In Search of the "McRib"... from SQWIBS Test Kitchen

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by sqwib, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. sqwib

    sqwib OTBS Member

    10/27/13 article started

    I put this under grilling with pork although these can be grilled, like burgers, they are pan fried in this article.

    In Search of the

    "McRib"...

    from SQWIBS Test Kitchen


    A good way to recycle those trimmings

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    Disclaimer: some of the following information has been Googled so take it as such, we all know the internet can be misleading.

    Prelude

    The McRib sandwich was introduced in 1981.

    So what is a McRib actually, well according to this Wiki snippet: The McRib consists of a pork patty, barbecue sauce, onions, and pickles served on a 5-1/2"(14cm) roll. Despite its name, it is primarily composed of pork shoulder meat, according to McDonald's.

    On Micky D's website it is as follows:

    MCRIB PORK PATTY

    Ingredients: Pork, Water, Salt, Dextrose, Preservatives (BHA, Propyl Gallate, Citric Acid).

    OK, wait, lets back it up a bit, I think Wiki is leaving something out, or are they not getting all the facts? Why the big secret? And Micky D's website is a bit vague, Pork, wow that sums it up.

    So the website says Pork, OK but which part of the pig is it?

    According to a dispatch from Maxim, there is "very little actual rib meat in a McRib." "Primarily, it's shoulder meat," Rob Cannell, director of McDonald's U.S. supply chain, explained to the magazine.
    Oh Really!! ... if it was pork (primarily) shoulder, it would cost a lot more than what Micky D's is selling it for!


    What would you say if I told you it was a "restructured meat product" and had a mixture of tripe, heart, and scalded stomach?

    What is restructured meat product? Well according Roger Mandigo, a longtime prof at UNL, a recent inductee into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame and an innovator in restructured meat products. Here’s how Mandigo explains it.

    Restructured meat products are commonly manufactured by using lower-valued meat trimmings reduced in size by comminution (flaking, chunking, grinding, chopping or slicing). The comminuted meat mixture is mixed with salt and water to extract salt-soluble proteins. These extracted proteins are critical to produce a “glue” which binds muscle pieces together. These muscle pieces may then be reformed to produce a “meat log” of specific form or shape. The log is then cut into steaks or chops which, when cooked, are similar in appearance and texture to their intact muscle counterparts.

    So to be clear, the McRib has no rib meat whatsoever, zero, nada, none, zip.

    So why do so many folks love it?

    • Before we go any further I would like to show a photo of the McRib prior to cooking. Looks yummy don't it? I thought they looked like the soles to sneakers!
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    Well now that I got you thinking, lets have some fun!


    The following was my original game plan when I started this project back in October 2013, since then I have had a change of heart.

    The McRib... some loved it and some hated it, personally I could live without the McRib but to be honest, I can eat almost anything.
    So back to why I'm writing this article, it's to announce the McSQWIB... oh wait I better not call it that, Micky Dees might sue me if it ever gets popular, well lets call it "SQWIBS Boneless Rib Sandwich". Hell with them, I'm calling it the McSQWIB!
    But don't worry I wont use the McSQWIB as a marketing ploy as Micky D's does!

    I have been rolling this recipe around in my head for months and although this started as research to make a boneless rib sandwich, while playing around with the McRib Clone recipe, I became intrigued and decided I wanted to try 2 things.

    1) A way to make a rib sandwich using whole intact meat, yet keep the appearance of the McRib sandwich, somewhat anyhow.
    2) Recycling meat scraps that would otherwise be tossed and make a satisfying sandwich.


    The McRib does look appetizing, see pic above, no... not the prior to cooking picture, the one above that! I have been looking to make a sandwich that was tender... not mushy and acceptable to die hard "Q'-ers


    After messing with this recipe and cooking quite a few ribs I decided to opt out of #1, I honestly couldn't see the benefit of taking rib meat off a perfectly good rib for a sandwich, it seemed counterproductive.

    OK back to the project,
    First, I started by making the clone recipe and tried slight modifications, to better the end result, this was successful. Lets see how I did!


     

    So lets get started!

    WARNING!: What I am about to do, may upset some folks, but I need to do this in the name of science, some photos may be disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised..

    You have been warned!


    McRib 1
    McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Boston Butt

    Below is the clone recipe I followed from the video above.
    • 12 ounces uncooked pork butt (screwed up and done 16 oz.)
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 6-inch center split white sandwich rolls (Sara Lee makes the perfect size)
    • 1 cup Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce
    • 8 dill pickle slices
    • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
     
    1. Combine pork, water, sugar, and salt in a food processor and puree on high speed for 30 to 60 seconds or until completely smooth.

    2. Divide pureed pork into 4 equal portions that weigh 3 ounces each. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and spray with Pam spray. Using your fingers that have been moistened with water form each portion of pork on the lined baking sheet into rectangles that measure 6 1/2 inches by 3 inches. Gently press another sheet of parchment paper or nonstick foil onto the top of the pork patties and then pop the whole pan into the freezer for two hours, or until the pork is frozen solid.

    3. When you are ready to make your sandwiches preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Slice the sandwich rolls to separate the top and bottom half, then brown the faces of the top and bottom roll halves (crown and heel).

    4. When the rolls are browned, use the same pan to cook the pork. Cook the pork on one side for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned in spots, then flip each pork patty over and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove all the pork patties to a platter to cool just a bit. The barbecue sauce will stick better if the pork cools down for a minute or two.

    5. As pork cools pour 1 cup of barbecue sauce into a large shallow bowl. When the pork has cooled some, use tongs to dip each patty into the barbecue sauce until the pork is completely covered with sauce. Place the pork onto the heel of a sandwich roll, then arrange two pickle slices on the pork. Drop about 2 tablespoons of chopped onion on the pork, and then top off each sandwich with the crown.

    6. Just before serving, zap each sandwich for 15 seconds in your microwave on the highest setting. This will warm the bread as if it had been wrapped in paper like the original.


    The results will be posted at the end of this article.

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    WARNING! Some Viewers may find the next images offensive!!!
    Viewer Discretion is advised.
     
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    • Wetting your fingers helps when forming the patties, they are literally like glue.
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    • Spray the wax paper with some cooking oil.
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    • Ready for the Freezer
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    • Brown both sides of the bun in a dry Cast Iron pan.
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    • Cool the patties a bit before saucing.

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    McRib 2
    McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat

    Below is the clone recipe I followed from the video above.

     
    • 12 ounces uncooked pork spareribs meat (Prepped ribs St. Louis style and used trimmings)
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 6-inch center split white sandwich rolls (Sara Lee makes the perfect size)
    • 1 cup Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce
    • 8 dill pickle slices
    • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
    Repeat steps 1-6 as stated in Part 1
     

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    • Hey look... I'm making homemade pink Slime!
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    McRib 3
    McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat

    Below is the clone recipe I followed from the video above and Modified by adding Smoked Paprika
    • 12 ounces uncooked pork spareribs meat (Prepped ribs St. Louis style and used trimmings)
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 Teaspoon Hungarian Smoked Paprika
    • 4 6-inch center split white sandwich rolls (Sara Lee makes the perfect size)
    • 1 cup Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce
    • 8 dill pickle slices
    • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
    Repeat steps 1-6 as stated in Part 1
     
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    OH My!
     
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    Hmmmm... Looking pretty good so far!
     
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    I'm eating This clone McRib as I type this section, I decided to bring one in to work for lunch, Foiled and placed in the oven at 250° for half an hour.

    I must say these things are really becoming a favorite of mine.
    I opened up the foil and got that wonderful smell. The patty itself needs a bit of work as I noticed a funny aftertaste, but I'm loving these. I wish I would have added Garlic, Onion Powder and Red Pepper to this test batch as I did in Part 4.


     

    McRib 4

    McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat

    Below is the clone recipe I followed from the video above and Modified by adding Garlic powder, Onion powder and Red Pepper.

     
    • 12 ounces uncooked pork spareribs meat (Prepped ribs St. Louis style and used trimmings)
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
    • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
    • 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper
    • 4 6-inch center split white sandwich rolls (Sara Lee makes the perfect size)
    • 1 cup Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce
    • 8 dill pickle slices
    • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
    Repeat steps 1-6 as stated in Part 1

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    These have had the best flavor so far, which tells me this recipe can be tweaked almost indefinitely.

    McRib 5
    McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat

    Below is the clone recipe I followed from the video above and Modified by adding Garlic powder, Onion powder, Red Pepper, Paprika, Sage, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and upping the salt from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.

     
    • 12 ounces uncooked pork spareribs meat (Prepped ribs St. Louis style and used trimmings)
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt (light teaspoon)
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
    • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
    • 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper
    • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
    • 1 Teaspoon Sage
    • 4 6-inch center split white sandwich rolls (Sara Lee makes the perfect size)
    • 1 cup Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce
    • 8 dill pickle slices
    • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
    Repeat steps 1-6 as stated in Part 1

    At this point I realized I could go on forever, but posted my next few recipes anyhow.

    McRib 6
    McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat

    Below is the clone recipe I followed from the video above and Modified by adding Mad Hunky Hot Whang Rub


    I decided to try Rich's Mad Hunky Hot Whang Rub because of the great success I have had with it making wings.
    • 12 ounces uncooked pork spareribs meat (Prepped ribs St. Louis style and used trimmings)
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 Tablespoon Mad Hunky Hot Whang Rub
    • 4 6-inch center split white sandwich rolls (Sara Lee makes the perfect size)
    • 1 cup Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce
    • 8 dill pickle slices
    • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
    Repeat steps 1-6 as stated in Part 1

    McRib 7

    McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat

    Below is the clone recipe I followed from the video above and Modified by adding my Pork Rub


    I decided I wanted to try My Pork Rub.
    • 12 ounces uncooked pork spareribs meat (Prepped ribs St. Louis style and used trimmings)
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 Tablespoon SQWIBS Pork Rub
    • 4 6-inch center split white sandwich rolls (Sara Lee makes the perfect size)
    • 1 cup Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce
    • 8 dill pickle slices
    • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
    Repeat steps 1-6 as stated in Part 1

    I decided to move along on this article because to be quite honest I could go on forever tweaking this recipe and I'm getting a little distracted from my original goal.
    • Found another source of meat on the ribs.
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    McRib and McRib Clone vs. McSQWIB

    OK... everything so far has been leading up to this part of the test.

    This is where I decided enough was enough and couldn't Blaspheme a rib cook, I left the rest of the article intact so you can see what I was trying to accomplish.

    Since I have successfully cloned the McRib and surpassed it, in my opinion anyway, I will be working on a simple boneless rib sandwich that will make any Rib Fanatic and tru "Q"er' grin from ear to ear, but bear in mind, the recipe up to this point has been for ground/processed meat, the following and final part of this article is for whole intact rib meat. So it's like comparing apples to oranges.

    So this section of the article is not to be compared to the McRib as a clone but rather a Rib Sandwich by itself.

    Hopefully this will appeal to the die hard/Purist folks.

    This will need to satisfy presentation, taste and mouth feel. My only concern was that braising too long would mush the meat and I may not be able to get the firmness back.

    There may still be a group that prefer the McRib due to it being a processed meat, but as I said before this is not meant to compare to the McRib.

    I know my father for one would prefer anything ground over solid muscle meat, simply for the fact its easier to chew.

    OK lets get started
    • 12 ounces pit cooked or smoked pork spareribs meat (Prepped ribs St. Louis style)
    • 4 6-inch center split white sandwich rolls (Sara Lee makes the perfect size)
    • 1 cup Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce
    • 8 dill pickle slices
    • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
    Mop
    • ¼ cup Soy sauce,
    • ¼ cup of Worcestershire
    • 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper,
    • 1 tablespoon coarse salt and
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar.
    Now onto the Boneless Rib sandwich.
     

    1) Trim your Spares to St. Louis style.

    2) Cook the ribs naked for 1 hour.

    3) Mop, several times after the first hour has passed and for the next hour, wrap ribs in foil with remainder of mop and a ¼ cup of apple juice if more liquid is needed and wrap tightly, cook 2 – 2-1/2 hours.

    4) After two hours in the foil, open the foil and carefully slide out the bones, if the bones do not slide out, add more apple juice, re seal foil and cook another 20-30 minutes. The last hour open foil and cook opened.

    5) Take a 5-6” roll split so you have two separate halves, brown roll halves in a skillet.

    6) Cut the ribs to fit a 5-6” roll, once the ribs have cooled a bit, dip brush both sides of ribs with Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce.

    7) Place the boneless ribs on the bottom half of the toasted bun, add two slices of dill pickle, top with a tablespoon of chopped onions, top with the other half of the toasted bun.

    8) Place in the microwave 15 seconds right before serving or wrap in foil and warm on the pit.


    Here are the results:
    • McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Boston Butt
    McRib Clone #1

    It was really good, But I think the results may have been skewed as a result of my inability to read a frack'n recipe. For some odd reason when processing the meat I figured 16 oz. Instead of the 12 oz. that the original recipe calls for which is (3 oz patties) anyhow I ended up with 4 ounce patties.

    Presentation, taste and texture were pretty good, I have two co workers that have agreed to be my guinea pigs. Both said that they were impressed and this was definitely comparable to a McRib.
    • McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat
    Mcrib Clone #2

    I did not notice any difference between the rib meat and the butt, they seemed about the same.
    • McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat
    Mcrib  #3 w/paprika

    The paprika does give it a bit more of an appetizing look.

    Tried the Paprika McRibs today and they definitely look better than the grayish looking patties, taste was just as the others, but noticed a bit of an aftertaste, slightly metallic, I decided to add some jalapenos to this one.
    • McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat
    McRib #4 Modified by adding Garlic powder, Onion Powder and Red Pepper

    These were slightly better in flavor but not a whole lot, I think I need to increase the salt a bit more.
    • McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat
    McRib #5 Modified by adding Garlic powder, Onion powder, Red Pepper, Paprika, Sage, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and upping the salt from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.

    Flavor was good
    • McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat
    McRib  #6 Modified by adding Mad Hunky Hot Whang Rub

    TBA
     
    • McRib vs. the cloned McRib using Rib Meat
    McRib  #7 Modified by adding My Pork Rub.

    TBA

    Notes and Comments: The ground pork will shrink up a good bit so make sure they are pressed out to 6-1/2” x 3” and are thin. The original recipe says to Pan Fry from freezer, I have had the best results, freezing the patty and thawing then frying.

    Batch#1 Patties were pan fried with a few tablespoons of oil directly from the freezer and they did not cook thoroughly all the way through on the first test. They were pan cooked 4 minutes flipped then three minutes, this may be due to the fact they were 4 ounce patties instead of the three ounce patties so were a bit thicker.

    Batch#2 Patties were completely thawed then fried in a pan with a few tablespoons of oil. These browned nicely and could have gone a bit longer.

    Tip: after assembling the patty, wrap in wax paper and microwave for fifteen- twenty seconds, serve immediately.

    Texture: Some folks may have problems with the texture, but I thought the patties were fine, the texture is similar to overworked ground beef.
    My kids are not too keen on these, it is definitely a texture thing with my kids.
    I bet if I wrapped it in a McDonalds wrapper and threw away 4 dollars, they might have liked it.

    The thinner patties seem to have an overall better mouth feel.


     

    Flavor. From the original recipe most of the flavor is coming from the barbecue sauce and pickle, the meat itself is a bit bland but it all works well together. I would suggest experimenting with different flavor profiles for the patty such as I had done in this article.

    Add a few drops of liquid smoke to the meat or to the barbecue sauce.

    Excellent way to use scraps.

    Rib Meat versus Butt Versus Picnic.

    To be honest I did not notice any difference in flavor or texture of either.

    I had a few taste testers in work and they liked these better than the actual Mcrib

    I now save all my trimmings and process them for patties if they wont be used for beans or other recipes..
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  2. Thanks Sqwib....even though I know what goes into a McRib...for some reason I cant resist them!....I'll be doing this very soon!
     
  3. AARGH. Now I have those crazy McRib cravings.
     
  4. I commend you on your dedication to the McRib. I would never have lasted through all those experiments and tests.
     
  5. b-one

    b-one OTBS Member

    Very interesting read, keep up the great work. Proper shaping should be fun in need the fake bone look!:biggrin:
     
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ALL HAIL THE McSQWIB!! [​IMG][​IMG]

    Nice job! If you can find them I suggest you find Famous Dave's spicy pickle slices, they aren't very spicy (kind of a sweet hot) and would go great on that sandwich!
     
  7. Guess we can't edit our posts,not from Tapatalk. Yes, good food is about contrasts in flavours. The McRib's main taste is from the sauce, with the pickle and onion next, and the meat patty last. I make my own wonton dumplings and have experimented with seasonings and meat graininess. Big decision is to duplicate or make it to your own liking.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015

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