Costillas des res (Crosssection of Beef Ribs)

“Edible, adj.:  Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.”

~Ambrose Bierce

I don’t know that I’ve ever found this particular cut of ribs outside of those little mom & pop Mexican stores.  You know — those places that thrive in areas that are lucky enough to have a large enough Mexican immigrant population to support them.  If you have such a place near you, frequent it — you won’t be sorry.  The best butcher shop in my town is located in just such a place.  And language (and culture, for that matter) is no barrier when it comes to good food at fantastic prices.

Below is a shot of the ribs just before I put them on the grill.  The night before, I prepped the ribs by slathering them liberally with olive oil, then coating them with fresh cracked pepper and brisket rub.  I stored them in the refrigerator, in a plastic freezer bag, turning them over whenever I thought to.

Prepped and ready to go

Prepped and ready to go

You’ve got to cook the ribs over a very, very low heat.  It takes quite a while, but the end product is phenomenal.  Also, I like to smoke-in a little applewood flavor via use of pre-soaked wood chips.

On the grill

On the grill

Unfortunately, getting an all done, “plated” picture slipped my mind.  We did have avocado and steamed & buttered brocolli for sides.  Good stuff.

In Other News…

According to Mark Sisson, over at Mark’s Daily Apple, I suppose I am actually more “Primal” than I am “Paleo” since (among a few other details) I don’t eschew fat.  I’m actually a fat-lover, truth be told.  Ah well, I’ve never been one to easily label.  Much like my workout philosophy, I pick and choose across the spectrum to form my own, “TTP” guidelines.  I actually think I’m closer in diet and workout “beliefs” to Art DeVany’s Evolutionary Fitness — but that’s just splitting hairs, in my opinion.  To cop a line from Popeye, “I yam what I yam.”

In Health,


15 responses to “Costillas des res (Crosssection of Beef Ribs)

  1. Looks yummy! I usually get country style ribs, with plenty of fat on them. I really like your blog, as I’m a paleo, EF guy, too. It’s refreshing to know that other North Carolinians have some semblanece of what a proper diet consists of. Keep up the good work!

  2. I have been on a quest locally to find carne asada meat that is already marinated and ready to just throw on the grill. I went to two little mom & pop Mexican groceries, and didn’t find it, but came out with all kinds of other good stuff including some costillas to try this recipe on! The guy behind the counter was impressed with my order.

    The other thing I love is that the produce is always dirt cheap and looks great, not wilted and limp like at the big grocery stores. I got limes 6 for $1, and an avocado for .99 cents. In the past 5 years we’ve had a huge influx of Latinos so there are more and more little tiendas.

    Can’t wait to make the costillas. Where do you get brisket rub or how do you make it?


  3. TrailGrrl,

    I still have family in south Texas, and I have them send me a care package of Tex-Mex spices every so often.

    I think you ought to be able to find brisket rub, though — or a close equivalent — in your local tienda. Fajita seasoning works well, too.

  4. Did you cook the ribs in the oven first, or right to the grill? How long do you slow cook them? I bought a pound of ribs to try out.


  5. TrailGrrl,

    Sorry I didn’t get to this sooner — you’ve probably got it figured out by now. But if not — no, I put them right on the grill, but you’ve got to get the heat oh so very low. They’ll probably be on for an hour and a half if you’ve got the heat set right. And try not to set them directly over any flame or you’ll end-up with a hunk of charcoal 🙂

  6. gotcha. I don’t make ribs a lot because normal ribs seem like a lot of trouble for very little meat, but I remember my mother-in-law having them in the over first then finishing on the grill with BBQ sauce. Hey I found Texas Brisket Rub at a local store than has a million rubs and hot sauces.

    I’m ready to rock now! Got some thin carne asada meat to grill up too.


  7. Also remember — olive oil is your friend, use it liberally for tender meat. I use it both prior to and during the grilling process.

    Let us know how everything turns out 🙂

  8. Update: The costillas turned out great! I need to work on my grilling techique though. I didn’t quite get the “low” heat part down. This might be because I also got overcommitted and cooked carne asada on the grill too (which was fantastic!). I turned the heat down, but still managed to get the ribs sort of, well, on fire. Oh well, they were still good! I think they would’ve been more tender with the slow cooking. Maybe I should try oven at slow temp, and then finish on the grill. This type of rib is really meaty and satisfying. Normally I don’t like ribs because they are way to much trouble for very little meat. And I’m not that big on BBQ sauce. But these were not that effortful and had lots of meat.


    ps. got some prosciutto and provolone to try the Egg Bake.

  9. TrailGrrl,
    Another alternative is to try them (the ribs) in a pressure-cooker. I prefer them hot off the grill, but the pressure-cooker method is pretty damn good as well.

  10. Come to think of it, my mom used to pressure cook spare ribs (with sauerkraut for New Years! Blech!). I may have a pressure cooker that we got when we got married 22 years ago, but I have to say I’m afraid to try it. Pressure cookers scare the crap out of me, but they should be soothing since my mom always used them for canning beans, cooking green beans, roasts, and best of all beef stew.


  11. Ok you really got me hooked on these, and the first grilling disaster didn’t deter me. I was going to slow cook in oven then throw on grill but it got cold and rainy out and we all have bad colds. So I basically slow cooked them in the oven at 190 degrees for like hours and hours and they were great and tender when they came out. I’m on my second batch with that method now. Buying 2 pounds at a time instead of just 1!


  12. I never go out of my way to order ribs. They are way too much trouble for too little meat, and I don’t really like the flavor of BBQ sauce. But now these beef ribs are meaty! The bones fall right out and you just get juicy meat.


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