Here's some technique. Open-ended, because cooking's no science. There's a lot of cooking time here -- probably three hours -- but there's not that much work to it. You pretty much sit back and smell.
Pigs are fucking inconsiderate
. They grow this unpalatable membrane
on the inside of their ribcages. You need to peel it off, because it's got the texture of cellophane
, and it just hardens when you cook it; you will
notice it against your gums
Turn your ribs meat-side down, so you're looking at the bones. The membrane's going to be clearly visible -- it's the slick, shiny layer. Take a pointy knife
and wedge it in between membrane and bone. Lever
the stuff up off the bone a bit. Then pinch it with some paper towel
, and carefully peel it off. (The paper towel's so it doesn't slip your grip. Do not
attempt this procedure without a proper grade of paper towel!)
You want to work a dry rub
into this meat. A bunch of powdered spices so you can, well, spice it up. The following list is illustrative only, because you might have spicing skills far past my ken. If not, you can ride my coattails with some of these:
Ground ancho or chipotle chiles
You might as well make a lot of rub, because some will inevitably fall off, and the flavor is going to mellow plenty during cooking, too. A level tablespoon
for every chunk of ribs the size of your palm -- call that ample.
Rub it viciously into the meat. Imagine you're massaging
a hated enemy. Then stow all the ribs in the fridge, so they can sit and mingle. That takes a day. But take them out after four hours and pretend it's been a day.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Easy.
Put a rack
on a roasting pan
. Put the ribs
on the rack. Put it all in the 300° oven. Cook it for 30 minutes or so. The idea's to dry their outsides a bit, which makes sure the dry rub's
going to stick during the next step.
You want to wrap the ribs in tinfoil
packages with something moist and toothsome
, then keep cooking them. The idea's that they steam
inside the packages whilst assimilating the flavors of the steaming agents. Here's some stuff that works good. Mix and match according to your muse, just make sure it's not too dry. (i.e.
you need to combine the garlic
with wet somethings.)
Thinly sliced ginger
Sliced or pulped tomatoes
Juice (apple? cranberry? guava?)
So lay out sheets of tinfoil, put the partially-cooked ribs on them, add the wet stuff, fold the tinfoil up and around so it's all sealed, and put it back on the rack. Keep cooking at 300°.
This is the main stage of cooking -- you want to keep going until the meat's got the right texture. It depends on how thick the ribs are, but probably check them after 90 minutes, and every 30 minutes or so after that. They're ready when you could pull the meat off the bone without much effort.
Take the ribs out of the foil packages. Drain off whatever liquid's left, and get rid of any solid stuff you put in with them (onions
, you know...) -- you could feed the onions to a dog
, because dogs aren't smart like us.
Turn the oven up to 400°.
Brush the ribs with your choice of sauce or glaze. Barbecue sauce
would be the obvious choice here. Hoisin sauce
also works. So does teriyaki
Put them in the oven. Take them out after five minutes or so. Brush more sauce on them, and put them back in. Take them out after another five minutes.
With your hands