Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gourmet: Barbecued Country-Style Ribs

My mom used to make baked country-style ribs throughout my childhood, and while I liked the idea, they never seemed to turn out very tender.  I was practically fighting off my sisters for the tender, fatty bits.  For a long time I just figured that country-style ribs were tough and unpleasant.  Guess what?  I'm wrong.

I came across this recipe while cruising the internet and discovered where we had all gone wrong.  That naughty plaid cookbook (not to name names) did not provide a long enough cooking time to get the ribs all the way to tender.  These things take hours.  But they are worth it.  Definitely.

Barbecued Country-Style Ribs
Loosely adapted from Gourmet magazine, December 2005

3 pounds well-marbled boneless country-style ribs
3 teaspoons sea salt
20 black peppercorns
1 large red onion, halved through the root and sliced into half moons
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups Sweet Baby Ray’s original barbecue sauce
Orange zest, for serving (optional)

In a large pot, put the ribs and cover with water until it is 2 inches above the top of the meat. Sprinkle in the salt and peppercorns. Bring the water to a simmer and cook 30 minutes, spooning scum from the top of the water. Do not boil! Remove the ribs from the water with tongs and rest the meat on paper towels to dry.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan, spread the red onion slices and sprinkle with garlic bits. Place rib pieces on top of the onions, trying to keep the ribs from touching. Pour 2 cups of barbecue sauce over the ribs and spread evenly using the back of a spoon. Cover with foil and bake for 1 to 1½ hours. Remove foil, cover ribs with remaining barbecue sauce, and bake for another 30 minutes. Sprinkle with orange zest, if desired.

Makes 4 servings

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