Cook Your Ribs Low and Slow
We typically throw ribs on the grill in the summer and ignore them the rest of the year. Such a shame. So when I found a package of baby back ribs in the freezer this autumn, I knew I needed to test out a new “indoor” method. I’ve used the Penzey’s low and slow technique to start my ribs, but finish them off on the grill for for that to die for lightly charred exterior and infusion of smokey flavor. Cooking these ribs covered at 250º for 5-6 hours made for fall of the bone tender meat, but they’re awfully gray looking at that point. So I took off the top layer of foil, carefully poured off the excess liquid and cranked up the oven. Brushing with glaze every 10 minutes allowed for the coveted caramelization without burning or drying out the meat.
Bill had been at meetings all week and arose at 4 AM to catch his flight back home. With only a glass of orange juice for breakfast, he was definitely ready for dinner when he dropped his suitcase at the door late in the afternoon. At the end of our meal, all that was left on his plate was a pile of bones…which came with a lot of praise as he went back for “just one more” a few times. If my memory is correct, this recipe was inspired by Wolfgang Puck, who is a master with Asian flavors. The sublime combination of rice wine vinegar, mirin, honey, soy, ginger, scallions and garlic was reduced to a syrupy glaze. I promise you these are finger licking good ribs!
Serves: 4 servings
- Salt, pepper and garlic powder
- 2 racks baby back ribs, membrane removed
- 1 bottle of beer
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons mirin
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 scant ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 250º. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Season ribs well with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place ribs on baking sheet, meaty side up, and pour beer around perimeter. Cover top of ribs with foil and fold down around edges to seal. Bake for 5-6 hours.
- Make glaze by combining the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer 30-40 minutes, till reduced to a cup or less. Strain into a clean container and let cool. Glaze should become slightly thick and syrupy as it cools.
- After 5 hours or so, remove the foil and brush the ribs with the glaze. Increase the oven temperature to 350º and continue to brush the ribs with the glaze every 10 minutes for 40 minutes or till glaze is almost gone and ribs are browned
I’m offering a series of Skinny Tips. How I keep slim is one of my most frequent inquiries. I’ll feature more tips on some of my upcoming blog posts. Click on the #SkinnyTip tag at the end of this post to see all my previous tips.
Tip #51: If you feel the urge to snack and you’re not really hungry, put on a coat of nail polish. Wet nails will prevent you from putting your hands into a bag of chips or the cookie jar. Hopefully, the distraction will help you make a healthier choice.