~ How to: Remove the Silverskin from Spareribs ~
It is a relaxing, quiet, calm Sunday in February here in Happy Valley. After the busy week I just encountered, my dear husband Joe suggested I take the day off and asked me if I wanted him to cook or grill something for us to eat while watching this evenings Academy Awards. Twist my arm! After all of the cooking I did this past week, I am in the mood for a complete change of pace and since the weather is pretty cooperative today, we decided to make a quick run to the store and returned a couple of hours ago with three racks of baby-back spareribs. I already have a pretty big bowl of ~ My Favorite Potato & Egg Salad ~, recipe found in Categories 4 & 10, in my refrigerator (leftover from my shoot with WHVL-TV on Wednesday). Ribs hot off the grill and ice cold potato salad in February with my feet up watching the Oscars tonight? That's what I'm talkin' about and I can smell the ribs cooking as I write this post!
When we got home from the store, I did what I always do. I removed the ribs from the package, rinsed them in cold water and patted them dry in paper towels. Joe came into the kitchen just as I was getting ready to remove the silverskin from the underside of the racks. Joe asked, "Why do you always do that Mel... is it really necessary?" Now, here I sit, on my day off, writing a post about removing the silverskin from spareribs!
A bit about silverskin: Silverskin is the thin (but tough), white, silvery looking connective tissue on the underside of every rack of ribs. The reasons for removing it are quite simple: it makes the ribs easier to cut/eat, and, once it is removed it allows any rub you are using to flavor/penetrate the meat. It is quite easy to remove, especially if your ribs are at room temperature, and I like to let my ribs sit out on the counter for about an hour before doing it. Silverskin is also found on other cuts of meat, like tenderloin of beef, lamb and pork. I remove it from those as well, but that is a different technique and will require another post.
Starting at the narrow end of each rack, use the tip of a boning knife (or a very sharp paring knife) to separate a small 1/2"-3/4" piece of the silverskin from the meat. Using your fingertips and a firm grip, pull/tear the silverskin off of the entire surface. If it does not come off in one piece, use the knife to separate a second piece and continue. This entire process only takes 1-2 minutes per rack of ribs!
This simple technique is going to make for a beautiful presentation at the end and will actually allow your spice blend to penetrate the meat, rather than just sit on top of the silverskin and do absolutely nothing.
Listen to me on this one folks: be a pro and remove the silverskin! As you can see from the picture at the head of this post, which I just inserted after the fact, ribs with the silverskin removed are happier ribs!
Special Equipment List: boning knife or very sharp paring knife
Cook's Note: Remember to rinse your ribs, pat them dry in some paper towels and give them time to come to room temperature prior to removing the silverskin!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos Courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)