From time to time I try to get ribs around Pittsburgh, or anywhere in the Northeast for that matter. I am usually disappointed. Now, I like ribs in many different styles. There are the Chinese ones my mom made. There are the slow cooked barbeque ribs in the South. There are the braised ribs at fancier restaurants of various types.
Tonight I got the ribs at Tessaro’s. Normally I would only get the burgers there, but you have to change up once in a while. They were tasty and satisfying, but one thing was wrong, which is the thing that always brings me disappointment. They weren’t cooked long enough.
A while back at lunch time Pete got ribs from that shop on Centre Ave called Food 4 the Soul. They had the same problem. To my mind ribs are only really right if you can eat them off the bone with the barest of utensils. You should not have have to gnaw the meat off. You should not have to cut the meat off. You should be able to get the meat off with a plastic fork, or a dessert spoon, or a pair of chopsticks. The meat should fall off on its own when you pick up the bone.
If I’m sitting there in front of my plate actually working to eat your ribs you have failed.
I find myself confused as to why people don’t understand this simple fact. You have to cook the ribs for a long long time in order for them to be right.
Mark Bittman understands. Don’t let this truth pass you by. Cook your ribs until they are done. Cook them for a good long time.