134: Braised and Grilled Ribs

We grilled over Memorial Day weekend, both because it was a three-day weekend for me, and because the Meat Salesroom had a sale on spareribs. I managed to buy… 15 pounds. I wanted a 10-lb box, and they asked me if I wanted over or under. I assumed it was a choice between 9 and 11 pounds, so I said over. What I got was 15 pounds, and I thawed them ALL without even thinking about it.

I had originally planned on making Braised and Grilled Ribs, a recipe I’d had in my recipe stash for a few years. Once I looked at the recipe, I realized it was a silly choice. It’s been a hot spring, and running the oven for an hour isn’t ideal. I didn’t really want to make them at this point, because I wanted barbecue and this recipe isn’t, with allspice, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, and garlic. With 15 pounds of ribs, though, there was room for 2 different recipes. I used about 9 pounds of ribs with the proven spice rub I’d made the previous week, and the other 6 pounds I braised and grilled.

I did not sear the ribs at the beginning as the recipe called for because they wouldn’t lay down flat. I think that these spareribs may have needed to be trimmed before I could cook them that way. If I’d had more time, and had done more research, I might have trimmed them myself. I’m still learning about ribs, so I didn’t.

I cut the ribs into pieces so that they would fit in the pot better. I did put the ribs in the largest pan I could, added the spices and dark beer, and brought the thing to a boil. I covered it, put it in the oven, and braised it for an hour.

We put them on the grill outside after that, but we didn’t get them brown and crisp on the outside, unfortunately – the grill was beginning to cool off.

I thought these ribs were extremely tough, particularly when compared to the other spareribs we cooked. The barbecued ribs that were completely cooked on the grill weren’t tough and chewy like these were, although they did take a little work to get them off the bone.

I’m trying to figure out exactly why this braised recipe turned out so lackluster. Did I need to sear these at the beginning, and did they need that browning at the end? Did I have the heat too high on the stove – did it boil too long? Did I need to cook them longer to get them to practically fall off the bone? [In the video that comes with the recipe, he says that the meat is practically falling off the bone, but it doesn’t say anything about it in the recipe. Not particularly well-written, I’d say.]

I also didn’t like the way they tasted. The flavor of the seasoning should have been okay, but I wasn’t in the mood for it. I’m very picky about the way my pork tastes, and it tasted… overcooked? I can’t say for sure. I think I also don’t care for the combination of dark beer and pork. Alex ate all the leftovers because I didn’t want any, so he may be able to give these a better review than I can.

As I made them, I vaguely recalled trying to cook these a few years ago, with lackluster results. I’m throwing out this recipe so I won’t be tempted to try it again.

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