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~Broiled & Baked Oven-Method for Cooking Spareribs~

6a0120a8551282970b026bdeba2a02200c 2I adore spareribs.  That said, I do not like spending time outside in the heat or the cold tending to them for the lengthy period of time it takes them to properly cook (and, because of their fat content, they do require careful and almost constant tending to avoid fiery flare-ups).  For that singular reason, I decided to figure out my own way to make perfectly-cooked babyback or St. Lewis-style spareribs in the comfort of my own kitchen.  I am demonstrating with a rack of St. Lewis-style ribs today, but, trust me when I say: , this method works the same for babybacks too.

When it comes to purchasing pork spareribs, we cooks almost always have a choice to make: babyback (sometimes labeled "pork back ribs"), or, St. Louis-style (sometimes labeled "breastbone-off, pork ribs").  To the eye, babybacks are smaller (which appeals to many home cooks because they're more manageable), but, please know, this has nothing to do with the size of the pig (meaning, for those spreading false information: they're not taken from baby pigs).  

6a0120a8551282970b0263e98cd9a4200bBabybacks are cut from where the rib meets the spine after the loin is removed.  Each rack weighs about 1 1/2-2 pounds and averages 10-13 curved, 4"-5"-long ribs.  In our house, one rack will feed 2 people. St. Lewis- Style refers to the way the ribs are cut, not a style of barbecue.  They are larger, meatier, and cut from the belly after the belly is removed.  They get trimmed in the style of St. Lewis butchers, by cutting away the breastbone and cartilage to form a rectangular shape.  Each rack weighs about 2 1/2-3 pounds and averages 12-14 flatfish, 6"-7"-long ribs.  When serving these, I plan on one rack feeding 3-4 people.  If you're so inclined to make a rack for the sole purpose of making these sandwiches, plan on feeding 6-8.

My indoor method for cooking babyback or St. Lewis-Style ribs:

6a0120a8551282970b02788011feca200d1  full rack babyback spareribs or St. Lewis-style spareribs, your choice

freshly ground sea salt and peppercorn blend

2  cups water

1 1/4-1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce of choice, used in 3 increments (6-8 tablespoons, 6-8 tablespoons and 6-8 tablespoons) throughout recipe

6a0120a8551282970b026bdeba291f200c 6a0120a8551282970b026bdeba291f200cStep 1. Remove ribs from packaging and pat dry in paper towels.  Flip the rack, bottom side up and place it on a large work surface.   Using a chef's knife or a pair of kitchen shears either remove the flap of meat that's up against the bone or trim it of excess fat.  This choice is yours -- I trim off the excess fat and leave it on.  Using a sharp-tipped paring knife, gently raise and loosen the membrane (called the silver skin) from the first rib, then, using a paper towel or two to get a grip on the membrane, slowly, but firmly, tear it off.

6a0120a8551282970b0263e98cda29200b 6a0120a8551282970b026bdeba294b200c 6a0120a8551282970b026bdeba294b200c 6a0120a8551282970b02788011ff38200d 6a0120a8551282970b02788011ff38200d 6a0120a8551282970b02788011ff38200d~Step 2.  Insert a wire rack into a 20" x 12" x 4" disposable aluminum broiler pan and place a piece of parchment atop the rack.  Transfer the ribs to the parchment, placing them bottom side up.  Generously season with freshly ground sea salt and peppercorn blend.  Place the pan on an oven rack that has be positioned 8" underneath preheated broiler.  Broil ribs until golden, 18-20 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Flip ribs over, season top side with sea salt and peppercorn blend and return to broiler 18-20 more minutes.

6a0120a8551282970b0263e98cda4e200b 6a0120a8551282970b0263e98cda4e200b 6a0120a8551282970b0263e98cda4e200bStep 3.  Remove from oven and reset the oven to 350°.  Without moistening the ribs, add 2 cups of water to bottom of pan. Using a pastry brush, generously paint the rack of ribs, on both sides with the barbecue sauce, using about 6-8 tablespoons per side.  Cover and tightly seal the pan with aluminum foil -- if the foil rips or tears, start over with a new piece of foil.  Return ribs to the oven and bake 1 hour.

6a0120a8551282970b026bdeba2995200c 6a0120a8551282970b026bdeba2995200c 6a0120a8551282970b026bdeba2995200cStep 4.  Remove pan from oven, reset the oven to broil, and position the oven rack to 6" underneath the heat source.  Paint top of ribs with the last 6-8 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce.  Place the pan under preheated broiler and broil the ribs again, until sauce is bubbling, turning golden brown (caramelizing) and, showing slight signs of charring across the surface, about 5-6 minutes.  Watch carefully. The sugar in any type of barbecue sauce can and will go from brown to burned very quickly.

Remove from oven & transfer to a large board:

6a0120a8551282970b026bdeba2a02200cSlice & serve ribs while hot, warm or at room temperature:

6a0120a8551282970b026bdeba2a0c200cBroiled & Baked Oven-Method for Cooking Spareribs:  Recipe yields 1 rack of perfectly-cooked, large, meaty babyback or St.-Lewis-style spareribs.

Special Equipment List: paper towels; chef's knife or kitchen shears; paring knife; 20" x 12" x 4" disposable aluminum roasting pan; wire cooling rack; parchment paper; 2-cup measuring container; pastry brush; aluminum boil

6a0120a8551282970b01a511797d9b970cCook's Note:  Country-style spareribs are taken from the rib end of the pork loin, and, like baby backs and St. Lewis ribs they are fatty, flavorful, and, very meaty.  While all three are suited perfectly for the dry, high heat of the grill, country-style ribs take to the oven like ducks to water.  I love them, but, more importantly, so does my entire family. ~ Broiled & Baked:  K.C. BBQ'D Country-Style Ribs ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary & Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyrighe 2022)


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