Kurobuta (Berkshire) Pork
Kurobuta Pork St. Louis Spare Ribs
2 racks per pack (approximately 20 lbs.)
While Kurobuta baby back ribs are cut from along the spine, spareribs are from around the belly, with meat somewhat similar to pork bellies. Less sought after than baby backs (and consequently less expensive), spareribs are a higher fat, but also meatier alternative. Spareribs are quite popular in European, Asian, and American barbecue recipes for their rich flavor.
These are St. Louis style spare ribs, meaning that the surrounding bones and cartilage have been removed to make them easier to eat (and so you’re paying for less bone). They've been trimmed to smaller, more uniform dimensions to make them easier to cook.
Kurobuta pork (aka Berkshire pork) is from a rare breed of pig that has long been bred in England and Japan for flavor and more marbled meat. The result is some of the finest pork in the world, sometimes referred to as “The Kobe Beef of Pork.”
Note: While this cut is excellent for home use, we recommend purchasing whole Kurobuta spare rib racks instead for use in competitive BBQ. St. Louis ribs are cut from younger animals for more tender meat. This also results in smaller racks that are easy for home cooks to handle, but are less impressive on the competitive circuit. St. Louis racks are also cut down to make them very easy to cook at home, but as a result they have a higher level of exposed bones (aka “shiners”) than is preferred by many competitive teams.
Keep Kurobuta sparerib racks frozen until you’re ready to use them, then thaw only as many as you need.
RECIPES & TIPS
Kurobuta spareribs can be boiled, braised, broiled, grilled or barbequed. They are often marinated or rubbed with spices prior to cooking in order to impart extra flavor.
For extra flavor, moisture, and tenderness, you can brine spareribs prior to cooking them – how to brine meat.
While in Europe you’ll often see them served with sauerkraut, and in Asia soy sauce and ginger are frequently used in their marinade, in the US the most traditional condiment is barbecue sauce.
If you’re planning on grilling ribs with barbecue sauce, slow cook them first (either braising them in a flavorful liquid, smoking, or slow-roasting at a low heat either in the oven or on a covered grill) until they are tender, then brushing them with your sauce and quickly grilling them over high heat in order to develop a crispy crust.