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Braised Spare Ribs

Beer Braised Spare Ribs

I heard about the opportunity to create a recipe for New Belgium Brewing through FoodBuzz.So I figured I’d sign up and see if I was one of the lucky ones that would be chosen. I got the email and then it was time to think what I would make. First check out their website. The only beer they make that I was familiar with was Fat Tire. I check out their site and was blown away with the variety of beers they have to offer. So many styles of beer I just wanted to do a marathon tasting of all of them, but, alas that was not possible. The next best thing was to see if I’d be able to find a location that carried all their beers, well no such luck. At least not around me. So I went to the local BevMo and worked with their selection. I picked out 3 for my recipe.

New Belgium Beers

New Belgian Brewing Beers used in recipe and for pairing

Their Enlightened Black Ale 1554, the Ranger IPA and their Organic wheat beer Mothership Wit. I knew the IPA would have a bit of a bitter flavor and that the 1554 would be more coffee/chocolate like. After reading the description on the bottle I knew it would work well for the flavors that I was thinking of, since it was a bit on the sweet side and not too bitter. The Wheat beer I thought would be a good pairing for my recipe because of it’s citrus and sour flavors  that would balance with the deep rich spice, cocoa and sweet flavor of the ribs.  I decided on beer braised spare ribs and with a beer reduction sauce. I got some wonderful meaty spare ribs and then began my process.

Ingredients:

1 Rack of Spare ribs about 3 pounds

24 oz Ranger IPA

24 oz 1554

2 generous Tblsp Cocoa Powder

1 Tblsp ground Cinnamon

1 C brown Sugar – 3/4 for liquid and 1/4 to adjust sauce if needed

1 tsp ground Cumin

1tsp chili flakes or 1/2 tsp for less spice

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 medium onion diced

8 large cloves of garlic roughly chopped

1 6oz can of tomato paste

Begin by combining all the dry ingredients in a

Ingredients for marinade in Bowl

Ingredients for marinade in Bowl

large bowl and mix well so there are no large chunks of brown sugar, then add chopped onion and garlic salt & pepper at least 1 Tblsp each. Add in beer and mix ingredients well. Lightly trim some fat from the ribs and place in large baking pan bone side up. You may need to cut the rack into 2 or 3 sections to fit in your baking pan. Pour in marinade and make sure the ribs are mostly covered. Cover pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours overnight would be better.

After marinating is finished remove from refrigerator

Ribs cut in sections placed meat side down in roasting pan

Ribs cut in sections placed meat side down in roasting pan

and remove cover. Turn ribs meat side up and season with salt & pepper then cover with aluminum foil and put on middle rack in 275º oven for about 4 hours. Check the ribs after 3.5 hrs to see how they are cooking. The meat should be tender when they are done. Times may vary depending on your oven.

Once they are finished remove racks and let stand. If you will be serving them immediately then cover with aluminum foil till you are ready. Pour the braising liquid from the baking pan into a sauce pan through a sieve. If you want to use

Ribs with marinade in the pan before and after braising

Ribs with marinade in the pan before and after braising

cheesecloth in the sieve or strainer that would be even better. The finer the stainer the better.  Add the can of tomato paste and whisk it into the braising liquid. Put burner on high and bring to a boil let the sauce boil till it is reduced by half to 2/3. When it gets close to half reduction taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and if needed some more brown sugar.

Stages of reducing Braising liquid into sauce

Stages of reducing Braising liquid into sauce from left to right strained braising liquid, boiling to reduce by half to 1/3, finished sauce

Finished ribs before cutting

Finished ribs before cutting - Brushed with sauce and Broiled for final caramelization

When the sauce is finished place ribs under the broiler or on a hot grill to warm and add color to the meat. Then brush with sauce and place back under the broiler or on the grill till carmelized. It’s all about personal preference at that point.

When done slice ribs along the bone to separate into individual ribs and serve with sauce.

I paired the ribs with the Mothership Wit beer and it went perfectly with them. Also you can serve with asian slaw and

Plate full of ribs

Plate Full of ribs with corn and potatoes paired with New Belgian Mothership Wit

mashed potatoes or mac and cheese or roasted/grilled vegetables.

All I can say is these ribs are amazingly good. The sauce is rich with many flavor layers sweet, a bit spicy, and chocolate caramel from the beer and a slight tang. One word describes it best… Amazing!!

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Having 2 daughters one who is a pesco vegetarian and the other being vegan I have become sensitive to the needs of the non-carnivore for quite some. A trained chef myself it pained me to watch as my younger daughter go from eating everything to cutting out pork then beef then chicken and finally lamb and all other land creatures. I breathed a sigh of relief when she stopped there and I was able to at least cook a plethora of seafood for her. My older daughter had played with becoming a vegetarian off an on for the past 4 years and now has gone over to the other side and become a vegan. It pains my heart but if it makes her feel better, then that’s all that matters to me. So that’s the background. Now to the meat (pun intended) of the matter, don’t despair there are not only interesting BBQ options for the grill but also good wine pairings to boot.

For the pesco-vegetarians of the world there are always the 2 standbys grilled salmon and shrimp. For the salmon, get salmon with the skin on, it keeps it together and makes for easier grilling.  I like just some olive oil salt and pepper on mine and then put it on a nice hot clean grill, hot and clean being the operative words to prevent sticking, skin side up and let it cook for a bit. Look at the sides of the fish to see how far up it has cooked, try about 1/3 of the way up before flipping over. I like to use tongs for this so I don’t damage the fish.  Then finish the cooking on the skin side. Serve with lemon or a dill yogurt sauce. Grilled shrimp is great just marinated in olive oil, chili flakes, salt, pepper and some garlic for about an hour. Pull them out and squeeze on some fresh lemon, lime or for a twist orange and mix until it is all blended. Put the shrimp on skewers, if using wooden soak in water for about 30 minutes before using, then put on the grill using the same rules as with the salmon. With shrimp once they are reddish/pink on both sides then they are done. Don’t over cook them or they will turn to rubber.

For the Vegans out there you can make grilled tofu which tastes great. Use firm or extra firm tofu and cut in 1/2 inch slices. Marinate slices in a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, chili flakes and garlic for about 30 mins to an hour or you can use your favorite marinade from the store. The key is to let the marinade soak into the tofu. Once ready to grill, get the grill hot and clean and brush tofu with olive oil on each side and place on hot grill and let it do its thing. It won’t take long for it to warm through and create grill marks, flip over with spatula and apply your favorite BBQ sauce to the top then eat it like a burger or on top of a bed of mixed greens with a citrus dressing. You could also add some grilled spring onions to it for a bit of a kick.

Then there are always the standard Garden or Boca burgers. I prefer the Boca’s since they grill best. Trader Joes also has some great vegetarian/vegan sausages that are good such as the Italian blend and andouille both vegetarian and tasty.

Now what to serve with these delicacies well I asked Jon Troutman from the Cork’d blog to help me out and he recommended either a “Sauvignon Blanc or a Chenin Blanc and as he puts it two grapes that are food friendly with high acid levels and clean flavors that play well with vegetables, salads and cheeses.” I would also say that you might be able to go to a light Pinot Noir if you are grilling using BBQ sauces.

So there you have it my homage to the vegetarians out there. If you want more info please drop me a line at chefphotographervip@fineculinaryexperience.com and I’ll be happy to answer your food questions.

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Jon Troutman

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Posted: April 27th, 2010

Spring is very much here. April showers are almost totally behind us and May flowers are blooming. Guys, you know what that means…besides the fact that you have to change all the window screens.

We’re firing up the grill!
With barbecue ribs, kabobs, sunshine and teeny-weeny bikinis, comes the opportunity for some fun, synergistic food and wine pairings that will knock your guest’s socks off…and maybe even their tops. No longer will Budweiser and Wine Coolers satiate your company’s thirst. Your friends deserve better than cheap domestic brew and foofy-foofy, sugarfied malt beverages. We’ve got just the wine prescription to solve…

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