A New Approach to Ribs

Granted, it's been a quiet year for the blog so far. We continue to spend most of our time on home maintenance and aren't really doing anything interesting in the kitchen. But with the summer cook-out season in full swing and Independence Day right around the corner, I decided to share the secret to perfect ribs. And it's not the grill.

But first, the meat. Pork ribs are always tasty, but they have a high fat content that usually leads to discomfort later in the day, especially when combined with a rich, spicy, tomatoey sauce. For perfect ribs that will sit nicely in the belly well into the evening, go with beef ribs.

As for the sauce, here's a recipe that should do you well. You'll need crushed tomatoes, olive oil, molasses, sugar, and corn syrup. You'll also need to slice a white onion and three jalapenos.

 What you'll need for your sauce

What you'll need for your sauce

First, use your immersion blender to puree the tomatoes and blend in the sweet ingredients. Taste it and sweeten it to your liking. Set it aside and begin preparing your meat.

Start by braising your rack of ribs. We had to cut ours down into sections to fit into our dutch oven. We also used a combination of grape seed and olive oils. We seasoned our ribs with a mix of paprika, salt, pepper, and a little cumin and nutmeg. You'll also want to do this in batches so that the surface area of the meat is against the pot.

 Cut down that rack before braising

Cut down that rack before braising

 All braised up and looking good

All braised up and looking good

Once all the ribs have been braised, place it all in the pot with the onions and jalapenos. Pour a little cognac over them and set that shit on fire. This will give your ribs the rich flavor of the liquor without tasting too boozy. Let the flame burn until the alcohol has cooked and then cover the pot to put out the fire.

 Everything in the pot

Everything in the pot

 Set that shit on fire

Set that shit on fire

Add the sauce and let everything simmer on the stovetop to combine the flavors. This should take about 30 minutes.

 Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Now, instead of putting these on the grill, we're going to bake them int he oven. Preheat the oven to 350. Then you can cut up your rib sections into the individual ribs if you like. Top off the pot with a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar and place in the oven to cook for a while. Use a meat thermometer to determine done-ness.

 Ready for the table

Ready for the table

What you end up with is a pot of tender, tasty ribs swimming in a sticky, spicy sauce, and no grill to scrape. 

 Ready to eat

Ready to eat