Whew–that title is a little longer than I expected. Though, tonight’s dinner was a little different than I expected. Last night we had turkey leftovers. The men in my house enjoyed it, but wanted something different for dinner tonight. I asked them what they wanted, and, as you might expect, I got the answer, “I don’t know; whatever you want to make.” My response — “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
I told them I would be glad to make whatever they want, but they had to choose. So, after about 7 minutes with my freezer open, where they had a choice of chicken, pork chops, salmon, steaks, shrimp, ravioli, and boneless pork spare ribs, they chose the ribs. Truthfully, as a summer meal, it’s a little heavy, but they turned out delicious and tender. So, here’s my recipe. It’s a very, very simple recipe, and like most of my recipes, with just a little creativity, you can make it your own.
- 32 oz dark beer, stout works well. I didn’t have any, so today I used canned Black & Tan beer. No judgments please. I have no idea where we got it, because we usually buy bottled beer, but, it was in the fridge.
NOTE: If you don’t drink beer, have beer in the house, or need a gluten free option, you can use beef or chicken broth with a tbsp. of two of tomato paste in it, along with a celery stalk, carrot and 1/4 onion, to handle the braising. The beer gives a richness to the meat, but it’s the braising process that’s important. You can also substitute wine, but if you use wine, please use a good quality red or white, but not sweet and not cooking wine.
- 2-4# of country pork spareribs, either bone-in or boneless. Today we had boneless.
- BBQ sauce of your choice. This is where your creativity can shine. I just used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce to which I added about 1/4C apple cider vinegar, which thins it out and gives it a little bite. You can make your own, modify the bottled product, or leave it off and let people add it at the table.
Using a large pot where the ribs can all fit on the bottom of the pan, pour the beer over the meat. Make sure the meat is completely covered. I had about 16 pieces, each about 3″ long and 1″ wide and 1″ thick. The uniformity is a great help in cooking the meat until it’s nice and tender. I brought the pot to a boil, covered it and turned it down to medium low, to keep it simmering, and braised the ribs for about 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes or so, I took a spoon and removed the foam which formed on the top.
After the 45 minutes, I took the meat out and put it into a roasting pan, coated it with bbq sauce, sealed the pan tightly with foil and put it into a pre-heated 325 degree oven. After about 45 minutes (Mike came home just then, so it was probably closer to 55 minutes, I turned the ribs over carefully, as they were already really tender and starting to fall apart, and coated the 2nd side with bbq sauce. I returned it to the oven uncovered this time, for another 45 minutes.
If you have bone-in ribs, or even with the boneless, if you want to finish them on the grill you can, but you have to take them out after the first 45 minutes in the oven or they will disintegrate and fall through the grill racks. Finish them with the grill, on medium heat on the grill basting with bbq sauce as necessary. We have a gas grill and would do them with the grill cover closed.
I took them out of the oven, moved them to the serving pan and served them with creamy polenta and steamed green beans.
As I said, keeping the stove and oven on for about 2 1/2 hours total is not my idea of a great recipe in the hot summer months, but since I keep my A/C rather chilly, guests often wear sweaters, it wasn’t too bad.