Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oven-Braised Spare Ribs

Easy spareribs done in the oven!

When I checked out the store ads, I saw that Stater Bros had spareribs on sale for $0.97/lb and had to have some. I've only done spareribs once before in my life and it ended up being more a lesson on trimming the ribs. Now that I've had that practice, I needed a good recipe. I turned to Alton Brown and found that he had a recipe for baby backs. Baby backs, spare ribs, close enough.

I shopped for a couple of the ingredients. The Old Bay was located in the seafood section of the store over by the meat counter, the closest thing I could come to jalapeno seasoning was McCormick dried diced jalapenos, I couldn't find white wine vinegar so used rice wine vinegar, and since Noilly Prat for dry white wine worked in other recipes, I rolled with that here too.

Click the link below for Alton's recipe.

Oven-Braised Spare Ribs
adapted from Food Networks "Who Loves Ya Baby-Back"

2 whole slabs pork spare ribs

Dry Rub:
8 tbsp light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dry diced jalapenos
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp rubbed thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder

Braising Liquid:
1 c Noilly Prat
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.

Place each slab of spare ribs on a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side with 1/4 cup of the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Enclose the ribs in a foil packet.

I used two long pieces of foil and folded the edges together so the bottom foil was like a boat and all folds were top-side to prevent liquid leaking later.

Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot.
Place one rack at a time on a saucepan so the center hangs; cut a couple holes in the foil at the lowest point.

Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency.

Open the foil, exposing the ribs.

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

Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions and if desired, toss in extra sauce.

These were fall-off-the-bone tender and tasted really good. While Rodney said they weren't, I thought they were a bit too salty. I used WAY too much of the rub and not enough of the sauce.

The amount of dry rub is supposed to be enough for "several" racks of ribs. I used half on two racks! Lesson learned. While I brushed some of the sauce onto the ribs before they went into the broiler, I wasn't too keen on tossing the ribs in the sauce like the original recipe says. I couldn't get past the fact that I'd be tossing the finished ribs in fatty sauce. Sure, it'd taste good as hell, but in the future I'll get one of those fat separator do-hickies, separate out the fat, reduce the sauce and toss like crazy.

A repeat will be done in the future, for sure.

  • spare ribs: $9.50 for 2 untrimmed racks
  • spices and seasonings: $2 SWAG
Total: $11.50. Or $3.83 per serving.

We had the ribs with mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and a side of cole slaw. Rodney ate one slab plus some. I ate some of one slab and will take what's left for lunch. Hooray for leftovers!

Click for the printable