Cooking ribs with no grill?
Okay, so I have been craving ribs and as far as I can tell no good BBQ/Rib joints near me. I could go into a spot in the city, but I am going in on Saturday night - not for ribs, out of my control. :( So, seeing I love to cook and try new things, I figured I would cook 'em at home Friday night. The problem is, I live in a typical Queens, NY apartment with a small kitchen with a very small and not so exact oven with a separate and not so good broiler underneath. Oh, to have a yard with a grill!! One can dream. Anyhoo, considering my situation, is trying ribs at home even a good idea? Anyone have any good rib-making-in-the-oven recipes? I have been eyeing the racks at the butcher across the street several times a week!
Or, should I just hold out until I can get myself to a good BBQ joint?
If you're ever going to cook anything with any consistency, do yourself a huge favor and get an oven thermometer. The cheapo, supermarket brand is fine, just so you can gauge a same (if not accurate) temperature on a regular basis. You can turn the heat up or down, as needed. You'll learn to make your dishes in YOUR oven.
There is a recipe at Epicurious for Roasted Honey Glazed Spareribs done in the oven at low heat. Never mind the reviews from some inept cooks. The recipe is a good one, I have made it many times despite having a grill. The ribs are moist and succlent. We had them the first time as part of a gournet Club dinner and some people who were indifferent about ribs were raving.
Remove the membrane from the bone side of a rack of pork loin back ribs. Baby back ribs are loin back ribs that are 1 3/4 lb. or less.
Sprinkle rack with your favorite dry rub, wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
Next day preheat oven to 225 degrees while bringing ribs to room temp. Unwrap ribs, sprinkle with more rub if desired and place in oven, bone side down and cook for 3 hours.
At 3 hour mark remove ribs from oven, wrap tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil and return to oven for 2 hours.
At 5 hour mark remove ribs from oven and raise temp to 450. Unwrap ribs and paint on your favorite bbq sauce mixed with some honey and warmed on the stove. Return to oven for 10-15 minutes until the sauce/glaze looks nice and shiny but is not burned.
Stubbs makes a good rub and bbq sauce. I make my own rub (check for recipes on the web) but use Stubbs Original sauce mixed with honey.
To serve I like to cut out every other bone from the rack with a sharp knife so each plated "rib" has meat on both sides.
Serve with some cheap white bread to mop up any extra sauce.
I've only made ribs in a gas oven and use pork spareribs (frozen has been fine). I've always cooked on low heat (around 200-250F) for about 3 hrs. total. I cover w/ foil for the first couple of hours, and then uncover and start basting every 15 min. w/ BBQ sauce til a nice crust forms w/ no burning.
I strongly second the technique of marinading overnight w/ a dry rub to improve flavor. The rub should def. have salt to help tenderize the ribs. My housemade dry rub usually has S&P, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, cumin, and maybe oregano. I've never liked any commercial rubs.
For an Asian variation, I use a rub consisting of S&P, 5-spice powder, garlic powder, and ground ginger. I'll make a BBQ sauce of soy sauce, honey, hoisin, and chili paste. I finish the cut ribs w/ sliced scallions.
James Beard's autobiography has the simplest recipe for ribs imaginable, and they are molto tasty...not barbeque, but deelish nonetheless.
Ingredients: 1 slab of pork ribs (not baby backs), about 3 to 3.5 pounds, salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Salt and pepper ribs generously. Place on rack in roasting pan and roast in oven for 1 hour. Enjoy.
It's ok to cut the slab to fit your pan, rack, oven, etc. For simple oven 'Q you could slather the ribs in Bone Sucking sauce (available at good supermarkets or online) at he end of the hour and run the ribs back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, but to me the simple porky goodness of this technique is wonderful...
Here is my tried and true recipe from "A Tuscan in the KItchen" by Pino Luongo:
Peel the whitish membrain from a pair of pork baby backs, a paper towel helps to grab the skin.
Anoint with s&p and olive oil.
Wrap in foil and place in a preheated 250 degree oven.
After five or six hours remove foil and turn up the oven to about 400 for fifteen minutes or so.
Beef back ribs (not baby) come out pretty good in the oven. I don't have my recipe handy, but I would suggest that you brown them in a pan first, then cook them over a long period at low heat. Also, place them on a rack inside the cooking dish so that the fat drains off while they cook. It is amazing how much fat renders off these things. It may also help to cook them meat side up (do not flip) remove the tough membrane on the back side which would aid in fat draining. Very tasty and tender.
My wife buys baby back ribs. She browns them in the oven before braising them in homemade BBQ sauce, or before freezing them for a future meal. The BBQ sauce recipe that she uses was published in an old Better Homes & Gardens loose-leaf cookbook, the date not given in the publication. I believe the recipe has not been included in updated editions of the cookbook.
Here it is from our copy with my annotations...
3 to 4 pounds spareribs, cut in pieces
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 cup catsup (I suggest Heinz, because high fructose corn sweetner is not the 2nd ingredient in the list.)
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins, not the brands using soy sauce instead of tamarind.)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 cups water
Salt ribs; place in shallow roasting pan, meaty side up. Roast at 450 degrees about 30 minutes. Drain excess fat from pan. Top each piece of ribs with a slice of unpeeled lemon and a slice of onion.
Making Basting Sauce: Combine remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Pour over ribs. Lower temperature control to 350 degrees; bake until well done, about 1 1/2 hours. Baste ribs with the sauce every 15 minutes. If sauce gets too thick, add more water. Makes 4 servings.
Get beef baby back ribs and marinate in liquid smoke (follow directions on bottle) for 3-5 hours in refrigerator. Then season with garlic salt and pepper and cook at 375 for 1 1/2 hours. Cover with aluminum foil after 1 hour. Apply BBQ sauce(KC Masterpiece) and broil for 5-10 minutes. They turn out great for being indoors. Good Luck
re: Chef Kimberly
I do almost exactly the same thing with beef ribs, though maybe at a little lower temp for a bit longer. I salt & pepper first, then start using my marinade after about 30 minutes or so, lightly at first, then really slather it on in the last half hour. It's made of Stubb's BBQ sauce (regular), some Soy Vay Island Terikyaki, chopped garlic and a fair amount of honey. It may sound a bit different (certainly some duplicate ingredients), but it's REALLY good...... if I do say so myself. I developed it from things I had on hand and don't want to change. ;-]