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Turn a Rack of Spareribs into the St. Louis Cut

Fine Cooking Issue 56
Photo: Scott Phillips
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For his oven-roasted ribs, Steve Johnson likes to use St. Louis-cut ribs, which is really just a regular rack of spareribs with the breastbone and the adjacent strip of gnarled meat removed. A butcher can do this for you, or you can do it yourself. Here’s how: Put the ribs, meat side down, on a cutting board. Use your fingers to identify the rib bones, the breastbone (the wide, flat piece of bone perpendicular to the rib bones), and the thin strips of cartilage between them (they’ll feel like bony spurs attached to the breastbone). Using a chef’s knife, cut between the ribs and breastbone, through the cartilage—the knife should meet little resistance. Continue cutting straight down the rack along the ends of the rib bones until you’ve removed the breastbone and the strip of gristly meat behind it, which you can save and freeze to braise or stew later.


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