There is an art to cooking ribs, but they are a fairly simple dish to prepare. How long should you cook a rack of ribs? Be patient, as this recipe, although very easy, requires a cooking time of approximately three to four hours. If you want, of course, the recipe to be perfect.
The secrets of pork ribs in the oven
Pork ribs come in pieces of twelve ribs, so one rack of ribs is enough for two people, if the ribs are a good size. Otherwise, you will need at least one more piece. When choosing the ribs, make sure they are fresh, with abundant meat and pay attention to the size of the ribs; it depends on this whether you will have more or less meat. On the other hand, you should know that the flavor of the rib is precisely in the bone.
Another of the secrets of a good rack of ribs, besides the choice of meat, is the cleanliness of the meat. You can ask at the butcher's to have it ready for you, but be careful, because removing the fat in excess can be a mistake; this would detract from the flavor of the recipe.
Which spices are the most suitable?
Spices are the key to giving the ribs a unique flavor. You can prepare a marinade by mixing spices with a dash of oil and place the ribs in a large bowl. Use your hands to stir and spread the mixture into the ribs.
Let the marinated ribs rest in the refrigerator for more than an hour, covered with cling film. If you do not want to marinate, you can go directly to cooking using the following spices:
- Cumin is the key for all meats, whether it is short rib, tenderloin or a simple steak. This spice has a unique aroma and flavor. But don't overdo it, as it is capable of counteracting the flavor of other seasonings.
- Rosemary goes very well with ribs and the best way is in its natural form, that is to say, with a sprig that you should place on the ribs. You can use cumin and not rosemary, and vice versa, but never leave out both.
- Black pepper, especially if it is from a grinder.
- Use white pepper, as it gives a unique flavor to the meat.
- Garlic powder.
- A teaspoon of brown sugar. It will give a special touch to the ribs.
- Onion powder and cayenne. These are optional. You can substitute the cayenne for hot paprika. It all depends on your preference.
- Chopped parsley. A very noble seasoning that goes with all meats, even poultry.
The barbecue sauce: the best way to accompany ribs
Beyond garnishes such as fries or salad, a good rack of ribs is accompanied with a barbecue sauce. The barbecue sauce or BBQ sauce is very easy to prepare, but it also has to be done correctly. The sauce is not necessary, as the ribs, with all the spices, are already amazing. But if you want an extra touch of flavor, take note of how to prepare a traditional barbecue sauce. You will need:
- A cup of ketchup. It doesn't matter what brand.
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce. You can't do without it, as it's what gives the real barbecue flavor.
- A tablespoon of honey. Look in the supermarket for a good honey, don't use the ones that come with propolis or other such substances. In the gourmet aisle of your supermarket you will find excellent options that you can use in other recipes too.
- A teaspoon of Dijon mustard. If you don't like the taste, you can substitute it with traditional mustard.
- ¼ of an onion. The cut should be in cubes, as small as possible.
- One clove of garlic, sliced into small pieces.
- Freshly ground black pepper.
Start by sautéing the garlic and onion. When they are soft, add the rest of the ingredients and stir, over medium heat, for 20 minutes. Add salt and, when the sauce thickens, remove from the heat and set it aside.
Cooking the ribs
The preparation time of the ribs depends on whether or not you marinate them. Remember that if you choose to marinate the ribs, then the preparation of the recipe will take you at least one hour more. As for the cooking time, keep in mind that not all ovens are the same, nor are all ribs the same: smaller pieces will take a shorter time, but you may need more ribs. If they are larger and thicker, then you will need more hours in the oven.
How do you know how long you need to cook a rib? The estimated cooking time for medium size ribs is approximately four hours at a temperature between 120 and 130 degrees. Be careful with setting the oven to a higher temperature, because you want the ribs to cook slowly and release all the juices necessary for a better consistency.
A trick is to cook the ribs covered with aluminum foil for the first two and a half hours. Then, remove the foil and continue cooking. After this last hour and a half you should take care of the ribs so that they do not burn. Remember to alternate placing them in the top and bottom of the oven. And how do you know when they are ready? With the help of a knife or fork, prick the meat; if it comes off the bone easily, it is time to remove them from the oven.