Paul's Kitchen

Paul Hill
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Enjoying chicken and ribs, part one

I have found that, like most people, we are in a hurry to get our meals cooked fast. I know that time is precious to us, but there are some things that just take time. An example is the way we cook chicken or ribs.

Like a lot of people, we boil our ribs or chicken first to ensure a fully cooked product at the end. Although this may ensure that it is cooked through, it does seriously reduce the flavour. I strongly suggest you invest in a meat thermometer, (a $10 investment) and use as instructed.
Most thermometers come with good instructions, but a few key points are: do not use them in the oven (unless it specifies you can) they are just to check the inside temperature of the food.
I will give you a couple of suggestions as to some rubs or sauce to coat your ribs with, but the most important thing I have found for flavour and fall of the bone good is time. So I will give you the technique for cooking these that I have found the best for cooking at home.
Take your spare ribs and cut into one-inch thick strips (one bone width,) pat dry with paper towel, season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet over medium/high heat, add a little olive oil, and brown ribs on all sides. Remove from skillet to a good roasting pan and set aside. Drain the excess grease from the skillet, saving all the little brown bits in the pan.
Depending on the version of ribs you are making, you are going to deglaze these bits with your coating(s.) If you are using a rub, you will deglaze with wine or stock. You will need some liquid to ensure the ribs stay moist. And you will finish cooking, covered with tin foil, in a 275 degree oven for 3 1/2 hours.
A barbecue rib sauce: for four pounds of spare ribs, serves six people.
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup stewed tomatoes
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 dash hot sauce optional
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup white wine
After you have cooked and drained the grease, return pan to low heat and add onions a little olive oil and soften. In a bowl, combine all the rest of the ingredients except the wine. When onions are soft but not burned, add the bowl of spices. Cook for 10 minutes and add wine and heat through.
Pour this over the top of your ribs evenly, cover with tin foil and place in oven at 275 degrees for 3 1/2 hours. What you want to serve along side is your choice.
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