I have had a really lovely weekend so far, and because I am lucky enough to not have to go to work today, it’s not over, yet! Friday night, Kramer and I went out with some friends to a restaurant called ‘inoteca. It was absolutely delicious and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new place to try (if you haven’t been there, already). The meatballs were out of this world, and we had a fantastic bruschetta sampling platter that I probably could have eaten all on my own. Kramer actually enjoyed the eggplant lasagna the most, though, which I was really happy to hear because he usually steers clear of eggplant. Good company always makes dinner taste even better, though, doesn’t it? On Saturday, we just relaxed, I made pancakes for breakfast (very special pancakes that I will eventually post the recipe for), and we watched a few movies. Sunday was our friend Morgan’s birthday, so we hung out at his place for a bit, then saw The Green Hornet, followed by dinner at Shake Shack with him and his girlfriend. I honestly cannot say enough good things about The Green Hornet. I was really excited for the movie; I knew it was going to be very well done and very well written. I’m very pleased to report that I was correct in my assumptions. We saw it in 3D, but I really don’t think that it was necessary. It was good to finally see Christoph Waltz again, as he hasn’t had a movie come out since Inglorious Basterds and he is just a phenomenal actor. Poor Kramer had to work this morning, sadly, so I got up with him and made him a big breakfast of pancakes and sausages, packed him a good lunch (with a cupcake surprise), and tried not to be too giddy about having an extra day off. So, here I am! Maybe I’ll try to do a few loads of laundry, but we’ll see.
I actually made these ribs a few months ago, but I completely forgot about the photos and only found them a few days ago. It’s a shame, because these were some really good ribs. I usually do some version of barbecued ribs, but Kramer and I no longer have a grill, and I wanted to try something a little different. Balsamic vinegar caramelizes quite nicely, lending itself beautifully to a ribs recipe. You get the same sticky, finger lickin’ ribs, with more of an adult taste. It’s truly a win-win. These ribs are cooked in the oven with a bit of stock in the bottom of the pan for moisture, but I still kept the main ingredient in all good ribs: brown sugar, and lots of it. Together with the balsamic, and other spices, like ginger, dry mustard, and Chinese five spice powder, these ribs will surely be enjoyed by even the biggest of BBQ connoisseurs. However, if you do not like balsamic vinegar, I would not recommend these to you, because, well, they taste of balsamic vinegar! If you can, I would use a higher quality balsamic for a richer, more in-depth flavor profile, but I used a pretty cheap version and I still loved these ribs. Even Kramer was skeptical of them at first, but upon his first bite, he praised them for how tender they were and how delicious the marinade was. It’s cold outside, so turn on your oven and make some balsamic glazed baby back ribs.
Combine your spices in a bowl, then add in the shallot, garlic, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar.
Marinate your ribs for at least 6 hours, or as long as 24 hours.
Looks like I spaced and didn’t take a photo of the ribs before I cooked them, but in any case, place the ribs in a pan, cover, and bake at 250 degrees F for 3.5-4 hours. Pour 1 cup of stock into the pan and scrape up any browned bits.
Remove the ribs and place them on another baking sheet or plate. Cover with foil and set aside.
Add in the remaining brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and place in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thickened.
When thickened, brush the ribs with the glaze and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until just slightly charred. Brush with more glaze and serve.
- 3-4 racks baby back ribs
- 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons thyme or rosemary, minced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ cup chicken or beef stock
- 1 cup chicken or beef stock
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- Mince your garlic well and place it in a medium bowl along with the minced shallot. Add in the thyme or rosemary, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, Chinese Five Spice, mustard, and ginger in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Rub the marinade over the ribs and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or as long as 24 hours.
- Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees F. Place the ribs in a pan (I used a 9x9 dish). Pour ½ cup of stock into the bottom of the pan, cover, and roast for about 3.5-4 hours, until cooked through. Remove the ribs from the pan, place on another oven-safe plate, and cover tightly with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Add 1 cup of stock to your used pan and scrape up any browned bits. Skim any fat from the top of the juices and pour into a sauce pot. Add ½ cup of balsamic vinegar and ⅓ cup of brown sugar. Bring the juices to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
- Turn your oven up to its highest setting, or turn on the broiler. Brush the ribs with the reduced sauce and broil for 2-3 minutes, until just slightly charred. Brush with a bit more glaze and serve alongside some some crusty bread and vegetables.