven broiler with rack in the upper third of oven. Baste riblets with barbeque sauce and brown, turning and basting until you’re drooling.

B) Prepare your barbecue 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 BBQ 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.

What goes well with riblets? We like sweet potato fries and coleslaw. But all the usual BBQ accompaniments, corn bread, baked beans, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, 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!

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the 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
DIVAS ON A DIME: Pumpkin gives classical bread pudding a seasonal twist

In a season traditionally filled with good things to eat, let’s add another entry to the dessert table, shall we? I’m talking about bread pudding. Now, here is a dish that radiates nostalgia. Once eaten mainly by the poor to use up stale bread, bread pudding is now considered comfort food extraordinaire.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Nov. 7 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $25 million.

A make-ahead meal to make your holidays easier

Well folks, the season of giving is upon us. So, I’m suggesting you begin by giving yourself a gift. Prepping meals ahead and storing them in your freezer is an excellent way to relieve some holiday stress and that’s a gift we deserve.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, Oct. 28 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $22 million.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Having fun while staying safe this Halloween

When you consider Halloween usually consists of people wandering about outdoors wearing masks, this might be less different than we anticipate. However, since conventional trick-or-treating isn’t on the agenda, here are some ideas to make the most of the Quarantine-o-ween.

DIVAS ON A DIME: This Halloween cookie is so easy it’s scary

Oh, the crisp night air, the warm apple cider, the pumpkins. Don’t you just love this time of year? For most families Halloween means the first big festivity of the holiday season. While all the kiddies love the creepy, spooky side of this holiday, I’m all about the food. You, too?

DIVAS ON A DIME: Simple tricks to make stuffing squash a treat

This time of year, I can’t go grocery shopping without coming home with at least one squash. This week I bought acorn squash and I’m in autumn comfort food heaven. Squash are in season, delicious, versatile, frugal, and fabulous!

Shortcuts give this seasonal pumpkin dish a twist

Is it time for all the pumpkin things? I hope you said yes, because I have a scrumptious pumpkin recipe. Let’s make pumpkin ravioli! But let’s make it easy. Rather than make fresh pasta, let’s use wonton wrappers, and we’ll use canned pumpkin and a two-ingredient sauce.

DIVAS ON A DIME: How to get your salmon fix on a tight budget

A well-stocked pantry is a wonderful thing. Here’s a stellar pantry staple I don’t write about often enough, so let’s dive into some canned salmon.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Sept. 26 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $13 million.