Monday, January 7, 2013

Sausage Ribs – Deliver A Bone-Jarring Hit to Your Football Food Lineup

Chips and dips may be fine for regular season gridiron action, but when the playoffs roll around, and you need to go that extra yard to score a touchdown with your guests’ taste buds, these Italian sausage-spiced baby back ribs are a proven big game performer. 

If only I could’ve somehow added a few more forced football references into that intro.

Sweet and succulent pork ribs are never a bad addition to the game day buffet, but they can get predictable with the same old rubs and sauces. Here we have all the baby back rib-y goodness you know and love, but with the flavor profile of sweet Italian fennel sausage.

I know a lot of you wrap your ribs in foil for the initial slow/low cooking phase, as do I, but here we’re doing them uncovered to help achieve a slightly chewier, more toothsome texture. These are still quite tender and juicy, but just not too soft, and falling off the bone.

These really did have a wonderful flavor, which was further highlighted by the spicy, sweet, and tangy orange glaze. My only regret was that I didn’t have any hotdog buns around, as I would have pulled out the bones, and served these just like a real sausage sandwich. There’s always a next time.

Anyway, I enjoyed all that rich and fancy holiday feasting as much as anyone, but now all I’m craving is a couch, a cold beer, and a simple plate of ribs…that tastes like sausage. I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 racks of baby back ribs:
2 trimmed racks of baby back pork ribs
For the rub:
1 tbsp fennel seed, crushed fine
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne or to taste
For the glaze (simmer until reduced by half):
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp hot chili sauce or to taste
1 tbsp orange zest

- Bake ribs at 275 degrees F. for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until fork tender.
- Cut, coat with glaze, and finish in a hot 425 degrees F. oven until caramelized.

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