Sweet and sour balsamic glazed ribs

This site is looking like it has only pork on it’s mind. I make no excuses for that. And I make no excuses for featuring the work of the two wunder-kids at Animal Restaurant in Los Angeles. Their book, Two Dudes, One Pan has featured on this site before.

The recipe featured here comes from that book (page 194 to be exact) – but I also came across it on the Seattle Times online edition (along with other rib recipes).

Here’s how the boys from Animal do it:


For the ribs:

  • 2 spare-rib racks, the smallest you can find (5 to 6 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 large flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and gently crushed
  • 4 thyme sprigs

For the barbecue sauce:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 150ml (1/2 can) your favorite beer
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons seed mustard
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, or to taste
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Salt

1. To prepare the ribs, pre-heat the oven to 260º C. Place each rack of ribs on a 60cm long sheet of foil, shiny side up. Rub the ribs all over with oil then generously season both sides with salt. Put half the parsley sprigs and half the garlic under the concave side of one rack, and half the thyme springs on the top. Repeat for the other rack. Wrap the ribs in foil sealing the edges well so that nothing can get in or out of these delectable porky parcels. Put these parcels in a roasting pan.

2. Roast the ribs for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 130º C. Cook 1 ½ to 2 hours more, until the meat has shrunk back from the ends of the bones by ¼ to ½ inch and the ribs are tender enough to pull apart with your fingers.

3. While that is cooking make the barbecue sauce. Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a medium saucepan, add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil over a medium to high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low keeping the sauce at a simmer and cook until it is lusciously thick (at least an hour). You can cook it for much much longer if you want. Just watch it so it doesn’t burn or reduce to toffee. Adjust to taste by adding vinegar, brown sugar or salt.

5. Remove the ribs from the oven and let cool briefly, then open the foil, being careful of the escaping steam. Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet. Turn on the grill or raise the oven to 220º C.

6. Slather the BBQ sauce all over the ribs. Grill the ribs until the sauce sizzles and browns, 2 to 4 minutes on each side. Alternatively, bake in the oven 8 to 12 minutes. Baste with the barbecue sauce and serve at once with any remaining sauce on the side.

Serves up to four people. Double or triple the content if you are really hungry.

These are not the ribs from Animal but they look damn good

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