Friday, October 8, 2010

Sweet & Salty Sticky Ribs

Are there any better words to describe ribs than sweet, salty, and sticky? I had never made ribs before, but slow cooking something in the oven just sounded so delicious yesterday. I'm not going to claim these are the "best ever" or "authentic bbq" or anything like that, because I'm sure people in parts of the country like Memphis, Kansas City, and Texas where bbq is a religion would say otherwise. But they were really good and without a classic bbq sauce which is what I was aiming for. This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown.

1 slab pork baby back ribs
4 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Braising liquid:
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place the slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle each side with the dry rub and pat it into the meat. Pile most of the rub on the top side of the ribs. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Gently open the foil on and pour the braising liquid into each foil packet, under the ribs.

Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency.

Brush about half the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly.

Pour the remaining hot glaze over the ribs. Slice into 2 rib bone portions.

I served the ribs with braised kale, and mac & cheese. Kale recipe to come later. And I cheated with the mac & cheese. The ribs were really, really good. The spice rub made a nice sticky crust that and was a little spicy. They were so easy because there's really not a lot of labor involved, and you can leave them in the oven from 2 1/2 hours up to 4. I did a little over 3 hours and they were pretty perfect. Definitely use heavy duty aluminum foil, it's obviously stronger and much wider. The regular stuff wouldn't have held up. You could also finish the ribs off on the grill instead of under the broiler. This recipe would definitely make for a great Sunday afternoon football meal.

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