The unofficial start to summer is just a week away with Memorial Day right around the corner, and I’m excited because summer gives me free rein to eat a lot of BBQ and grilled items, even if I don’t own a grill.
This recipe for honey hoisin glazed spare ribs is the last in my recipe development for the Napa Grass Farmer. They supplied me with the beautiful, fresh, natural meats and I came up with recipes for their CSA-box subscribers. For my lastest recipe, I used the farm’s St. Louis-style spare ribs. I learned that St. Louis-style spare ribs are meatier and fattier than typical loin-back ribs (although loin-back and the shorter baby back ribs are more tender).
I made this simple recipe with my typical Asian twist, using a honey hoisin glaze with a bit of lime juice to finish the ribs. The trick to cooking these ribs is low and slow, so a really low heat for more than three hours or more. Because I don’t have a grill like I mentioned earlier, these ribs are made in the oven. But you can do it in a smoker if you can control the heat to maintain it at 250 degrees for the entire time the ribs are cooking.
I certainly got my fill of BBQ ribs with this platter of meat, but I’m sure it won’t be the last in the next few months. Bring on summer!
Honey Hoisin Glazed Spare Ribs
Makes 3 to 4 servings
1 rack of St. Louis-style spareribs (about 2 to 2.5 lbs.)
½ cup light brown sugar
1 T smoked paprika
1 t ground mustard
1 t ground fennel powder
1 t salt
3 T honey
1 T hoisin sauce
2 t fish sauce
Juice from 1 lime
Prepare ribs overnight
Create a spice rub combining the brown sugar, smoked paprika, mustard and fennel powder. Rub all over your spareribs and place on baking sheet (you may need to cut your rack into two pieces to fit your tray) and then place in refrigerator overnight or at least eight hours.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Prepare glaze by combining honey, hoisin sauce, fish sauce and lime juice in a small bowl.
When ready to cook, place spareribs bone side down on a rack and roasting tray and place in oven. Cook for 3 to 3.5 hours until meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Apply glaze to the ribs when almost done (after about 2.5 hours); do a second baste a half hour later.
Note: Watch your ribs near the end. If it starts to look dark, cover with an aluminum foil to keep from burning.
Remove from oven and let cool before cutting and serving. Pair with potato salad or cole slaw.
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