I have a thing for ribs! All of ’em! Country style ribs, baby back ribs, spare ribs—I don’t care what name you give them, just hand me a plate full and I’ll love you forever. I don’t make them too often, though, not sure why because they take some time to cook but are hardly any work to prepare.
I for one understand how the myriad of preparation options can sometimes be overwhelming to those new to cooking. Basically it depends on what you grew up with, what part of the world you live in and what time of year it is. Charcoal grilling isn’t an option for me during autumn and winter. Also gender might play a role; for women a BBQ is about food, for men it’s an ego thing (just kidding:)
You can parboil them, smoke them, roast them, BBQ them, grill them, bake them—I’m sure I’m forgetting a method or two here. Same goes for the seasoning. Lots of people swear by a dry rub, not me, I prefer them marinated; saucy sauced ribs. The men around here are very fond of this particular marinade, it’s sweet, spicy and fragrant in a smoky kind of way.
Since I’m always curious; what’s your favorite marinade/dry rub and how do you prepare your ribs?
2 pounds spare ribs
1 garlic clove
7 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp steak sauce
3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp ginger
4 tbsp water
Spare ribs are definitely among my personal favorites. Here’s about 2 pounds of them. I like them best with a tiny layer of fat still on them.
I’ve finely minced a small onion and grated a decent sized garlic clove.
The first one, well, I think it’s a global one; Heinz Ketchup. The bottle on the right is called HP steak sauce, it has a very distinctive taste. The guys here love it. It’s like a mix of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce with a little extra hint of something. If you don’t have steak sauce or something similar, just replace it with more ketchup and a good splash of Worcestershire sauce.
Richelle was kind enough to mail me this and boy, oh boy, did she make me a happy Dutch girl. It’s smoky paprika powder—very hard (near impossible) to come by in the Netherlands. I’m using the sweet version for this! Thanks Richelle, it’s fantastic stuff! The hot version worked wonders on the Hungarian Potato Goulash!
I’ve heated a tbsp olive oil and sauteed the onions over low heat. After about 4 minutes I’ve added the garlic and gave everything 3 more minutes.
Add 1 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1 tsp mustard powder and 1/2 a tsp smoky paprika powder. Cook the spices for about a minute to get the flavors going. Cooking spices really brings out their flavor, but never cook them for too long or they might turn bitter. About 30 to 60 seconds is all they need.
Spoon in 7 tbsp ketchup, 3 tbsp steak sauce (or ketchup with a splash of Worcestershire sauce), 3 tbsp sweet chili sauce and 2 tbsp soy sauce.
I like them a bit spicy so I’ve added some tabasco, about 5 shakes. You can leave it out or use a bit of cayenne in stead. I like my ribs pretty sweet so I’ve also added 3 tbsp brown sugar, just keep tasting after each tbsp to see if it’s sweet enough for you. Add 4 tbsp water and give everything a good stir.
Bring to a boil and simmer, over very low heat, for 15 minutes. The sauce starts out fairly red, but gets a deeper, almost brown color during simmering. Lots of steam broke the focus a bit.
Divide the sauce over two bowls, cover one of the bowls with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. This will be your basting sauce.
Give every rib its own wide piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Brush all sides of the spare rib with the marinade.
Wrap the rib tightly in the aluminum foil.
Just put them in the fridge for a full day, if that won’t flavor them, nothing will!
To be continued …