Thursday, June 9, 2011

ffwd - cola and jam spareribs

"The best ribs. Ever!" exclaimed my sister-in-law as she tasted my latest Dorie offering. Now you should know, she's married to my brother, who is pretty well-known for his grilled ribs. In fact, her brother has dubbed him the rib-master... so pretty high praise, and though I kind of felt bad for my bro...well, not so much...

This was one of the recipes that I really wanted to make out of the cookbook. They just sounded like fun. And when I'm in the "valley of the sun" there's no bbq readily available, so I was intrigued with the idea of oven-roasted ribs. Of course, being in the southwest, and having spent a number of years in the Great State of Texas - I knew that for once, I needed to "tweak" the recipe just a little bit. So, while I kept the Chinese Five Spice (I am a convert - I think I've told you of my love of a certain spice cake our mentor Dorie created spotlighting that blend), I decided that I'd use peach jam, add some chipotle, and use Dr. Pepper instead - kind of a Paris, Texas combination...

Now, as people who are serious about their ribs know, there's a prep technique that's important in getting the right texture/tenderness in ribs - so as fair warning to the faint-of-heart, there are a couple of photos that follow that you may wish to avoid. For the rest of you - this is a great trick - whether you cook them with Dorie's method or any other.

as you see, some home-made peach jam, added chipotle and little of the Dr.
I used baby-backs, simply because that was what I could find in a reasonably-sized package
(warning: next two photos are pretty graphic in their depiction of un-cooked ribs)

there is a sheet of membrane on the back side of all ribs
"they" say that it affects texture - for sure, it keeps any rubs, marinades or other seasonings
from getting into the meat from that side
to remove - slip your knife under the membrane to start to pull it away from the meat and bones

then just pull the sheet of membrane off, exposing the meat on the back side of the ribs
it might need to come off in more than one piece
I use a paper towel to grip it, and then just pull it off

now that the ribs are prepared, the spice mixture is created

I put on a generous layer of the "rub" on both the front and back sides
I then chilled the ribs for several hours
(ok, to be honest, I didn't read the recipe correctly - the marinade could have been added
here too - but I only did the rub ahead of time)

glazed with the marinade and ready for the oven
I basted them as instructed, added the soda and basted them some more
I didn't have a problem with the pan burning

perfectly cooked - the photo doesn't do them justice
I also reduced the juices/marinade in the baking pan to pour over the ribs

delicious, meaty ribs with a litle extra sauce
As noted above, we really, really liked these. The cooking technique worked perfectly, and produced juicy, nicely crusted ribs. We also liked the Chinese Five Spice - we thought it added a great flavor, though definitely we also liked the smoky kick of the chipotle (I'd add a little more next time, probably). But they were delicious! Not exactly French to me, but delicious! I will definitely make these again.


  1. Thanks for the ''graphic'' photos, they are actually very helpful. Great tip and I will definitely try it next time.

  2. Oooh, yours look perfectly caramelized. Had to laugh at your SIL's comment...especially when your bro is the rib master :)

  3. Your process photos look fantastic! And your end result looks so tasty.

  4. You had me at "homemade peach jam." Just give me that and a spoon, and I'm golden.

    Thanks for the tip about that membrane! I did not know that.

  5. Wow, look at that beautiful color! I, too, really really liked this recipe... can't wait to have some ribs again. :)

  6. What a great tip! I tried doing something similar but I need to practice my butchering skills without figuratively butchering my meat. I'm curious about basting the ribs now with the Dr. now!

  7. Chipotle - absolutely! I wish I had thought of that. Dr. Pepper is usually my drink of choice, so I think you should be forgiven for the change out :-)
    Looks great.

  8. Love your variations - I'll have to remember them for next time (my partner informed me that next time will be arriving very soon). I was a little skeptical about the addition of cola, but it worked really well.

  9. I'll bet the Dr Pepper was delicious! I used some homemade apple-pepper jelly in place of the jam and it worked well for us. Nice tutorial pics, too!

  10. Thanks for the tip! I will do that the next time. And there will be one as I thought these were quite good!