Grim's Grub: Give maligned (but delicious) venison ribs a try
I'm a bit of a waste-not, want-not guy, especially when it comes to hunting and fishing.
I don't like to hunt, but if I do kill something, I usually plan to eat it. The two exceptions so far being gophers and ground squirrels. I have a hard time considering cooking things that in other states are linked to the black plague.
Some "throwaways" get a bad rap. Most people who fish or spear rough fish don't eat them, but I've found suckers to be a great tuna substitute. Similarly, most hunters I know let the deer ribs go to the coyotes. If I had more freezer space, I would gladly accept ribs from basically every friend I have who tosses theirs.
Ribs get a reputation for being chewy and full of tallow. I've already provided a pressure-cooker method (maximum pressure for 30 minutes) that solves both issues, but I recently got curious about other ways to render ribs delicious.
In the past I've noticed online requests for methods of cooking ribs result in many, many unhelpful responses suggesting just disposing of the ribs. Why did they bother to respond if they were going to be unhelpful?
I'm a member of a Facebook group, "Smoking Meat Low and Slow," and this group proved to be nothing but helpful. I shared my pressure cooker method and they shared a few other tricks. Member Jeb Staples provided a smoking method, which I am combining with a method provided by member Coy Webb since Staples did not provide a time, but Webb did. Member Jason Wallace recommended grilling them with salt, pepper and garlic with a high grill height with fat on until crispy on the outside.
Staples/Webb Smoked Venison Ribs
1 set of deer ribs split into 4 racks (5-inch lengths can make them more manageable)
Coarse ground pepper
Combine the garlic powder and ground pepper and rub all over the ribs.
Smoke at 250 degrees for two hours, then cover with foil and smoke another two hours.
Combine equal parts melted butter and warm barbecue sauce and then thin it out with beef broth to a consistency that will spread easily but will still stick to the ribs. Grill the ribs just below 350 degrees just to sear the outside, then turn over and mop with barbecue sauce mixture. Mop again once the other side has been seared.
Oven Roasted Venison Ribs
Ribs cut to approximately 5-inch lengths and 3-inch sections wrapped in foil
Water in a pan
Preheat an oven to 200 degrees and then bake ribs for six hours with a small pan of water inside the oven to maintain moisture. Remove foil and place ribs on a broaster pan. Increase temperature to 400 degrees and allow the ribs to brown about 5-10 minutes. Do not overcook.