In Part 1 of this series on ribs you learned how to trim ribs to St. Louis cut and in Part 2 you learned how to cook ribs in the oven so they were moist and tender without par-boiling them. Now what to do with the trimmings you saved from Part 1. When cooking ribs outdoors on the smoker one popular solution is to toss them on the smoker. Since the rib tips are finished before the whole racks of ribs they become nice little snacks for the cook. However, should you want to be a little more creative here’s one option for you: Pulled Pork in Miso Broth with Soba Noodles.
There are a variety of methods for slow cooking the pork rib tips to tender goodness. One way is to toss them in a pressure cooker and quickly cook them but I prefer a slow cooker. Using the slow cooker allows you to adjust the seasoning as you cook. This is a longer process, but if you follow all the steps you’ll end up with a nice pork broth along with some of the tastiest pulled pork you’ve ever had.
You can see from the picture (left) that you’ll end up with a nice pile of rib trimmings from three racks of ribs. I usually vacuum seal my trimmings and save them in the freezer until I have four or five pounds worth. Take your trimmings and put them in the slow cooker (right) and season them with your favorite seasoning or rub. In this case I used a little five spice powder. Add a little liquid and cook them until they are starting to fall apart.
Now comes the important part of the process and the part that takes the longest. Besides all the meaty goodness of the pork you’re going to have a slow cooker full of broth with little pieces off bone and cartiledge. It’s important to get all those pieces out. Strain the liquid, discarding all the stuff you don’t want. Retain the liquid and let it cool to room temperature. Once it’s cooled put the container of broth in the refrigerator overnight. Chilling the brother will allow most of the pork fat to harden, making it easier to remove.
Shred the pork and put it in the fridge until the next day too. To make the pork soba noodle dish is easy at this point.
Cook the soba noodles according to package instructions. While the noodles are cooking take a couple cups of pork broth and season it with a tablespoon of miso, some soy sauce (or better yet a nice dash of fish sauce).
Add the shredded pork to the broth and heat. Place your noodles in a bowl, add the pork and broth and you’re almost ready. Garnish with cilantro and thinly sliced vegetables for some crunch. You’ve got a nice flavorful Asian inspired pork dish!
For another example of what to do with your rib trimmings check our The BBQ Grail’s Pulled Pork Cakes!