Oven Braised Pork Ribs

As a man, I think it’s programmed into our psyche to gnaw on gristle and bone of dead animals. (If you are doing it on live animals you might be the world’s most interesting man ala Dos Equis) This includes beef, chicken and the occasional lamb. However, none seem as satisfying as pork.

I use this method mostly because I do not have access to a smoker or a grill. Also, I do not have an area where I could use either of those Items. I am forced to use the oven and broiler in combination.

No real misenplace today. Just diving right into the recipe.

Prepare your pork spareribs by rinsing them. If your pork has silver skin, trim it off and discard it.

Next, were going to prepare our spice rub. In a small bowl, measure 8 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme and onion powder. Mix until combined.

Now were going to get a bit dirty here. (come on, you always look for excuses to play with your food! Here’s your chance!) Sprinkle the spice mixture over the meat and rub it in. There’s a reason it’s called a spice rub, after all. Afterwards, your meat and bones should look like this:

Now we need to find some aluminum foil, hopefully you get lucky and score some heavy duty foil just lying around, waiting to be used and abused. If not, I suggest spending the extra money for this project. You’ll thank me later.

Place the rack of ribs in the center of a very large piece of foil. The foil should be facing you horizontally. Fold the top and bottom pieces together, folding and crimping to seal it. Next, take the right side of the foil and do the same. This should leave you with only one open side. Loosely roll up the left side and place in the fridge to marinate. Ideally, you would marinate this for several hours. I however, waited approximately 30 minutes and decided that was long enough.

While waiting for the meat to marinate, I threw together 1 cup of white wine, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon of honey and a clove of garlic and brought it to a boil.

Yes, that's Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay

Now, unroll the loose left side and carefully pour the braising liquid into the foil package. Now were going to fold and crimp the left side tightly.

Set your oven at 250* and cook for 2-3 hours depending on the size of your ribs. (baby backs = less time, spare ribs = more time). Because the ribs are closed up tightly, you are just going to have to trust me on the times. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t lie to you. Would I?

After 3 hours have passed, take your ribs from the oven. Let them cool off slightly and make a slit with scissors at the right side. We need to extract the braising liquid, so tilt your package into a saucepan. Be sure to do this carefully. You could get burned by the steam trying to escape.

Place the liquid on the stove top and let it boil away madly. Were trying to reduce it to create a glaze to top our ribs with. It took me a good 20 minutes to get a decent thickness of the liquid. Next, cut the foil packagedown the middle and fold the edges back. The point of doing this is to expose as much of the meat as possible, without destroying the foil vessel.

Now blast your oven to “broil”. Were going to brush the glaze on to the meat, I don’t suggest pouring it, you definately want to brush the glaze on.

Place the rack under the broiler for about 3 minutes. Try to monitor the best you can, obviously you don’t wanna charcoal your ribs when you are this close to gnawing on the gristle!

Remove from the broiler.

Now you have an important choice. You could eat the ribs as they are, which is fine. They will do just fine to satisfy your need. But, (there’s always a “but”) I suggest you take your favorite Barbecue sauce, and brush it on the meat. Then stick the rack back into the broiler for less then a minute. I know it seems like a useless step. It’s not. Here’s my proof.

Aha! such beauty.. Such unbridled beauty!

For some odd reason, I wanted to serve this with potato salad. As I think about it, it would have been better with a slaw. Oh well. There’s always next time!

  • The recipe is courtesy of Alton Brown, via Food.com
  • If you do not wish to use alcohol, use apple juice in it’s place.
  • Be wary of the salt use here, this recipe is notorious for being salty, due to reducing the glaze down.
  • Variety is the spice of life, right? so experiment with different herbs, and liquids.

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