Known for its barbecue, Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill specializes in gorgeously glazed hunks of meats, like baby back ribs and brisket. But even among an array of barbecue beauties, the Certified Angus Beef Giant Short Rib stands out. “We tested this dish in a few stores to begin with,” says Alejandro Benes, Partner. “We told the managers in the restaurants to have a server ‘take the short rib for a walk,’ parading it around the tables so guests could see it and inevitably ask, ‘What is that?’ The rest is history. It’s still a special item that each restaurant can choose to sell on any day of the week, and the comments we get are usually along the lines of, ‘This is the best piece of beef I’ve ever eaten.’”
The three-rib rack starts in a bath of mustard, Worcestershire and apple cider vinegar, creating a little moisture coat and adhesive for the spices, he says. Next, it gets a proprietary rub, then it goes in the smoker over pecan wood and is cooked at a low temperature. The middle bone is removed, and the rack gets cut into two giant ribs, with about a pound on each remaining bone.
“We offer the rib served without sauce, with our original barbecue sauce or our chipotle-cherry barbecue sauce,” says Benes. “In all cases, we finish the rib over a mesquite fire for a little caramelization. All the flavors stand up independently, but also play very well together no matter how you choose
to have it.”