Weekend Cooking: Oven-baked ribs and a quickie barbeque sauce that purists will laugh at

So we were at Costco the other day picking up the usual supplies like dishwasher detergent, milk, diapers, fruits (what would I do without Costco?). And the husband wanted scallops (which I wrote about here), but there were none to be found!

Then I thought, why not get some oxtail instead (I love love love oxtail stew – perhaps worthy of another post!).

But there was nary an oxtail in sight.

What’s up with that, Costco?

We already had some rib-eyes in the freezer (yup, also from Costco), so we were looking for something different.

Baby back ribs!

It was a hefty pack of ribs (three racks!) that was shoved into the cart and we dashed out of there before the crowds started surging in.

Now what to do with ribs?

We tried them once on the gas grill. Not really ideal. Too hard to control the temperature. And while they were wrapped in foil, they were a little too dry.

So it was off to the oven, after some hours of marinating in the fridge. I went with an Asian-style marinade, with fish sauce, oyster sauce soya sauce, sesame oil, and various other things I could find like some plum sauce, honey, ground coriander, then with white pepper, bay leaves star anise, pounded garlic and ginger scattered around. Didn’t really follow a recipe, just kept chucking stuff into the bowl and mixing it and tasting until it seemed ok.

Didn’t quite account for that much meat though, so I would up the salt and spices more the next time.

The ribs sat in the marinade for about 5-6 hours, although I think they could’ve done with an overnight marinade.

Then into a 350F oven, roasting pan covered with foil, for about 2 hours. I’ve read about cooking it at really low temps (200+ F?) for several hours, but didn’t quite have the time to do that!

The result: juicy and moist, nearly fall-off-the-bone ribs (and here I have to thank Costco for removing the membrane!), but with not quite enough taste.

What then?

Into a small saucepan went:

– about 1/2 cup of ketchup,
– some splashes red wine vinegar (the only vinegar at hand, other recipes use cider vinegar which might be better)
– about 1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar (to taste)
– a quick grinding of salt and black pepper
– a splash of fish sauce
– various spices around the kitchen like some smoked paprika, all-spice, cinnamon

Not really a typical BBQ sauce I know, I did warn you that it would be laughable! But it was tasty, with a nice tang, and took less than five minutes. And I would make it again, although maybe with a splash of hot sauce
(Serious Eats has a list of many more types of home-made BBQ sauce)

Serve with a baguette and some oven-roasted broccoli (toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and minced garlic, pop onto a lined cookie sheet and into the oven for I don’t know, ten minutes or until it’s a little brown and crispy).




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