Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Finger Lickin Good Ribs - The Recipe

Finger Lickin' Good Ribs
Inspired by Gourmet Magazine, May, 2006 issue

Prep time: 5 minutes
Marinating time: at least 2 hours
Total Cooking time: 1 ½ hours or so

Serves 4

For rub & ribs:

2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp sweet paprika
1 ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground allspice
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 slabs (2 lb/1 kg each) pork baby back ribs
For the sauce:
1 large onion, quartered
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2” piece of fresh ginger, peeled and halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cups ketchup
½ cup cider vinegar
6 tbsp lite soy sauce
½ cup water
¼ cup packed brown sugar
Salt & pepper to taste


1. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the rub (except the ribs).

2. Cut the ribs into pieces with 4-5 ribs per piece (it’s just a little faster to cook). Rub both sides of the ribs with the rub and refrigerate, covered, meaty side up for at least 2 hours. I’m sure overnight would be fine.

3. Bring the ribs to room temperature (about 30 minutes) and preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Line 2 rimmed baking trays with foil and place a rack on top. Spread the ribs out in one layer evenly between the 2 trays and tightly cover with foil. This will actually steam the ribs during the first phase of cooking.

4. Bake the ribs covered for 1 hour. My oven doesn’t hold 2 trays on one shelf – one day, but not today, so I use both racks and stagger them so that air can flow between the trays. I just rotate top to bottom, bottom to top half way through.

5. In the meantime, it’s time to make the sauce. I used my food processor to chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Just drop it through the feeding tube. Of course if you don’t have one, then you need to finely chop by hand.

6. In a medium sized pot on medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic & ginger mix in a little olive oil for a few minutes until the onions are translucent and everything smells wonderful. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or so. I found the sauce uninspired at this point, but I promise once it’s poured over the ribs and blends with the rub, it’s awesome.

6. Puree the sauce in 2 batches and return to the pot.

7. Final rib cooking:
Remove the foil and baste the ribs with the sauce. Bake for 10 minutes and turn the ribs over. Baste with more sauce and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.

At this stage the ribs shrank a bit so I put them all on one pan and with the ribs meaty side up in the top third of the oven.

Set the oven to Broil and baste the ribs one last time. Broil them for about 3-4 minutes . You just want them to crisp and the sugar in the sauce to caramelize. Watch for burning!
(I did them in the oven for this stage, so for the BBQ version, check the magazine.)

I served them with sweet potato wedges and sautéed fiddleheads but other options, especially for summer – potato salad and grilled vegetables or corn on the cob.

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