Quick Gameday Barbeque Ribs
I seem to be on a comfort food kick lately, with stuff like braised short ribs and lamb shanks, homemade pasta, pizza twice a week, bread pudding and chocolate soufflé predominating. I blame it on fall and some sort of primordial urge to put by a few pounds of fat for the winter (I don't need them, thanks....) or the advent of football season, which always seems to me to include junk food pleasures, since I grew up in Big Ten towns and was tailgating from the age of two. Anyway, I'm not over it yet, because the other day a pack of ribs called out to me from the meat case.
I know the barbeque police are going to be all over me for this, but sometimes I don't want to spend all day smoking ribs, so I developed this easy shortcut method to flavorful ribs with no messy charcoal or outdoor cooking. The smoke taste is artificial but the eating is really good, and they get better if they're done a day ahead of time.
The ribs in the photo were made from spareribs that had been crosscut at the Asian market into bitesized 1" segments, but this works well with a rack of baby back ribs, which are almost always available in the supermarket.
I serve these with beer, cornbread, rice and collard greens for a casual supper, but they also make very popular snacks for a gameday spread around the flatscreen, especially since they stand up well to being reheated or being held on a warming tray or, for travel, in an insulated container. Just the thing to make for your contribution to that Saturday afternoon tailgate party on a Friday night while you're relaxing with a movie. The recipe multiplies well, so don't hesitate to make a mess of 'em. They're addictive, especially paired with football and beer. Takes around 3 hours, but only a few minutes of active time....
Quick Barbeque Ribs
2 lb baby back or other pork ribs, separated
2 T oyster sauce
2 T hoisin sauce
3 T soy sauce
3 T minced garlic
hot sauce to taste
6 T barbeque sauce (see note)
1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke (see note)
1 T honey
2 T vinegar (see note)
Preheat oven to 450º. Lightly oil a broiler pan or jelly roll pan (large enough for all the ribs without crowding) and roast the ribs 16 minutes, turning once. Meanwhile mix the sauce ingredients and correct seasoning, remembering that the sauce will thicken and intensify during cooking. Reduce the oven temperature to 275º. Pour fat from the pan and then pour the sauce over the ribs, using a brush to insure complete coverage. Bake about 2 hours, turning and basting occasionally, until the meat is extremely tender.
1. Barbeque sauce. I use my homemade sauce but a commercially bottled one will do.
2. Vinegar. Any will do but for an extra twist use Chinese Black Vinegar, which has an interestingly complex flavor.
3.Liquid Smoke is very powerful -- and annoyingly fake-tasting when too much is used -- so be judicious with it. If your barbeque sauce has a noticeable smoke component it's best to reduce or omit the Liquid Smoke.
4. Whole racks. I specify separating the ribs before cooking which results in the whole rib being coated with the sauce but if you're doing a lot and you're short of rack space in the oven you can do whole racks and separate them after cooking. They're still good!