Marinated and slow-cooked for ultimate tenderness, or barbecued to sticky perfection, ribs are a favourite across the globe – and the Netherlands are no different.
For flavour that packs a punch, the Uptown Meat Club sticks to earthy flavours with their smoked, barbecued ribs, while the Spare Ribs House prefer to give you a choice – will you go all-American with whiskey-soaked ribs, or try Chinese flavours with their sweet and sour version? If you like a mystery though, De Resident have been serving up their secret recipe ribs since 1977.
Why is rib meat so popular? The secret's in the bone. On a rack of ribs, it's the well-worked intercostal meat you enjoy – packed with connective tissue and fat marbling. When cooked, this melts into the meat making it sweet, succulent and so irresistible, but it's also a taste that's impossible to achieve with any other cut.
Ribs can be grilled, baked, braised or smoked, and you'll notice terms like 'spare' ribs and a 'rack of ribs' on a menu. A rack refers to five or more ribs cooked as a set, while spare ribs are taken from the belly rather than the back. If you ever see "boneless", it just means the meat was taken from the shoulder instead.
Ribs have been used in recipes around the world for hundreds of years, and every culture has their own way of cooking them. Traditionally, most chefs use pork or beef – but over the generations, chefs have tried to come up with innovative new ways of cooking ribs.
Over in the US, letting marinated meat smoke for a shorter period on the barbecue before serving with a variety of sauces is the norm. In China though, sticky ribs are cooked with five-spice – and most chefs like to take their time, slow-cooking the meat in a complex mix of oils, spices and sauces for 12 hours or more.
Everyone has their favourite rib dish, but if you want to branch out and try something new, check out the menu for the Spare Ribs House. Ribs are their speciality, so you can choose everything from the subtle Indian spices of the tandoori ribs, to the Garlic Queen ribs which offer a French feel, marinated in garlic, wine and herbs.
If you want that true US steakhouse flavour though, the Uptown Meat Club and De Resident are both solid bets with their mouth-watering barbecued rack of ribs, made with secret home-made marinades – so while they're both American-inspired, they taste very different.
Are you in need of a barbecue fix, but don't have hours to spare slaving over a slow-cooker? Check out hassle-free American food at Deliveroo.
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