Venison Ribs

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Here’s the best way I’ve ever found to do venison ribs, a cut of meat that is often underutilized or simply ground into sausage meat. It’s based on a recipe stolen from Steven Raichlen’s very excellent The Barbecue Bible, though my brother Matt added a couple of key steps to make it the perfect preparation for summertime wild game grilling.

Step 1: Using a hacksaw or bone saw cut a rack of venison ribs perpendicular to the bones, so that you get three strips of connected rib bones that are about five or six inches long. Then cut these trips into pieces containing three or four ribs apiece. Plan on two or three pieces per person – say about five or six pounds of ribs for six folks. You want them to look like this:

Step 2: Place the ribs into a pressure cooker and add just enough water to cover them. Cook at full pressure for thirty minutes. By then, the ribs should be tender enough for the meat to fall off the bone.

Step 3: Remove the ribs from the pressure cooker, let them cool, and then give them a generous rub-down with your favorite dry rub (blends meant for pork ribs are ideal). Or if you’re feeling ambitious, make up a batch based on Raichlen’s recommended blend by combining the following ingredients.

1/4 cup paprika

1 ½ Tablespoons ground black pepper

1 ½ Tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 Tablespoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons celery salt

1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

Step 4: Combine the following to make a mop sauce for glazing:

1 cup cider vinegar

½ cup yellow mustard

Step 5: Fire up your outdoor grill and lay out the ribs in a single layer on the rack. Since they’re already cooked, you’re just looking to give them a light char and get them crisp. Flip often, and mop on a generous coat of the glaze each time they flip. Continue cooking until the bones start to blacken and the meat has acquired the color of ribby goodness – say about ten or fifteen minutes. Serve with dill pickles and you’ll be in heaven.

 

10 Responses to “Venison Ribs”

  1. bido2231

    Looks good. I love your show. It is so real. I live in Utah but fish & hunt in Montana. You remind me of my three boys. We record ever show. You have many fans out here.

  2. Duane72

    I’m going to have to try this! I have always stripped the rib meat for grinding not really knowing what to do with it on the bone. This gives me a great idea of what to work with. Any suggestions if you don’t have a pressure cooker though?

    • Brittany Brittany

      Thanks for pointing that out, Chris, that 2nd paprika isn’t supposed to be in there! It’s updated now.

  3. TurkeyHunter

    Ever try to smoke venison ribs? I usually use the 3, 2, 1 method for other types of ribs, but I’ve never tried venison. It usually ends up in the waste.

  4. Bob327

    Looks good. I cut ribs for the first time this past fall. Got the inspiration to do it after noticing my cordless Sawzall sitting on the work bench while skinning my deer. Figured it was worth the shot. I soaked the ribs in a brine overnight and then slathered them with my favorite barbecue sauce and cooked them on the grill low and slow and kept flipping them while brushing on more sauce. I think they came out all right but a little tough for my tastes, but my son loved them. Can’t wait until next deer season to try this recipe. Already bought some stainless Sawzall blades at Cabelas in anticipation.

  5. Poorboy

    Just doin’ up a batch Now… I googled “Best Venison Ribs” and of course it brought me here. I knew I should have just typed Meateater! I’ve always kept the ribs and have had some success braising & BBQ’N but I’ve never been 100% happy with the results. Found my pressure Cooker in the shed today so it works out perfect. Thanks from your Fans in Nova Scotia Canada!

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