There's no better way to kickstart that summer feeling than tucking into a warm weather special – the mighty barbecue ribs. An American classic that's become popular around the world, ribs are a barbecue favourite that will always satisfy your meat cravings. The folks at Chicago Rib Shack, Red's True Barbecue and Cattlegrid know a thing or two about how to make a cracking set of ribs. Here's the story behind the barbecue dish's popularity.
A cultural food
Barbecue ribs have their roots in 17th century America. European settlers adopted the slow-cooking methods of native communities, who smoked fish and birds over hot coals. After introducing pigs to the continent, this quickly became the method of choice.
As American society took shape, barbecues were key in helping to forge a community spirit. And thanks to the contribution of different cultures, ribs emerged as classic dish of this social event.
Modern day clash
Though a modern American staple, ribs have many varieties, methods and recipes. Whether baby back or spare, beef or strictly pork, sweet or smoky, served with sauce or dry rubbed before cooking, it all depends on where you call home.
Texans prefer beef ribs with oak smoke and a sweet tomato sauce, while other Southern states are all about pork. Carolina-style ribs are hickory-smoked, but Kansas City is still the home of classic barbecue ribs. They're juicy, sticky and smoky, made with a molasses-rich sauce for extra sweetness. Just don't talk to any red-blooded Americans about vegan versions – when it comes to ribs, nothing compares to real meat.
This side of the Pacific
If, like Texans, the only choice for you is beef, then try the Jacob's ladder cut Beef Ribs from Chicago Rib Shack. Rich and tender beef is glazed with a sticky BBQ sauce for extra depth of flavour. Add in a side of chicken wings if you want to bulk up your meat feast even more. For beef without the sauce, take a look at Red's True Barbecue's Beef Long Ribs. They're smoked for eight hours to enhance the natural flavour and make sure the ribs remain juicy and tender beneath their crispy outside.
However, if your tastes are more North Carolina, then it's got to be pork. And the slow-cooked chunky baby back ribs from Cattlegrid are the ones for you – in either half- or full-rack sizes. While their peri-peri infused sauce is a go-to for spicy hit, we love our ribs with their classic house sauces. From chilli and garlic butter, to green peppercorn or blue cheese, Cattlegrid have all the sauces of your rib-related dreams.
Feeling like a taste of sticky-fingered America? Head to Deliveroo and get some ribs today.