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Monday, April 15, 2024 at 7:44 AM
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What’s Cooking in Kelli’s Kitchen - Spectacular Pork Spareribs

What’s Cooking in Kelli’s Kitchen - Spectacular Pork Spareribs
Image courtesy of Serious Eats.

This weekend, I was thinking about ribs. Pork ribs coated in a dry rub and smoked; beef ribs slow roasted in the oven and then wrapped up in pastry dough and bacon; lamb ribs glazed with their juices and topped with togarashi seasoning. Ribs are for the weekends when there is ample time to rub and marinate, time to slow smoke and braise, and time to rest. As I was reflecting on the general tastiness of pork and strategizing what to make for dinner, I thought about two fantastic pork rib dishes that loom large in the dark corners of my brain: Northern-style Pork Spareribs from P.F. Chang’s and Glazed Pork Ribs from State Bird Provisions. My favorite thing about these dishes is that the pork ribs are served without barbeque sauce. 

Restaurant menus can provide fantastic inspiration for home kitchen adventures. Think of a dish that you love to eat and do a little research. The internet will provide a variety of copycat recipes, photos, and descriptions that can be a launchpad for experimentation.

Here are two pork rib recipes you can make in your oven or a smoker that do not need to be slathered in sauce to be delicious.

Northern-Style Spareribs

INGREDIENTS:

1 rack of St Louis Spareribs (or baby back ribs)

1 T salt

1 T sugar

1 T cumin

1 T gochugaru (Korean chili flake) or substitute paprika or another chili powder as desired

1 T ground black pepper

1 T ground Sichuan pepper (optional but delicious)

½ T garlic powder

1 t Chinese Five Spice Powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs by slicing the edge with a knife, then pull the membrane by hand.
  2. Mix all the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle all over the ribs and rub into the meat with your hands. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300℉. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and place the ribs on top. Cover with a large piece of foil and bake for 2 hours. Alternatively, smoke seasoned ribs uncovered for 2-3 hours.
  4. Remove the ribs from the oven and discard the foil. Broil on high until the ribs are charred.
  5. Once done, remove the ribs from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the ribs and top with additional dry rub.

Pork Ribs Glazed in their own Juices

INGREDIENTS:

2 racks pork spareribs, preferably St Louis cut

2 T kosher salt

½ T ground black pepper

5 cloves garlic (4 thinly sliced and 1 smashed)

2 lemons cut into ¼” rounds plus 2 T of lemon juice

1 large sprig of rosemary

1 ½ T cornstarch

1 T water

1 t togarashi seasoning (Japanese seven-spice)

¼ c thinly sliced scallions

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. On a work surface, lay out a sheet of aluminum foil about 4” longer than the rib racks. Then lay a piece of parchment paper about 3” longer than the racks in the center of the foil.
  2. Season the rib racks on both sides with salt and pepper. Lay down the rack, meaty side down, on the parchment. Scatter sliced garlic, rosemary, and lemon rounds on top. Lay the other rack, meaty side up, on top of the first rack.
  3. Wrap the racks snugly in the parchment paper, tucking in the ends to make a neat package. Next, do the same with the aluminum foil, sealing the edges well to ensure no steam or juices escape. 
  4. Put the foil package on a baking sheet and bake until the meat is tender but not falling off the bone, about 2 hours. Rotate once halfway through. Remove from the oven and let the ribs rest for about an hour.
  5. Open the package, scrape off, and discard the lemon, garlic, and rosemary. Carefully cut into individual ribs. Pour the juices from the package into a small saucepan. Add the smashed garlic to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir the cornstarch and water until smooth, then gradually add it to the simmering pan.
  6. Broil or grill the ribs over high heat, then brush with glaze and sprinkle with togarashi seasoning and green onions.

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