Love ribs cooked low and slow? But don't have a smoker or time? Chef Sean McDermott of The Shanty in Warwick has a solution that will set you up for success if you want to make a rack at home.
The secret is a two-day process that really requires a lot of time waiting but little active time cooking. You braise them in the oven to cook and then reheat them the next day. Prepare them one day. Warm them up the next. How easy is that?
Once you get the hang of it, you can add your favorite flavorings. While Chef likes to add ingredients such as lemongrass to his ribs, he knows that is sometimes hard to find. And it's not to everyone's taste.
"Customize this for your taste," he said. "I'm giving you the technique and you make it your own."
But he wants you to add the flavors you do love, and to experiment. Liberally. If you don’t like whiskey, don’t use it. You want to add garlic or onion, cause you love those flavors, do it.
Before you start, get a deep pan ready such as a Dutch oven. A Pyrex baking dish works as well. Get parchment paper and aluminum foil. A little bit of thermodynamics helps the ribs cook.
Pick up your spare ribs, a whole rack is about four pounds. St. Louis-style ribs start as spare ribs. They are the meatier ribs from the belly of the pig. Baby back ribs are from the loin or the back of the hog.
Once you have your ribs, pull off the silver skin on the back of the rack. Then trim off excess fat. Most of it will come out in the cooking process, he said.
Bourbon Ginger-Glazed Sticky Ribs
- 1 pint of whiskey
- 1 pint of water or stock
- 4 ounces ginger, cut into big slices
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 rack of spare ribs, about 4 pounds, silver skin removed and fat trimmed
Mix all the wet ingredients together and set aside the liquid for a moment.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Put ribs in a deep cooking vessel like a Dutch oven or Pyrex dish. Pour the liquid over the ribs.
Get a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the ribs and line the slides about two inches. Put it on top of the ribs and push the parchment down to seal in the ribs. Put two pieces of aluminum foil over the dish to seal it further. Put the shiny side down. It traps the heat better.
Cook the ribs for two hours at 325 degrees.
Remove from the oven and let them rest for two more hours, or until you can handle them. Take them out of the liquid. Wrap them well in aluminum foil. Reserve the liquid. Refrigerate both overnight.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat up the liquid in a saucepan on the stove. Let it simmer to reduce and thicken.
Cut the ribs off the rack and return them to the baking pan. Cover the ribs with the sauce.
Finish in the oven for 15 minutes until warm.
Makes 4 servings.