barbecued ribs

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We tried our hand at barbecued ribs tonight. We improvised somewhat and they turned out pretty good, so I'm writing down what we did in hopes that we can remember next time. Instead of J's roasting instructions I tried a recipe I got from Epicurious. The ribs are rubbed with spices, I used the "Barbecue of the Americas" from Penzeys. Then you put them in a roasting pan, pour in a bottle of beer, seal it up and steam them.

The recipe said to cook them this way at 400° for an hour and a half, then broil with sauce for three minutes. Instead we put them in at 275° for an hour and a half, then poured off the beer and coated them with sauce, and baked for another hour and a half. They were amazingly tender, but a bit moister than I like ribs to be. Next time I think I'm going to uncover them sooner, and also do a lighter & more frequent baste of the sauce. So they get more of a glaze. It would be really nice to get a wire rack so they could sit over the beer, and steam without getting soggy.

The part that really turned out well was the sauce. The recipe from Epicurious was totally lame -- it was just a bottle of sauce with extra sugar! -- so we made up our own sauce. Let's see if I can remember what we put in it. A can of plain tomato sauce, half a big onion pureed in the food processor, a fair amount of worcestershire, the juice of a lemon, some artifical brown sugar (so sue me) and a small amount of real maple syrup, a big spoon of espresso powder, a small spoon of cocoa powder, a small dash of liquid smoke, two spoonfuls of adobo liquid from chipotle chilis, a dash of salt, and most of the braising liquid (beer and pork juices). It was great, if I do say so myself. The adobo and the braising liquid were key, as was the espresso, but I think we could have skipped the cocoa and maybe the liquid smoke.

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Russ has a smoker in the back yard, and we do ribs several times a year. Our favorite sauce is astoundingly easy:

1 can condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 cup good local honey
3-4 tbsp BBQ spice -- we mix Penzey's regular BBQ and BBQ of the Americas about half-and-half. If you like it milder or spicier, adjust the proportions accordingly.

This also works well for ribs in the oven, or for chicken in the oven or smoker. We prefer to marinate the meat for several hours first if possible, but we've also used it successfully as a regular basting sauce if it was too late for the full treatment.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah published on February 8, 2006 8:59 PM.

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