How to Trim Spare Ribs down to St Louis Style Ribs

After reading many instructionals on the internet and watching a few videos on YouTube.com for good measure, this is how we prepare our St Louis Style ribs. Spare ribs are cheaper by weight than prepared St Louis Style ribs, and even though there are off-cuts, these aren’t wasted as our two spoilt dogs usually get them for dinner, or you can use them in stir-fries.

Here is a rack of spare ribs.

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Cut off the skirt (labelled above).IMG_0966 Find the joint between the ribs and the riblets. Slice along this joint to separate the two. The riblets are great to serve as an entree (appetiser).IMG_0967Here, the ribs and riblets are separated.
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The ribs have a membranous layer on one side. This needs to be removed or it will become very chewy and unpleasant once cooked.

To do so, place a spoon in one of the gaps like so…

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Lift…

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Pull back…IMG_0970

Separate the membrane from the flesh and pull it towards the end. Doggie on-looker not required.

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Trim excess fat.

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There you go!IMG_0972

IMG_2726IMG_2706Finally, feel bad for the dogs who had canned food for dinner, so cut up the scraps of meat and cartilage for their dinner tomorrow. Spoilt brats.

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Roasted Capsicum and Leek Risotto – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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Risotto is a delicious meal in itself but is also a great substitute for pasta for those who can’t eat wheat or wheat derivatives. And the bonus? It’sย reallyย not as hard as you think it is to make. I’m not kidding. It’s time consuming and you have to be patient but it’s easy peasy.

I make risotto each night before I do my long run for the week. It is filling and full of carbohydrates that I’ll need the next morning for my run. This also makes it quite high in calories so be careful how much you eat! Adding vegetables will also up its nutrition value to more than carbs and fat. So, Monday’s are risotto night. And this Friday night, too, because I’m doing theย Lake Sammamish Half Marathonย on Saturday morning… EEK!

FODMAP Notes:

  1. The green parts of leeks and spring onions are lower in fructans than the white part, so are safer for FMers. Please note that some people are extra sensitive and even this reduced amount will cause them to react. Follow what works for you. Asafoetida (hing) is a spice that replicates the flavours of onion and garlic once cooked, so that could be substituted instead.
  2. Fructose friendly vegetable stock is that which has been cooked sans onions/garlic, as the FODMAPs will leech out into the water. Either make your own or find a brand that is safe.
  3. FODMAPs are water soluble, so infusing your oil with garlic before any water based ingredients are added is the safest way to impart the garlic’s flavour without the fructans.
  4. Capsicums are low FODMAP in servings of 1 cup.

The following is a basic risotto recipe that you can flavour however you’d like – some flavour variations are listed below.

Basic Risotto:

  • 5 cups/1.25 L FF vegetable stock
  • Olive oil to seal your pan
  • 2 cups green leek tips, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed – to be removed before cooking the rice
  • 300 g/10 oz arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup/125 ml dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups roasted capsicum, sliced into 1 cm cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (or a vegetarian hard cheese) to serve.

Wash your rice.

Heat the veggie stock in a separate pot until it is simmering. Leave it there to use later on.

Seal your pan with olive oil by placing it on a high heat until the oil is smoking. Let it smoke for about 15-20 seconds and then remove it from the heat and tip your pan so that the oil covers the entire bottom surface.

Meanwhile, reduce your stove to a medium/high heat to saute the garlic. This step is optional – some people are too sensitive to fructans for even garlic infused oil – but should take only a few minutes and will give the dish some garlic flavour without a huge load of fructans. Remove the garlic before adding in the green leek tips, then saute until softened before adding in the rice.

Next, reduce the heat to medium, then add rice and wine and stir until the wine has evaporated – about 1 minute.

Now for the time consuming part. Add the stock to the rice one ladle at a time, stirring occasionally. Each time the stock has almost disappeared, add another ladle. Keep the heat to no more than just above medium because we don’t want too much of the liquid to evaporate; the rice needs to absorb it to cook. Keep doing this until the stock has gone; the rice should be tender and creamy but not “sloppy.” When you are halfway through the stock, add in the roasted capsicums and stir through.

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The stock isn’t fully absorbed here, and the rice will retain a little crunch

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Here the stock is fully absorbed and the rice is soft and tender. The risotto also keeps its shape as it is pushed around. It’s ready.

Add the butter, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle your serving with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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