Monday, 15 January 2018

Choco-whiskey ribs

"Feast of Saint Valentine"

I don’t think there are any limitations when it comes to pork ribs. Over the years I have been playing with chocolate and pork with much success. However, this is by far the most delicious chocolate ribs recipe to date. The chocolate raspberry ribs and the coco chipotle baby back ribs are the other two rib recipes that contain chocolate. While those were good, they were a bit more work. This recipe is literally a set it and forget it kind of ribs; you don’t need a grill for this like the other two recipes. Aluminum foil and an oven does all the work here.

What the ribs lack in Smokey flavor it more than makes up for, in tenderness and juiciness. This method of cooking ribs for me is one of the best when you’re the kind of person who loves to use the oven. My grandma was that kind of lady. She would cook everything in the oven, chicken, goat, oxtail, rice and peas it doesn’t matter. When you’re a busy lady multitasking with a family to feed, the oven can be your friend. Most times we neglect it, until we have to bake a cake, but it can truly cook everything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a fan of smoking the meat first then finishing in the oven, but its so much work to get the grill out, set up the coals, watch the temp. Just the thought of it makes me can’t even bother.

In real life…my oven recently gave up (or so I thought). It was acting haywire and the technician who came and looked at it promised to return to fix it, but never showed up and stopped answering my calls.  Needless to say, I was doing a lot of back and forth to my mom’s house, using her oven for my food styling/content creation jobs. I also had to use the pressure cooker to bake, make stove top bbq chicken, and all kinds of things because the oven was out of service. Then one blessed day after about a month of just being off, I turned it on just to see it work! I will never again take for granted the ability to put the ribs in the oven at 250f and leave them in there for 3 hours.

I ran the oven for 7 hours, I cooked these for about 3.5 hours. When I saw that they were done, and the oven was still going strong, I defrosted, seasoned and cooked my friend some ‘rib chops’ that I had storing for him in my deep freezer. I didn’t finish until close to midnight, but it didn’t matter. I was not about to try the oven the next day only for it to go haywire on me again.

This is a ribs I guarantee (well I can’t actually guarantee) but I’m pretty sure every pork lover will devour it. They won’t even realize its chocolate. Don’t look at the chocolate and be scared, chocolate is not just for desserts. Our minds tell us that chocolate has to be sweet, but it does what you want it to do. The meat was seasoned with herbs and cacao and the sauce only needed 1 oz of semi-sweet baker’s chocolate. You might think its too little, but it gave the sauce the most velvety, silky texture. It literally looked like a pot of melted chocolate, but tasted like a sweet, salty, whiskey with a hint of bitter bbq sauce. Make this! You won’t be disappointed in the least. The last two chocolate ribs recipes were delicious, but I didn’t make them again. This one right here, I would make tomorrow if I had some ribs….and if my oven still works!

Ingredients (printable recipe)

1 rack of spare ribs
1 cup Jack Daniel’s whiskey
Dry rub
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 ½ tablespoon Cacao powder (or unsweetened coco powder)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon Smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Black pepper
2 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Brown sugar
For the sauce
Drippings from foil
1 oz semi sweet bakers chocolate
¼ cup Ketchup
1 tablespoon Soy sauce
2 tablespoon Sugar

Greedy tips:

  • Removing the membrane is optional and not really a must since these will be cooking at a low temp for a long time, however, I feel like the membrane prohibits the dry rub from soaking into the meat on the bone side, so I remove it. Another theory is that the membrane holds all the fat into the ribs and removing it will yield a dry rib. This has not been my experience using this cooking method, far from it.

  • Trim excess fat from the spare ribs and remove the thin membrane on the bone side by sliding a knife or your finger at the edge of the ribs and peeling it away.
  • Combine all the dry rub ingredients in a bowl.
  • Season the meat both sides liberally and rub it in.
  • Set aside seasoned ribs in the refrigerator for 30 minutes up to 8 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Create a pouch of foil by laying several layers of foil on a baking tray place the ribs on top place another layer of foil over top that and seal three side leaving one side open.
  • Pour the whiskey into the open side and seal it up. The ribs and whiskey should be completely encased in the foil and there should be no leaks.
  • Place in the oven for 3.5 hours.
  • After 3.5 hours remove from the oven pour the liquid contents into a sauce pan, skim off any excess fat. Place the ribs in a baking dish.
  • Add ketchup, chocolate, soy sauce and sugar to the drippings mixture and bring to a boil, and reduce until syrupy.
  • Pour the chocolate whiskey sauce over the ribs basting both sides, and place back in the oven at 450 to caramelize.
  • Remove from the oven rest for 5 to 10 minutes then serve.

XOXO Greedygirl

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