Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ribs! Alton Brown, you're brilliant.

These Alton Brown baby back ribs are awesome. I've made these several times and they are SO good and SO easy. They're perfectly not-quite-fall-off-the-bone tender. I recently got my sister hooked on them, too. You make the dry rub with brown sugar, salt, chili powder, and a slew of other ingredients. Alton says you can pretty much add whatever you want in that last tablespoon as long as the ratio is 8 parts brown sugar, 3 parts salt, 1 part chili powder and 1 part other add-ins. I followed his recipe pretty closely.

Dry Rub:
8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning (I didn't have this so I added some cumin instead)
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

This rub is enough for two slabs of baby backs. I increased everything by half because we were making three racks. After mixing up the dry ingredients, give the ribs a good rub down and put them in the fridge for at least an hour.

Wrap each rack of ribs individually in foil. Roll out a long piece of foil, place one rack of ribs on top and fold the foil over the ribs lengthwise. Crimp the two long sides closed creating a pouch with one open side.

Braising Liquid:

1 cup white wine (I use a Sauvignon Blanc, because I like to drink the leftovers!)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Microwave the braising liquid for 1 minute on high before pouring the braising liquid into the open tin foil spout and crimping it closed. Put the ribs in a 250 oven for 2 1/2 hours.

When the ribs are finished cooking, uncrimp the tin foil and pour the braising liquid into a sauce pan. Simmer the liquid until it reduces by half. The recipe says it turns to a glaze - mine always stays pretty liquidy but it still tastes good!

Brush the reduced liquid on the the ribs and broil them until they look caramelized. I broiled them on low and pulled them out to brush them with the glaze a couple of times.

That's it! Not too difficult although they do take some time. We cut them into two's, put them in a chafing dish and poured over the leftover glaze. Yum.


The Camouflage Chef said...

I didn't get enough, cause they were delicious!

SteamyKitchen said...

would love to have you test a ribs recipe for my cookbook -
just register to the site and browse for the ribs recipe.

I'm curious about the "not quite fall off the bones" vs. "fall off the bones" - while i love the super tender meat of 4hrs of slow cooking, I think many like biting the meat off the bone.

If you have time, come try my recipe, but only roast for 2 1/2 hours like you did.
jaden said...

Hi Steamykitchen

Thanks for commenting - I love your site. I'd be thrilled to test your recipe! Hoisin Honey glaze sounds great.

I guess "fall off the bone" vs. "not quite fall of the bone" is just a matter of taste. These came off the bone clean but weren't falling off of the bone. I think they're easier to eat at a tailgate that way! says "The meat should be moist but not wet or mushy. It should pull off the bone, but not fall off the bone...It must be tender yet still retain resistance and resilience when you bite into it." I'm pretty sure I heard Alton say something similiar to this on his show.

I personally love them either way! I don't think "fall off the done" can EVER be a bad thing!

Rich C. said...

Ya know, I tried Alton's recipe once a few years ago and didn't like them. I can't remember why, but I think it had to do with the sweetness (or some aspect) of the liquid. I've had ribs on the mind lately and you've inspired me to give it another go. I might try finishing them on the grill with a little BBQ sauce as a glaze.

Cool site, keep it up! It's fun to share your cooking experiences with others and find some new ideas along the way.

Rich C. said...

Hi Rich -

You should try these again! If they're too sweet you can probably reduce the brown sugar and replace it with some more spice. If it's the braising liquid that's too sweet I'd maybe reduce the honey in the glaze and replace it with your favorite BBQ sauce or replace the wine with stock? There is definitely some room to play around with the recipe.

I'm glad to see people that share my love of all things Alton. I met him at an Iron Chef challenge and he was awesome - just as quirky and nice as you'd expect him to be.

Thanks for the blogging encouragement - and congrats on your beautiful baby!

Anonymous said...

years too late I know, but I just stumbled on this while browsing elsewhere.

I don't use this recipe but one not too different but solving your liquidy sauce is easy. Just skim off the majority of the fat from your pan juices and then reduce them. It will thicken into a glaze.