Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Braised Ribs

Something went right last night! I did braised spareribs. They were tender, moist and had great flavor. Why did something go right? All the times I've tried to braise ribs before, they were dry, tough and had good flavor. Something went right. I'm guessing two things. 1) Low heat. I braised at 300 degrees for 90 minutes. In the past I braised for longer at a higher temp...maybe too long or maybe too hot? 2) I think I had the right amount of braising liquid! The ribs were just about 2/3rds covered. In the past I might have covered too much? As for the great flavor, I marinaded the ribs in a dry rub over night. Vann's Mesquite Rub. Perfect for pork, which I recently used here.

After your ribs marinate over night. Sear them in a medium hot pan with a little olive oil. You want to develop a crust and leave some flavor in the bottom of the pan, a.k.a. "fond." Don't pack the ribs in the pan or they will steam instead of searing, that's not good eats.

Once the ribs are seared you need to create your braising liquid. Add 1/2 an onion that has been diced. Add a little garli and a few pinches of hot pepper powder (I used Ancho Chile Powder), coriander, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, oregano and another spoon of the Mesquite spice rub. Add 1 TB of tomato paste. Pour in 1/2 cup of a pilsner beer. Simmer until the fond (good stuff stuck on the bottom of the pan) has scraped up and dissolved. Add the ribs back into the pan and add water until they are 2/3rds covered. Use a broth if you like for more flavor. Bring to a simmer, cover and put in a 300 degree oven for 90 minutes.

The liquid will reduce further and the ribs will be very tender. Serve and spoon a little of the liquid on top.

Ribs with cornbread. Serve with slaw or mashed potatoes or polenta or....you name it. Very tasty.


Dancer in DC said...

Definitely fork-tender and delicious. You'd think they took hours to cook!

Charles said...

Was there an issue with too much grease? The last ribs I got were very fatty.