Recipe Re-do

August 30, 2010

Recipe Re-Do: Glazed Baby-back Ribs

 As you can tell, I rarely re-do food. The obvious exception is when I’m catering and a few favorites continue to make the cut (see panzanella).  But when I’m cooking for myself, it’s always about creating something new. Not that I’m taking credit for anything. Cooking techniques have been passed down as long as we’ve been eating, and even the most progressive cooks have simply found a way to manipulate and optimize methods that have been used forever. For example, doesn’t sous-vide cooking combine principles of marination and poaching? 

The development of these techniques is why I love to cook.

So when I posted about these ribs a few months back, something lingered in my head. I loved the flavor but they just weren’t right. The meat was tender but we all know, tender just doesn’t cut it for bbq. Simply put, there was room for improvement. And it was all about time and temperature. I had treated the ribs in question with quite a bit of attention. Homemade dry rub, low and slow in a 275 degree oven, but the major mistake:  just not enough time. While 275 may be a great temperature over the course of many hours, 325 for two hours was all they needed.

Taking a page from Em’s Aunt (remember the pies), 325 for about two hours followed by a quick half hour at 375 slathered in my sauce made these ribs not just tender, but fall off the bone, lick your fingers until they are gone tender. And rather than an elaborate dry rub, I seasoned the ribs with just a bit of salt, black pepper, cinnamon, and paprika. Rather than tasting the seasoning alone, you could really taste the pork. And what better meal to serve a bunch of high school buddies celebrating the soon to be marriage of one of our friends than these recipe re-done ribs! Congrats Fitz!


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