Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Awesome Spare Ribs

Grilling ribs has always been a chancy business for me. Getting them cooked through without drying them out is not all that easy, and a flareup can be disaster so you have to watch them pretty closely. I love ribs, but…

Then I read a recipe a few months ago that prescribed braising the ribs and finishing up on the grill. That struck me as a really good idea, but of course I couldn’t find the recipe when I finally bought a rack of ribs. I made this one up on the fly so, while the basic idea is not original, the recipe itself is.

Awesome Spare Ribs

1 rack Pork Spare Ribs
1 can Beer (24oz) (for nitpickers: 2 ea, 12oz cans will work fine)
4 ea Whole Cloves
4 tbsp Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Mix beer and brown sugar and put it into a roasting pan with the cloves. Cut the ribs into manageable sections, maybe five or so ribs per section.

Brown the ribs in a bit of oil in a hot skillet on both sides. You’re not cooking them at all, and you don’t need to char them. Just brown them lightly and put them in the roaster with the liquid.

Leave them in the oven at 320, covered, for 1-1/2 to (preferably) 2 hours.

Preheat your bbg grill. Remove the ribs from the roaster and put them on a very hot grill, meaty side down, turning them after about a minute. Once the heat has evaporated the braising moisture, apply the bbq sauce of your choice and brown them nicely on both sides. They are fully cooked at this point, so all you need to concern yourself with is the nice crunchy coating.

Another option would be to use a mix of herbs and spices rather than bbq sauce; the traditional “bbq rub.” In that case you would want to remove the ribs from the braising, pat them dry and apply the “rub” while they are still damp, before putting them on the grill. You might want a slightly less hot grill for this option, too.

If I keep having this degree of success with my “made up” recipes, I may keep making them up.


  1. Larger, stout, or something else?

  2. I used Pabst Blue Ribbon. I'm not sure it would make a lot of difference, as mostly it's the enzymes breaking down the meat and I think they all have pretty much the same enzymes. I use Miller Genuine Draft for pot roast usually, but mostly it's just whatever is available in a 24oz can. As long as it's not Budweiser. For God's sake don't use Budweiser. Don't even think about using Budweiser. When I was a practicing drunk I would drink anything that had alcohol in it - except Budweiser.

  3. well, I wasn't thinking about wasting my Guinness on it, but would consider sacrificing a Leinies. I can't say that I even remember the last time I bought Pabst. Miller might have been last summer for Beer-can Chicken, but that could have been Leinies too.
    Isn't Coors right up there with Bud? At least the latter has fairly decent looking horses.....

  4. No indeed. Coors is brewed with "pure Mocky Rountain spring water". Your Grandfather actually maneuvered a radio announcer into saying that on the air once, many years ago. He repeated it to him so many times, and even told the guy in advance, "I will make you say that on the air." I think they had a bet on it: I don't recall what it was, but Dad won it.

  5. Anonymous10:46 PM

    The "rocky mountain spring water" was a big advertising point for them. Still is. Not that I drink beer at all... Stout in chocolate cake is good. I've used other stuff on ribs, not beer yet. I have used German beer on brats, and that is good.

  6. Anonymous10:50 PM

    Of course Anheiser-Bush has nice horses, they have to get that stuff they call "beer" from somewhere, don't they?

  7. Anonymous10:53 PM

    Barbara, stout would be a bad idea with pork, as would porter -- too bitter and aromatic. Ale, with its hint of sweetness, should go well with pork. But I think that lager would be fine (that is what Pabst, Miller, et al is).
    Beer and rue gravy (the dark, Creole kind) is a GREAT combo, just use one that isn't too hoppy, or the gravy will be bitter. Good for pot-roast and venison. Red wine is better for stew, and things with tomatoes in it.