Memorial Day... July 4th... Labor Day...
These holidays all have true cultural significance in American history, but well...
I ain't ashamed to say that mostly? To me? They mean BBQ RIBS!!!!
Call me callow, shallow, it's all true, I shall not deny it... in fact? I'll scour through the thesaurus and help you seek more pejoratives, if you like, so long as I can roast, glaze, and feast on the ribs of a sweet beast.
Now, sadly, I live in a tiny apartment in San Francisco - sans backyard, deck, or balcony where I can light a primal fire over wood and coals (or even a gas burner) and let voracious flames hungrily lick their way to barbecuing Nirvana... Nope. I have a galley kitchen with a tiny electric range, but that's not going to spoil my dreams of falling off the bone tender, charred star-glazed meat melting unctuously over my tongue.
Okay so... the ribs...
You can use baby backs or St. Louis-style cuts...
Most cooks will tell you to remove the membrane beneath the bones, I don't bother... it is gelatinous enough and will melt... I slow-roast these, there is no boiling, no steaming, nothing violent or wet that will make the membrane tough. So let's see... after cleaning them with cider vinegar and a paper towel I season them with my secret spices and then add a splash of apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, avocado and olive oil, and massage it all into the meat... about an hour before cooking... I stick them in the preheated oven at 325 degrees in a shallow foil-lined pan for two hours... I baste them once with their own fat & juices & a splash of vinegar after the first hour, then a half hour later glaze them with secret sauce and then half an hour after that glaze them again with their fat & my secret sauce & let them rest for 15 minutes... I don't even have to broil them because I reduce the sauce to a glaze in the pan before anointing the ribs with it... they were so meaty... so succulent.... el esposo cried.
A few notes before you start:
Take your ribs out and season them an hour before cooking.
I usually cook a large 2-1/2 to 3 lb rack.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. You can, of course, put it in an even slower oven. I have cooked them in 250 degree heat, and that added an extra hour of time to the roasting, but I found no truly discernible difference, still, cooking is about experimentation so have fun and play.
Make your barbecue sauce. It is easy to do and so much more flavorful, plus you can then control the amount of sugar and sodium you add. The tamarind syrup, chipotle in adobo, and plum sauce are truly value add.
Roast the rack two hours with minimal fussing. You don't need to constantly baste it. Once after the first hours and then half an hour after that, and then at the end to glaze with the sauce. Rest them for 15 -20 minutes. Serve. Eat. Simple.
- 1 2-1/2 to 3 lb rack of ribs
- 2 TBS Garlic powder
- 2 TBS Paprikon (Smoked Paprika)
- 2 TBS Ground Cumin
- 1 TBS Ground Coriander
- 1 TBS Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 TBS Dried Oregano
- A grating of fresh Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to taste
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Clove (or Allspice)
- 1 TBS of Brown Swerve or Monkfruit sweetener
- A few splashes of cider vinegar
- A few splashes of extra virgin olive oil
- A splash of low sodium soy sauce
- A few sprays of avocado oil (or any other high flashpoint oil spray)
- 1 small onion, chopped into small dice
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 chipotles in adobo, minced into paste
- 2 TBS of tamarind syrup (reduction of tamarind pulp)
- 2 TBS of Chinese plum sauce
- 1 TBS of hoisin sauce
- 2 TBS of olive oil to saute the aromatics
- 1 TBS of garlic-chili paste
- 1 TBS of Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 cup of vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup of ketchup (or 3 oz of unsalted tomato paste)
- 1 TBS of cumin
- 1 TBS of Paprikon (smoked paprika)
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves or allspice
1) Remove ribs from fridge an hour before roasting and place them on a large shallow baking sheet lined with foil, bone side down
2) Clean ribs with a wet paper towel doused in cider vinegar and dry well.
3) Sprinkle the dry rub allover them, tops, sides and bottom
4) Whisk the first three ingredients of the wet marinade together, and then anoint the ribs with them, being sure to massage them well with the marinade... it should not be too wet, it should have a paste-like consistency when mixed with the dry seasonings
5) Spray the ribs allover with the avocado oil (or any equivalent neutral high flash point spray)
6) Set aside in a cool spot in your kitchen
While the ribs marinate, make your barbecue sauce:
1) Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat, add olive oil, when oil heats, add onions, saute until soft and golden
2) Add garlic and saute until aromatic do not let garlic become burnt and acrid
3) Add chipotles, and dry seasonings, saute until aromatic
4) Deglaze pan with balsamic vinegar, reduce by half
5) When balsamic vinegar reduces, add stock, ketchup, tamarind syrup and all the rest of the ingredients
6) Lower heat to a simmer and let reduce to a glaze, when reduced, set aside in a warm spot on the stove top until ready to glaze the ribs. If the glaze seems too thick, add more stock... a splash at a time until the right consistency is achieved... season to taste... remember to taste it as it cooks, only you can be the judge of whether or not it has enough sweetness, tartness, spiciness etc.
7) When the ribs have marinated, put them in the preheated 325 degree oven. Cook them undisturbed for an hour, then baste them thoroughly in their own pan juices and fat, and add a splash of cider & baste well, then leave them alone for the next 30 minutes, at the ned of that time, pull them out, thoroughly baste them with the pan drippings and a nice even layer of the barbecue sauce, return them to the oven for another 30 minutes...
8) At the end of two hours, glaze them once again with more sauce and pan drippings, turn off the oven and let them rest for 15-20 minutes... if you feel the glaze isn't lacquered enough, stick the ribs under the broiler for a minute or two...
Cut & serve with the extra barbecue sauce.