Who doesn’t like ribs?….somebody tell that guy to shut his face. For all of the rest of us, let us begin. This is a recipe attempted out of pure desperation. I wanted to find something else to do with deer ribs other than blah, blah, blah soup. I hate to freeze them, because they take up so much room, so I decided to take the rib racks taken from the buck I recently killed, and try something new.
I’ve heard of a method of cooking pork ribs by boiling them first in crab boil to make them more tender, to import some flavor, and shorten the cook time on the grill. I figured why not use it for venison ribs? This method would keep the meat covered for 90% of the cook time preventing the most common problem with cooking all lean venison…drying the meat out.
Ingredients for the Boil:
- 4 oz Liquid Crab Boil (if you can’t find liquid, you can use powdered, just eyeball it);
- 10-12 cups water (or enough to cover the ribs)
- 3 tbs Minced Garlic
- 5 tbs Salt
- 3 tbs Black Pepper Corns (or fresh ground black pepper)
- 1 quartered onion (or about 1 cup chopped)
- 3 Bay Leaves
1. After removing as much exterior fat, and connective tissue as you can, cut the ribs into roughly 4 to 6 inch segments. Next throw all of the boil ingredients in a pot, and boil the ribs for roughly 1 to 1.5 hours. This will depend on the toughness, age, and gender of the deer. Check a sample piece by poking with a fork to test for tenderness periodically. If using ribs from a young doe, this part may only take 40 minutes to get tender. Mine was a rutting buck, so it took about 1hr and 25 minutes.
2. When it comes out of the pot, the ribs will look all gray, and boring. At this point the meat will have shrunk exposing the ribs more. Honestly, they look like a horror movie, but all of that connective tissue and gristle has been softened, making the texture more tender. Fear not on the looks, because we will be dressing these little monsters up like a pimp at the Grammy’s before serving.
At this point you can either:
- Option 1 (Grill): Season the outside with your favorite rub (I recommend mixing up my dry rub recipe click here for awesomeness), and throw them on a hot charcoal grill then begin slathering them with your favorite sauce (again I recommend making Nonkie’s BBQ Sauce) until you reach the desired bark and level of sauce-y-ness; or
- Option 2 (Black Iron Skillet): Us the same method as Option 1, but with a really hot cast iron skillet; or
- Option 3 (Smoker or Oven): SMOKER: The lazy method used in this post because it was colder than a penguin fart outside when I made these. By the way, 8°F windchill is beyond a South Louisiana man’s ability to understand. This method is to throw the ribs in a pan, cover them in Nonkie’s BBQ Sauce (or some inferior swill), wrap in foil, and throw it in the smoker at 175° F for about an hour smoking with pecan chips. OVEN: You could do the same in the oven at about 225° F for about 40 minutes. If you wanted smoke flavor when using the oven, just add a small amount of liquid smoke to the sauce prior to pouring on your ribs (but nothing beats the real thing).
If using Option 1 or 2, don’t cook them for too long, just enough to blacken the outside, and get some smoke. If Option 3, then just pour the sauce in the pan, and cook covered so it won’t dry out.
Would I pass up pork ribs for these?…nope. Would I pass these up?…nope. This will be a rerun in my house after each deer runs into a bullet or arrow. Save the soup for the old folks home.
Lache pa la patate.