Sunday, 28 October 2012

Recipe: Double Glazed Sticky Ribs

For a while now i've been fighting my overcoming rib compulsion and i'm afraid to say it's a loosing battle. They are undoubtably my favourite thing to cook at the moment, and after a couple of attempts I think i've perfected a pretty easy little recipe to knock up some sticky, glazed strips of goodness, plus a BBQ sauce that is great for all sorts of stuff and keeps in the fridge for around two weeks. I hate manufactured, artificial tasting BBQ sauce that you get in bad pubs but this is a fool-proof recipe and meant I had to buy both coke and ketchup FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER.

One of the pluses of this new inclination is that ribs are one of the cheapest cuts of meat you can buy, although unfortunately I couldn't find any baby back ribs. Baby back ribs are taken from the top of the rib cage, between the spine and the spare ribs, are shorter and more curved and usually have much more juicy meat on them as the meat is both in between and on top of the bones. Spare ribs, which are what you will usually find, are taken from the belly side of the rib cage, below the section of back ribs and above the sternum. I always have a poke around to make sure i'm getting the meatiest rack, like a sleazy man in a nightclub.

I got home with all the ingredients to make these with more than a little inspiration from my favourite recipe book at the moment Joe Beef which i've told you about before. Ribs are really easy to prepare, i've tried them at a few different temperatures but low and slow is definitely best, just rub em up and stick em in for a couple of hours before the glazing begins. I recently picked up this marvellous little compendium when I visited Barter Books so expect many more classic American dishes.

There's only one essential bit of prep to remember, and if you don't like pulling animal sinew with your bare hands then well, you won't like this. On the bottom side of your rack there is a pale whiteish thin membrane, find an edge and pull it a little and get a butter knife or equivalent underneath and prise it off - after you've got the initial bits off this should come away easily although you do have to grip quite hard.

Sticky double glazed ribs
Double Glazed BBQ Ribs


A rack of ribs
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp Colman's dry mustard powder
2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 ground bay leaf
1 tbsp of smoked sea salt
half a bottle of beer

240ml coca cola
250ml ketchup
60ml cider vinegar
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp of instant coffee
1 tsp tabasco
1 tsp chilli powder
salt and pepper

1. Start by heating your oven to 165 degrees c. Mix together the paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard powder, black pepper, smoked salt and bay leaf (I had to sort of tear up a whole bay leaf which had mixed results) and coat the ribs on both sides with the spices. Put the ribs in a roasting tin and pour in the beer, then cover with foil and put in the oven for 2 hours.

2. Make the BBQ sauce by adding all the ingredients into a pan on a low heat and leave to simmer away. I found it took around 45 minutes for this to adequately thicken up.

3. When the ribs have been in for 2 hours, take off the foil and baste them with a thick coating of the BBQ sauce and put back in the oven. Repeat again 15 minutes later to build up a gorgeous sticky coating.

And don't make the same foolish error as I did, buy a rack per person.

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