Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Oven Barbecue

I remember once when I was a kid being invited to dinner at a friend's house. I peeked in the oven to see what I was told was a family favorite -- baked chicken coated with a thick glop of blueberry jam. I don't remember if I stayed or if I even tasted that bird but I do remember my pre-teen horror starring into that sticky, thick, sweet, very blue glaze.
Years later I spied a recipe for sticky ribs that despite my reaction to that chicken seemed worth trying. The recipe, from Mogridder's BBQ truck in the Bronx (hardly a BBQ hotspot), glazes oven baked spare ribs with a coating of peach (or apricot) jam combined with ketchup, pan drippings, and lemon juice. James loves it. But because we grow apples and always have more than I know what to do with (not to mention our generous neighbors with the apple orchard) and because I enter my preserves in the county fair (we also have more jellies and jams than I know what to do with) . . . when I make these sticky ribs I use one of my many varieties of apple jelly.
First I season the whole racks with salt, pepper and granulated garlic and lay the ribs out on a baking tray. I sprinkle in about a dozen whole cloves and pour over one bottle of lager. Wrapped tightly in aluminum foil the ribs bake for 2 hours at 300 degrees until super tender. When the ribs are cooked I pour the pan drippings, 1 cup of ketchup, about 3 TB lemon juice and 1 cup of apple jelly into a saucepan along with -- when I am feeling sassy -- a dollop of siracha or hot sauce. I let the glaze cook down for about 20 minutes until thick. First I brush glaze on the boney side of the ribs and pop the tray under the broiler for 7 minutes. Then I flip the ribs to the meaty side and paint with half of the remaining glaze. After 10 minutes under the broiler (until just beginning to char) I brush on the rest of the glaze and let the ribs broil for another ten minutes, just until browned. Let the ribs rest a good ten minutes or so before serving.
A great summer recipe for guests the ribs can be baked off and the glaze prepared early in the day leaving a quick finish (and your jelly secret safe) for dinnertime.

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