Cook the Book

Peppery Ribs From 'The Homesick Texan's Family Table'

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[Photograph: Lisa Fain]

Authentic smoked ribs are a challenge for those of us living in small apartments with little outdoor grill space. Blogger Lisa Fain shares this sentiment but refuses to give up barbecue ribs. Instead of worrying about a grill, she builds smoky flavor by using smoked paprika and chipotle chile powder in her ribs recipe in her new cookbook, The Homesick Texan's Family Table. Both spices are rubbed into a couple of racks of pork ribs along with a hefty dose of salt and pepper. After a few hours, she cooks the ribs slowly in their own juices until they're tender. A similarly smoky homemade barbecue sauce gets brushed on towards the end of cooking, and the ribs get a quick trip under the broiler to caramelize before serving.

Why I picked this recipe: Ribs are one of the most enjoyable cuts of pork. Plus, they signal the first signs of summery outdoor dinner potucks.

What worked: These ribs aren't exactly quick fare, but they're a breeze to make.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: If you've got access to a grill or smoker, there's no reason you couldn't use it to cook these ribs. Grill them slowly over indirect heat (using wood chunks if you've got 'em) until they're tender before brushing on sauce and transferring them to the hotter side of the grill.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Homesick Texan's Family Table to give away this week.

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