I love spareribs and I prefer them St Louis cut. That means the centre rib bone, the back skirt and the end flap are trimmed off to make a neat rectangle of meat.
Unfortunately, I am also cheap and St Louis Cut Ribs are more expensive than the full rack.
The solution to this conundrum is to trim my own ribs. I get a nice rack of St Louis ribs and trimmings for Rib Tips at about the same price of the St Louis ribs.
The good news is, it is easy to do.
Start by going to the bone side of the ribs. There is a skirt of meat that runs at an angle across one end of the ribs. Trim this off.
Next, find the longest rib and run your finger along it. You will fine a notch where bone changes to cartilage.
Cut parallel to the straight edge of the ribs just on the cartilage side of the notch.
Cut the floppy meat and cartilage at the end of the rack to square it off.
You have a lovely rectangle of St Louis trim ribs! Make sure you save the trimmings for rib tips!
I have done a video of this process:
Have fun, save some money, eat great food!
The Old Fat Guy
I’ve never heard of St. Louis ribs. Do they cook more evenly or something?
No, they don’t cook any faster, it just looks a lot better in a nice square rack. Also, it cuts the cartilage ends off the ribs which makes them easier to eat.
Hi David –
I’m doing St. Louis ribs today, and trimmed a lot of meaty bits from these ones: more than 1 lb. Do you have any favorite recipes/tips for using the accumulated trimmings?
I have quite a bit in the freezer.
I make my trimmings into Rib Tips. I have 3 varieties on the blog, Char Siu Rib Tips https://oldfatguy.ca/?p=3097
Dry Rib Tips, https://oldfatguy.ca/?p=3911
Rib Tips, https://oldfatguy.ca/?p=6169
They are all good. I like to make them through the foiling and freeze them in serving size packages. Then I can just take them out for the last hour in the smoker for a quick easy appetizer.
Oh, agreed they’re good. I don’t think of the tips as trimmings, given they’re served in BBQ joints on their own… and happen to be my favorite. 🙂
I was wondering if you had ideas about what to do with the trimmings like the skirt meat, and thin end meat, e.g., with cartilaginous small “bones,” that we trim from the end to square-up the St. Louis cut.
Pork and beans, possibly chili? I’ll see what I come up with. 🙂
Trust me, use them like rib tips. Cut them into 1 1/2 inch squares. The long 3-2-1 method make the meat fall right off when you chew on them. Give it a try!