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Monday, February 4, 2013

Braised Spare Ribs

For some reason this February is nasty.

It's been the coldest, wettest, snowiest February I've seen since living here.

Not that that's a big deal, but it does affect my motivation for making this dish; I find the cold bleary winters often make me hanker for more stews, soups, and slow-cooker meals.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

Anyway, a few days ago I picked up a super cheap rack of spare ribs, and before the weekend I chopped em up and whipped up a wicked marinade for them.

I normally don't believe in marinades.  I suppose I shouldn't say that... I find that it does depend on the cut of meat though.  And ribs are generally considered on the tougher side. 

That, coupled with the fact that I'm not a big believer in the 'boiled' rib method of getting the meat to fall off the bone in which so many people seem to believe, means that a marinade was actually not too bad an option for this.

So, those were marinated in a mixture of water, apple cider vinegar, dijon, worcestershire, and a bunch of spices not the least of which was bay leaves.  Mmmmmm bay leaves...

Anyway, that actually marinaded in the fridge for a couple of days, and on Sunday I pulled em out and decided to braise them in the slow cooker.

So, first - as with all slow-cooked meats - comes the searing.

I saved some of the marinade aside, but dumped most of it, and then carefully - leaving LOTS of room between them - grilled each rib in a pan on high heat.

They're still quite uncooked, but look at that delicious crispy flavour they've developed on the outside.

Anyway, after those are cooked (in batches) I dump them just unceremoniously in the slow cooker.  After searing all the ribs, you can see that they've left behind quite a bit of gribblies in the pan.  We'll have to deglaze.  What a shame.  :)

So, take that little bit of marinade you saved, and use it to deglaze the pan - making certain to scrape all the gribblies up off the bottom and sides.

Then, transfer that to the slow cooker with the ribs, and toss in a generous amount of barbeque sauce.  Or make your own concoction.  Something sweet is generally tradition though.

At this point just pop on the lid and let it simmer all day.  The longer the better really.

When it came closer to supper time, I cooked up some brown rice and some green beans to accompany these bad boys.  You can't just eat ribs after all.  Unfortunately.


Add a little bit of bouillon to your rice to get some good flavour infused.  And, as always, when cooking brown rice make sure to give it extra water, and an extra 30 mins cooking time.

Well, that's it.

Pretty simple stuff... but just look at it!  Do it!!! LOOK AT IT!!!!