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Ribs. Definitely in my Top 10 favorite foods, so it only serves justice that I learned how to make them the right way. There are tons of variations but my goal was to be able to make them without the benefit of a grill or smoker (kind of a tough thing to have in NYC). And when I say make them, I mean "fall off the bone, juicy, sweet and tangy all at once."

Recipe Card (PDF)So here it is - my basic recipe for really good ribs.  Be forewarned, you have to be patient...good ribs will take a long time to make, so in the meantime, prep some Watermelon Agua Fresca and some german potato salad and chill out.

Balsamic Brown Sugar Ribs, Manhattan Style

10-16 lbs pork ribs (baby back or not, but make sure they are fatty)

The sauce
3/4 C balsamic vinegar
3/4 C brown sugar
3/4 C ketchup (yea, ketchup)
2 smashed & chopped garlic cloves

1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

The rub
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

Turn the oven on high broil and put the rack 2nd or 3rd down.

In a bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, ketchup, garlic cloves and first set of the dry ingredients.  Set in fridge. In a small bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients.

Use a roasting pan lined with parchment or foil - it will get messy.  Now prep the ribs. I cut them into 3-rib segments and then cut a 1" slit up between each rib. Rub them down completely with the dry ingredients then lace them curve down (inside of the rib facing up) into the pan.

Put into the oven and broil for 3 minutes, then turn over curve side up for 3 minutes.  This will help sear the meat. Remove them from the oven. Turn the broiler off and put the oven at 230 degrees (and let it cool to that temperature). Put the ribs back in and let them roast for 1 hour.  Cover the top with a loose foil tent and cook for another hour.

Remove the pan and raise the temperature to 270 degrees, turn them over and sauce the inner part of the rib with 1/3 of the sauce.  It is likely there will be juices (oily juices from the fat) in the pan.  Leave that in there.  Put back into the oven for 20 minutes.  Remove, turn over, sauce with another 1/3 and put back in for another 20.  As a final touch, add a small drizzle of sauce and put them under a broiler until just starting to caramelize.

Cut through between each rib almost entirely but serve the mess of them plated in groups. Now let the eating begin!

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