One of life’s pleasures, says food writer Kemp Minifie, “is gnawing at the succulent bits of meat surrounding bones, and when it comes to the stalwart pig, there are several delectable options.”
A pig has fourteen ribs of varying size and tenderness. Near the back of the spine are the smaller baby back ribs. Their meat is tender but lean. These are great roasted or grilled, but can dry out if overcooked.
As you go down the spine, the ribs widen —these are called spare ribs which have a thick layer of meat and fat — so delicious but not particularly tender.
Spare ribs are best slow roasted. You could use ribs to flavour spaghetti sauce as well. It’s like a bonus with meatballs.