May 15, 2019
Who doesn’t love a rack of ribs? Pork ribs are more common, but beef are also delicious—and so big, you only need one or two per person. The trick with ribs is cooking them so that the meat is so tender it almost falls off the bone, and while many pre-boil theirs, roasting them in the oven is the easiest, minimizes mess, and you don’t lose any flavour to the water they simmer in.
Whether you’re making pork or beef ribs, you can pre-roast them on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch the fat as it renders off) up to three days in advance, then finish them in the oven or on the grill. Line the sheet with foil to minimize clean-up, season the ribs with salt—and your choice of barbecue rub, if you like—and cover tightly with foil. (Don’t put any sweet sauces on now, as they will burn with too much time in the oven.) Roast at 300˚F for 2 1/2-4 hours (closer to 4, if they’re beef), and then finish them as you like—slathered with sauce and caramelized in a hotter oven or on the grill, or cool and refrigerate them until you’re ready for them. Bonus: you only season them with salt, you’ll be able to pour off the flavourful fat that accumulates in the pan and refrigerate it to use for roasted potatoes, or to start a soup or stew.
Sticky Hoisin Pork Ribs
2 lb (1 kg) pork side or back ribs
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp liquid honey
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
pinch hot chili flakes
toasted sesame seeds and/or chopped green onions, for garnish (optional)
Put the ribs on a rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil; bake at 300°F for 2 1/2 hours, until very tender. (Ribs can be cooked up to this point and then wrapped in foil and refrigerated for up to 3 days.) Meanwhile, stir together the hoisin sauce, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger and hot pepper flakes.
Remove the foil, turn the oven up to 425°F, brush the ribs with sauce and roast for another 20 minutes, until dark and sticky. (Alternatively, you could finish them on the grill over high heat for a few minutes.) Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions.
- Julie Van Rosendaal
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