Friday, January 13, 2012

Pressure Cooker Spare Ribs

I got a couple of pounds of spare ribs from the pig we bought from our CSA. Ribs are usually a summertime thing but I could not bear to make these wait in the freezer that long. I pulled them out to thaw earlier in the week without a clear plan beyond, "I'll grill them up this weekend." However, winter finally showed up and the idea of grilling ribs slow and low in the freezing cold was not going to be a good idea. I started to do some research for recipes and stumbled upon this one. I followed the method pretty closely with a few variations.

I also made my own BBQ sauce right along with the ribs but you could certainly add a bottled sauce like the linked recipe.

For the Ribs
2 Lb Spare ribs, cut into 3 rib sections
kosher salt
black pepper
olive oil

For the Sauce: from my favorite BBQ cookbook  BBQ USA: 425 Fiery Recipes from All Across America 

3 cups Ketchup
2/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 yellow mustard
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
6 very thin slices of lemon seeded and finely diced
1 small onion, minced
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne

Salt and pepper both sides of the ribs and let them come to room temperature while you prepare the ingredients for the sauce. 
Heat some olive oil in a pan large enough to fit all of the ribs. Once the oil is hot sear the ribs on both sides. 3-4 minutes per side or so.
While the ribs are searing, heat some olive oil in the bottom of your pressure cooker. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and saute for a couple of minutes. Once the onions are soft and starting to brown add the rest of the ingredients.
By this time the ribs should be nicely browned, add them to the pressure cooker and bring the sauce up to a simmer. 

Clamp on the pressure cooker lid and bring it up to full steam. Reduce the heat as low as you can, while still keeping the pressure up,  so it doesn't scorch. The recipe calls for cooking it for 15 minutes at pressure and then letting them sit until you can open the lid. I actually found that they were a little overcooked following that time. Not bad by any measure but a bit overcooked. I would recommend either cooking for 10 minutes and sitting until the lid is ready to come off or cook for the full 15, let it sit for 5 minutes or so and run the pot under cold water to open the lid. The sauce is now fully incorporated and flavored and the ribs should be fully cooked and very tender


Remove the ribs from the sauce and set on a baking sheet, bring the heat back up on the sauce and let it continue simmering while you get the broiler started. Brush the ribs with the sauce on one side, and broil them for 5 minutes until the sauce caramelizes and you have a nice brown color. Keep the sauce simmering as you broil the ribs so it continues to reduce. Pull the ribs out from the broiler, flip and brush sauce on the other side. Kill the heat on  the sauce it should be thickened by now. Broil on the other side for another 5 minutes.


I somehow screwed up the last picture of the nicely browned ribs from the broiler, you will have to trust me, they were delicious looking. Serve with more of the sauce if desired.

While they lacked some of the delicious crust you get with slow grilled ribs, they were exceptionally tender and the sauce was very rich and flavorful. If you have a pressure cooker I would recommend you give these a try.

3 comments:

A Beer for the Shower said...

Love this recipe. I'll have to try your BBQ sauce. Personally, I like to make mine in a slow cooker and let them cook on low heat for about 8 hours. When they're done, they're so tender they fall off the bone.

Jira said...

This looks fantastic!! I'm adding you as a favorite and will begin searching for all the food I can eat. :)

Mark said...

Always happy to have new folks viewing Jira, thanks for the comment.