Saturday, July 7, 2012
Sweet and Spiced Country Spareribs
Low and slow. That is how you get here: to fall into pieces at a touch kind of ribs. Low and slow. Trust me here. Don't ask silly questions like "cooking ribs in the oven for six hours?", or "who has that kind of time?", or even more bewildering "who actually plans dinner that far ahead??"
Because the answer is now you. Follow me here, you cook ribs for 6 hours, in your oven, and you figure it out so you're not eating at 11 o'clock at night. It's so simple, I promise you. Because I did it. And we ate dinner at 7. Not 11. Amazing, right? Here's how it goes down.
In the morning, after sleeping in at least till 10, mix together the spice rub. Slather and rub it very thickly on ribs. Wrap in foil. Ignore for an hour while you eat breakfast and watch TV. If you feel like it, at some point before noon, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. If you don't, no biggie. It only has to get up to 200. Remember, LOW.
At noon-ish, stick the ribs (which are in foil) in the oven on a wire rack. Position your oven thermometer so you can actually see it when the oven door is closed. Close the door, keep it closed. Check occasionally to make sure your oven is staying around 200 degrees and isn't trying to creep up on you. Go to the pool party hosted by your apartment complex and drink free pina coladas and beer from a keg hidden in the bushes. Don't worry that you left the oven on and you're not in the house. It's only 200 degrees and you're just across the way. Besides, it's free booze. You don't want to be cooped up in your apartment all day, suffering from the smell of pure deliciousness, while the ribs cook for 6 lloonngg hours. Remember, SLOW.
And these will be on your plate and down your gullet by 7 pm. There are three key points to remember here: sleeping in, free pina coladas and an 200 degree oven that won't heat up your apartment even if you do keep it on for half the day. Oh, and low and slow. Cause it's totally, completely, mouth-wateringly worth it. Now stop with the silly questions.
Sweet and Spiced Country Spareribs
Adapted from my crush, the Smitten Kitchen
1. These are delicious. According to Ben, they sort of smell like Christmas morning (thank you cloves!). They taste hot and spicy (two different things). They may cook for 6 hours, but there's about 20 minutes of actual work involved. 30 minutes, tops. These are in the BGCB.
2. Deb calls out for spareribs. Which I thought I had in my freezer, when really I had country spareribs. Is there a difference? Apparently, because mine looked different. Who knew? The country worked splendidly, the normal spareribs looked like they did Deb proud. I think you're safe either way here.
3. In case you didn't notice, tomorrow is Sunday. Sunday is a good day for ribs. Just saying...
1 c. dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ancho chili powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4-5 lbs. spare ribs
2 tsp. smoked paprika (I used Hungarian)
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
In small bowl, mix up the spice rub. Lay out spareribs on enough foil to create a sealed packet (if needed, slice ribs into more manageable sizes. I made 2 packets). Slather on (seriously, nice and thick here) the spice rub all over the ribs. Rub it in. Coat it completely. Fold up foil into packet around ribs. Let sit 30 minutes or so.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. On rimmed baking sheet, place a wire rack. Place ribs on top. Cook in 200 degree oven for 4 hours. If possible, drop temperature to 175 degrees, and finishing cooking 2 more hours, until it is easily fork tender. Carefully open packets and set ribs aside to rest.
Pour accumulated juices into medium sauce pan. Boil until reduce by half. Add paprika and vinegar and cook until desired consistency is reached. Deb says you can now put the ribs under a broiler to get a crisp grilled like finish. We couldn't make it that long. Generously spoon sauce over ribs. Devour, making sure to have lots of paper towels nearby...