Cows don’t have fingers

Meaty goodness | April 8, 2014 | By

This will be a very short post, because it didn’t involve much culinary magic. It should, however, still give you a smile.

Last week, I was digging around in the weird meat freezer at my favourite discount grocery store, because I totally love doing that. I reached past the pig noses and chicken lips and beef knees to find…

Beef finger meat

I excitedly snapped it up, because … now get ready for this one … I thought to myself, “Oh, beef fingers. That’s interesting. I’ve never heard of eating cow hands.” Of course, when I got the meat home, I realized…

Cows don’t have hands

I blame this misunderstanding on three things:

1. I have been a city slicker for too long now, and should visit a farm in the near future to take a few observational notes. Like that the cows aren’t prancing around on giant hands.

2. The meat actually did look like big hands in the packaging, and if cows did have hands, they would be large. I innately felt that these beef fingers were proportionally appropriate.

3. I’ve eaten far too much hemp oil recently, and my judgement has probably been clouded. But I’m sure my Omegas are off the charts. Tradeoffs.

When I opened the package, it was clear that I had misunderstood, because the meat fell apart into strips, rather than being joined into neat paws of four or five, as part of me had expected. I Googled to find out that beef finger meat is actually the meat left between the ribs, or what’s left on the roast after the ribs are removed.

I snipped through a piece and found that it was very gristle-y and tough, so I knew it would have to be cooked a lot. I didn’t have time to slow cook, so I snipped them into chunks and boiled the bejezzus out of them.  Then I tossed the bits with some BBQ sauce, and finished them by broiling them for ten minutes in the oven (I would have grilled the finish, but it was still cold out and I was cocooning).

Results:

Beef finger meat

These tasted a lot like rib meat. If I were to do them again, I’d use my favourite rib recipe (I don’t really have one – ribs always seem to trip me up) and leave them whole, so that the layer of fat could be removed more easily. There’s a big layer of fat. I didn’t feed these to my husband because he’ll only eat lean meats – always watching his waif-like waistline (not really, although he does innately prefer healthy foods. This can be annoying on ice cream runs). Rating: 1 Yum. Edible, but pretty unhealthy.

Question: What is your favourite way to cook ribs? I’ve tried many times over the years, but never make them when entertaining because my barbecue refuses to do “low and slow.”

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
    April 8, 2014

    IMHO, the only way to cook that type of meat is whole…the fat is needs to be left on in order to keep the meat juicy while it cooks. If I may be so bold as to offer a cooking strategy – give them a spice rub and low temp cook them in the oven for about 2 – 3 hours (covered and @ 275F). Then finish them off on the barbecue with a repeated slathering of bbq sauce (Make sure to flip and slather a few times) Then chop them up into inch – inch and a half long pieces. You can do the same technique with full racks of rib since your bbq doesn’t control its temp very well or if you don’t feel like keeping an eye on your bbq all day long.

    Hope this helps 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      April 8, 2014

      Thanks! When I grill ribs, they tend to dry out and burn. Slow cooker – they taste good, but fall apart, so the presentation sucks for guests. I’ll give your method a try!

      • Leave a Reply

        Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
        April 8, 2014

        I hope ya do, works like a charm and you get the best of both worlds. Moist and tender but still firm enough to stay on the bone. I also use that for bbq wings and render them down a bit in the oven before grilling them.

    • Leave a Reply

      Geoff Smith
      June 29, 2016

      SO I am 2 years out from most replies but being as a lot has changed in food health awareness I thought I would drop you a line.
      You see I am part of the LCHF movement. (Low Carb High Fat). My diet is at least 80% saturated fat, moderate to low protein and less the 10g of carbs a day. This resulted in reversing my diabetes, lowering blood pressure and having a cholesterol reading that the doctor says could not be more perfect.
      This meat fits the bill perfectly but I also practice calorie restriction now so only eat a few meals a week. One of these packages is great it lasts a month.
      I split them up and do one sous vide in what ever flavouring I’m in the mood for then BBQ quickly at very high temp to sear.

      • Leave a Reply

        Ann Allchin
        July 21, 2016

        I have a good friend who just started following a similar diet. Thanks for sharing your techniques! And sorry for my late reply — my notifications have gone squirrelly.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      April 8, 2014

      Cows with opposable digits… They might gain higher intelligence… Think how expensive burgers would be when they went into business! Your blog would be in trouble. Must resist the many fingered cows in the name of burgers (good movie plot?)

      • Leave a Reply

        Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
        April 8, 2014

        Egads! It would be like planet of the apes but with cows. Not only would beef prices soar, but think of cheese, ice cream, milk, and lattes!!! I shudder to think of the day cows have fingers.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Trish
    April 8, 2014

    Ohhh baby, I have a rib recipe for you. I’ll do a post and then share it with CD!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      April 8, 2014

      Ooh, I know you do! I feel almost guilty asking for that one – so good it should be a secret!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Mike
    April 8, 2014

    All I could think while reading this post was “Cow Jazz Hands!!”

    And boiling the bejeezus out of things is front and center in my limited repertoire of culinary techniques. Well played.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      April 8, 2014

      If a cow surprised me with his jazz hands, it might just scare the bejeezus out of me. But I do like the mental image

      • Leave a Reply

        Ann Allchin
        April 8, 2014

        With “her” jazz hands I guess. There I go again. Farm field trip definitely in the cards for me one day soon

  4. Leave a Reply

    Aly
    April 9, 2014

    I’ve never heard of that cut either, and would also have been confused!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      April 9, 2014

      Phew! Right when I had decided I needed to go back to school for … something

  5. Leave a Reply

    Marni
    April 15, 2014

    You are funny. Hmm. so was it hard to chew? Or because you cooked it so long it was tender and easy to manage..

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      April 15, 2014

      Totally “fall off the bone.” If there had been bones. Which would have been knuckles and stuff, according to me

  6. Leave a Reply

    Marty
    February 21, 2015

    get a pot, cover ribs with water, add an onion and some steak spice. Bring to a boil. Simmer for an hour or so.
    Take’em out, arrange on a broiling sheet covered with tin foil, slather one side with barbecue sauce. Broil for 2-3 minutes till the sugar in the sauce starts to caramelize. Take ’em out. flip ’em, slather top with barbecue sauce, blast ’em again for 2-3 minutes. to get more caramelization. Eat. Great with Garlic bread and or salad.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      February 21, 2015

      Stellar! Your method is right up my alley — I could probably even do it without peeking at the recipe. Thanks for stopping by! (High five to you with a cow hand)

  7. Leave a Reply

    Marty
    February 21, 2015

    just do it. ignore all warnings about not boiling ribs’; even works better with pork ribs, any cut.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Kevin
    February 25, 2015

    Google “Beth’s Best Ribs” for a great way to cook ribs with a dry rub in the oven. They look great, taste better, and no burnt BBQ sauce.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Torsten von Merveldt
    April 20, 2016

    Great site. Thanks for your humour and courage with meal creation.
    Beef Rib Fingers…who knew this cut could be so tasty? Lately my shopping strategy is to buy affordable meat, then learn how to cook it.
    I ended up slow cooking this beef with sautéed onion, and fresh tomato after the initial rub of Montreal Steak spice and Curry. Slow and low is the way to go.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      April 20, 2016

      Ooh, love someone who’s adventurous with the mystery meat! I definitely agree that low and slow is the key if you don’t know the cut or if it’s more “reasonably priced.” Thanks for stopping in. Hope to hear from you again soon!

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