|Vinegar Brined Baby Back Ribs|
Somebody check the temperature in hell...
I'm a little embarrased by all this good fortune but I was chosen the winner of a giveaway sponsored by Kaitlin of I Can Cook That. Thank you very much!
Now onto the food...
When my wife and I were first married, we would eat at chain restaurants about once or twice a month. Often, we would end up at Chili's Grill & Bar.
Fast forward to late 2009 when my wife took me there for my birthday. I hadn't started a food blog yet but I had found a baby back ribs recipe by Dave Lieberman (using store bought barbecue sauce) I really liked after my brother-in-law demonstrated his version he brought with him from the Philippines and I wanted to find something that originated from Southern barbecue. I figured baby back ribs was a signature dish, so it would be a pretty safe choice.
I was wrong.
The ribs I made at home were so much better by comparison and cheaper too. In short, I felt ripped off. In fact, my first recipe for Food By DB was the recipe above, which served as one motivation to start blogging in the first place. About a year ago, I updated my recipe using Chef Michael Chiarello's recipe using his barbecue sauce. The best way to prepare ribs is to smoke them but this is apartment living folks, and I am not able to due to space constraints. Also, these two recipes used a similar cooking method and needed to mix things up a bit.
Not only recreate, but improve a dish served at a restaurant chain, in this case Chili's baby back ribs with original barbecue sauce.
Adapted from this Guy Fieri recipe for several reasons:
1. I've already reviewed the benefits of a brine with my chicken & rice recipe I published a couple of months ago, but I've never brined pork ribs. If I can't smoke my ribs, can I enhance flavor with a brine? Going in, I was a little skeptical that a short time in the brine would be effective.
2. This recipe is different than the cooking methods I've used in the past but it is very similar to rib recipes used by Bobby Flay I've tried in the past.
FOR THE BARBECUE SAUCE:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups frozen raspberries
1/3 cup seedless raspberry
FOR THE BRINE AND RIBS:
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly cracked black peppercorns
10 garlic cloves, smashed
3 pounds baby back ribs, silver skin removed, racks cut into 3 to 4 rib sections
6 fluid ounces beer
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
Prepare your barbecue sauce:
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and Anaheim and cook until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and the ginger and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer, being cautious not to burn.
2. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and then add the frozen raspberries, preserves and maple. Stir to combine, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Puree with an immersion blender, then strain through a sieve into a bowl or jar, to remove the seeds, pushing the sauce through as much as possible. Can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.
|Straining the Puree|
Cook the ribs:
4. Preheat a grill to high and an oven to 400°Fahrenheit.
5. In a large resealable bag or nonreactive container; combine the vinegar, water, 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 tablespoon of the pepper, 4 of the garlic cloves and the ribs. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes only.
6. Remove the ribs from the brine and season both sides with the remaining salt and pepper. Sear the ribs on an indoor grill or outdoor if available, until lightly browned.
7. In a large roasting pan, fitted with a rack, arrange the ribs on the rack and pour in the beer. Add the onion and remaining garlic cloves. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and put into the hot oven. Reduce the heat to 300 and roast for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil and baste the ribs with the BBQ sauce. Roast for 7 minutes, then turn the ribs over, baste again and roast for another 7 minutes. Remove the ribs from the oven to a cutting board and slice between the ribs. Arrange on a serving platter and serve.
|About to Go into the Oven|
|After 90 Minutes|
The raspberry sauce was a little too sweet and I liked Chef Chiarello's better but it still was an improvement over Chili's. The brine also was effective in keeping the ribs succulent.
And finally, I'll leave you with...
(Think they were singing about my ribs?)