Two Recipes for Beef Ribs

I received a request for a beef ribs recipe online so I scanned through my cookbooks and found two recipes! The first is from the 1949 cookbook “How I Cook It” by Virginia McDonald. It’s one of my favorites in my collection because it’s called How I Cook It. It also has an introduction from Duncan Hines who might as well be Bill Clinton in a 1949 cookbook. Pretty Awesome!

The second recipe is from the more modern tome “Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook” by Barbara Fairchild and the gang at Bon Appetit magazine. Also a staple of my collection, these recipes are just as the name says fast, easy and fresh which in this day and age are the best kind of recipes. While the How I Cook It recipe is more traditional and hails from Gallatin, Missouri, these are more Asian stye beef ribs. These recipes should set you up for a delicious summer of grilling!


From “How I Cook It” by Virginia McDonald

1 1/2 pounds of beef ribs, pork chops or spare ribs

1 Tbsp celery seed

1 Tbsp chili powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp paprika

1 cup tomato puree

1/4 cup vinegar

If chops are used, have them cut thick. If spare ribs are used, have them cut in individual servings. The meat does not take the seasoning so well if it is in large pieces. Make a dry sauce by mixing the celery seed, chili powder, brown sugar, salt and paprika. Rub most of this on the meat and let it stand overnight.  To the remaining dry sauce add the tomato puree and the vinegar, and baste the meat with this as it cooks in the oven.

Blogger’s Note: Cookbooks before a certain time did not list all of the instructions and were written with the idea that they did not have to give you full instructions. There was an understanding that you had a certain skill level because it’s not like you went to college and had a real career, right?  Here are instructions for cooking your ribs:

First of all, there is a membrane on the back of beef ribs that you should remove. From a recipe on The Food Network from Mike Mills: “The easiest way to remove it is to start in the middle of the rack and work a table knife or a screwdriver underneath the skin, going all the way across and teasing it up. Slide your forefinger in there and bring your thumb across, holding the rib down and pulling the membrane straight up. It’ll peel from the middle.”

More great advice from Mike Mills who says it better than I could: “Once you start cooking the ribs, you can’t leave the pit or grill unattended for any more than about 20 minutes. You’ll need to continually check that the temperature remains between 250 and 275 degrees F at all times in the grill. If it gets too hot, shut the top and bottom drafts to smother the fire. If some of the coals appear to be glowing red, that will cause a hot spot. Don’t cook the ribs directly over the hot spot, move them to a different, cooler, part of the grill. If the temperature dips too low, move the ribs to a hot spot for a while and add some hot coals. Place ribs on grill and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. About 10 minutes before you remove the ribs from the grill, mop them with sauce. When you take them off the grill, mop again with sauce.”

Or for a much faster method, see the recipe below:

Beef Ribs Option #2

Barbecued Beef Ribs with Hoisin Chili Glaze from Bon Appetit’s Fast Easy Fresh

2 servings


1/2 cup chili sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

3 Tbsp packed golden brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground ginger

6 beef back ribs (about 2 pounds)

Combine first 4 ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. This can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Prepare barbecue over medium high heat or preheat broiler. If broiling, line broiler pan with foil. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Cook until brown, about 6 minutes per side. Brush 1 side with sauce and cook, sauce side down, until sauce bubbles and begins to brown, about 1 minute. Turn and repeat on second side.






October 2020
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