There won’t be a spare rib!

Seems like every time I look up a spare rib recipe, the recommended ones take hours of marinading and at least three hours of roasting. Who has that kind of time? But now that it’s getting all cold outside, a warm and satisfying platter of ribs makes great comfort food. My recipe isn’t very time consuming and you could definitely make this on a week night, though if you are managing a lot of other side dishes you might want to time it carefully.

My father was the one who developed a real shortcut that yields tender, juicy and great tasting ribs every time. Who needs a grill? I count these spare ribs as one of the recipes that helped me cook my way into Max’s heart… I particularly like the apple cider addition, which gives it a subtle, autumnal flavor…even if autumn is ending, we can prolong it with cider!

Grilless Ribs for 2

1 rack spare ribs (≈ 2 lbs)

Your favorite rib rub– if you don’t have one try the recipe that follows

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

≈ 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce and/or Liquid Smoke

a couple springs of fresh rosemary and thyme, stems removed (use dried in a pinch)

2-3 tbsp high heat oil, such as canola or safflower

2 cups apple cider (OPTIONAL)

a couple tbsp your favorite BBQ sauce


Step 1) preheat your oven to 500 degrees with your oven rack a couple inches from the boiler.

Step 2) cut your ribs apart so that there is equal meat on each bone. This will take a sharp knife.

Step 3) Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large pan. As it heats, rub your ribs all over with your rib rub, massaging the spices into the meat.

Step 4) Add the ribs, garlic and rosemary and thyme to the pan in a single layer and brown the ribs both sides. Drizzle in your Worcestershire/Liquid Smoke at this point too.

Step 5) Once your ribs are browned, add a couple cups of water to cover the ribs or the apple cider if you have it. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover. Leave them alone for about 15 minutes.

I don’t even have a lid for my big pan so I put an even bigger pan on top of it! This works great!

Step 6) Turn the broiler on. If your broiler works super well, preheating the oven might not be necessary. Mine is kind of wonky, so I always make sure the oven is hot before attempting to broil anything. Also at this time, line a large baking dish with tin foil.

Step 7) With tongs or with a fork and dexterity, place each rib on the baking dish about an inch apart and brush some BBQ sauce on it. Put them under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes.

Step 8) Turn the ribs over to expose their other side, and brush with more BBQ sauce. Stick back in the broiler for a few  more minutes. You just want to make sure the sauce is caramelizing because that will make it extra delicious.

Step 9) Steal a rib or two before you plate them so that you can have the most (evil laugh).

I wanted to take a picture of the tidy, extremely cleaned pile of bones I made after consuming these beauties, but Max said it was creepy and threw them out before I had a chance. Maybe I will update this post next time I make these so I can show you my awesome (okay, and creepy) bone stripping prowess.

Classic rib rub (bet you forgot about this)

2 tbsp brown sugar (optional, especially if your BBQ sauce has a lot of sugar)

4 tsp paprika

2 tsp salt (or garlic salt)

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp cayenne

This is probably too much for one use, but you can always store it in an airtight container and use it again later!


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