Give Me My Baby Backs
Do you know your hog cuts? Where do the tenderloin and those tasty chops come from? If you don’t, hopefully you have been following the Circle B Ranch blog series about pork cuts. In the last two articles of the sequence—“So I bought a pig…” and “Bacon, Bacon, Bacon”—I discussed cuts that are derived from the belly and specifically focused on the versatility of bacon. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll converse about the ribs, our favorite tasty barbeque treat. Did you know that ribs actually come from different areas of the hog?
First, let’s talk about one of the most popular cuts—the Back Ribs. Also known as Baby Back Ribs, because they are smaller than spare ribs, this cut includes the blade and center portion of the pork loin. The bones in these ribs are curved and round because they come from the section nearest the spine, and there is a covering of meat over and between the bones. Most grilling aficionados are familiar with the succulent meat created by this cut.
There are so many ways to prepare your ribs. Try your Baby Backs with Big John’s BBQ Sauce. This easy grill recipe is a flavorful treat.
Here’s another way to create mouth-watering ribs: Sausage and Ribs with Marina’s Tomato Sauce. Serve it with polenta or rigatoni for a full meal that will satisfy everyone.
Next are the Spare ribs. These ribs are obviously different in appearance from Baby Backs, and they are cut from a different area of the hog. They are larger and flatter than the Baby Backs because they come from the lower section of ribs in the belly area. These are the traditional rib slabs that you find in the store, and they are the least expensive type of ribs. Since Spare ribs also contain more fat than Baby Backs, they are perfect for recipes that require low temperatures and slow cooking.
If you love Oriental food, this Spare rib recipe won’t disappoint! And the best part is that you can change it up with some Baby Backs!
Another cut, St. Louis Style ribs, originates from the Spare ribs. St. Louis Style ribs are square and flat because both the brisket bone and the rib tips are removed. Chefs prefer this trimmed cut for creating tidier and more visually appealing dishes.
Last, but not least, we have the Country Style Ribs, the meatiest type of ribs, which are cut from the sirloin or rib end of the loin. These ribs are sold in “slabs,” but they don’t look like the ribs most of us are used to seeing. They are closer in appearance to pork chops. This cut can be grilled like a chop rather than a rib to get an absolutely delicious result.
Look for the next Circle B Ranch pork cuts series blog titled “Loin or Loin.” Have you ever had trouble differentiating between the loin and the loin cut? Do you know the difference between the pork loin and the tenderloin? I’ll explain the difference and go over more cuts that come from the back, or loin, area of the hog—including the actual loin cut and some very savory roasts.