Calling your favorite rib recipe!
I want to make ribs. My previous experience wasn't fantastic - years ago, I tried Alton Brown's recipe and it ended up with with grease, grease, and more grease. Clearly I did something wrong.
So, all of the CH experts, I need Ribs 101. What do I look for when buying them? What are your favorite recipes? If I am expecting to feed 4-6 adults how many ribs do I need?
I'd love to use the grill, but can use the oven if necessary. We have both a gas grill and my favorite charcoal. When I think of the perfect ribs, I think of a complex spice mix (not necessarily hot, but well seasoned) with a little sauce.
Your ideas and guidance are appreciated! Thanks.
IRRESISTIBLE ASIAN RIBS
SERVES 6 to 8 as a main dish and 12 as an app
These ribs are so succulent because of this "braising" method. Braising is my favorite way of cooking most meats. If you love the ribs at FOXLEY'S in Toronto (and I have posted a Foxley rib recipe) these are a hundred times better.
4 pounds pork back ribs (cut these into individual ribs if they are very large, or groups or 2-3 ribs if they are smaller)
salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (about) of canola oil
1 cup dry sherry (why not pour yourself a sherry glass while you are at it)
1 cup Hoisin sauce
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup honey (heat to a liquid state if using solid honey)
1 tablespoon chili paste(I buy this at an Asian grocery store. It comes in large jars and is very inexpensive)
1/4 cup star anise, cracked (put it in a small plastic bag and whack it with your rolling pin. Do not leave this ingredient out. You'll find it definitely at Asian grocery stores, and sometimes at your local supermarket.)
Sesame seeds , toasted for garnish (optional, I used green chives for the contrast)
Preheat oven to 300° F.
Season the ribs lightly with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Brown the ribs in a large skillet over medium high heat. Transfer the ribs, meaty side down, as they are done to a large roasting pan (double lined with tin foil). Arrange them in one layer.
Combine the remaining ingredients except for the sesame seeds, then pour the mixture over the ribs. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and roast until the ribs are tender,for about one hour. Part way through the roasting turn them meaty side up, and check to see the sauce hasn't reduced too much. If so add a little water and recover tightly.
When the ribs are cooked remove from the pan and set aside. Strain the marinade into a small sauce pan. If you have added liquid reduce the sauce until it is lovely and syrupy . Return the ribs to the pan, meaty side up, and drizzle a little of the sauce over each ribs. Serve the remaining sauce in a little pitcher for those who want more of this incredible flavour.
I spread seasoning on them (mine is cajun spice mix and a little brown sugar), wrap and refrigerate all day or overnight. I smoke them an hour or two (depending what size/how thick) in a Cameron stove top smoker using hickory. Then I lightly brush them with DL Jardines 5 Star bbq sauce and place on the grill pre heated to medium for a few minutes, or in bad weather, broil a few minutes.
Rib making is considered an elevated art by some and there are many styles and nuances out there. This is my preference:
I like side ribs over baby rack and I usually figure 1/3 rack per person - so you'd want at least 2 racks. Some people swear by removing the membrane. Me? I like the membrane and keep it on.
I rub the ribs the day before and wrap in plastic in the fridge overnight. I use the rub mentioned here:
You can grill them, but for nice, tender ribs, low and slow is the way to go. I smoke the ribs at about 225F for about 3 hours, then wrap in foil and keep at 225F for another 2-3 hours.
The foil prevents oversmoking. In fact, I've often times smoked the ribs, wrapped in foil, then used my oven for the second half (usually in winter when I don't wanna be fiddling outside in -20 weather).
I take the ribs outta the foil, slather with BBQ sauce, and grill. You can make your own, but I like Sweet Baby Ray BBQ sauce.
Thats pretty much it in a nutshell. If you don't have a smoker, you can use your charcoal grill with indirect heat (you'd need a cover). I'd suggest getting a BBQ thermometer for the grill to monitor the temp (low and slow). Opening vents slightly to go hotter, closing everything up when getting too hot (over 250F). Adding charcoal occasionally when needed,
If you don't cook long enough, the ribs will remain on the tough side. If you cook too long, they'd fall apart, but the window of time between is not that tough to find. 5-6 hours total does it for me.