"These ribs were tender with a richness of flavors from the beer, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, and chilies in the braise."
Although grilling is most definitely a year-round practice in my household, when the cold and dark arrive, my time grill-side deeply diminishes—but my cravings don't. So I'm always looking for ways to bring my favorite foods indoors.
When it comes to ribs, once smoking low-and-slow is out of the equation, I have no problem toying with different cooking methods. For indoor ribs, I've become fond of a braise-then-broil approach. This week I had the perfect super-sub-zero day to try out a Mark Bittman recipe I've had my eye on for a while. You sear the rack stove-top, then braise it in a porter, then finish them under the broiler.
"A totally different animal than their smoked, summer counterpart"
The wintry aromas emanating from the braising ribs had my mouth watering, deeply anticipating the first bite, which did not disappoint. A totally different animal than their smoked, summer counterpart, these ribs were tender with a richness of flavors from the beer, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, and chilies in the braise.
They were the perfect comfort food for that bitterly cold day, and even better because I got to keep nice and warm inside the entire time.
Indoor Beer-Braised Ribs
Adapted from Mark Bittman.
- 1 rack pork loin back ribs, around 3 pounds
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 10 allspice berries
- 2 or 3 3-inch cinnamon sticks
- 10 nickel-sized slices unpeeled fresh ginger or 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 5 dried red chilies or a teaspoon of cayenne
- 5 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
- 1 bottle dark beer, like Guinness or any porter
Preheat oven to 300°F. Remove the membrane from the bottom side of the ribs and split the rack into two. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Put oil in a large, deep ovenproof skillet or casserole that can later be covered. Turn heat to medium-high and, when oil shimmers, sear meat on both sides until nicely browned, turning as necessary.
Add allspice, cinnamon, ginger, chilies and garlic and stir; add beer. Bring to a boil; cover pan and adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Put in oven and cook until meat is tender, about 1 hour.
Heat broiler. Drain meat and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Broil on both sides until brown and crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes. Meanwhile, skim cooking liquid of fat, bring to a boil, and use as sauce.