If I had made this recipe in say, March of this year, I probably wouldn't have even considered that title for this post. But that's what happens in December. You start thinking in superlatives and lists. Top ten! Best of the year! 2009 favorites! But the fact is, it is December and these ribs are just that good. We had spareribs from the CSA and while barbecue is the obvious choice, I really haven't found a sauce I love. I was digging around online for a non-barbecue recipe and boy did I score. The best taste I've had in recent months, if not all year. AND I overcooked them. I can only imagine their perfection when well-cooked. Okay, enough of the hype. Here it is:
Tuscan-Style Spareribs with Balsamic Glaze
Adapted from Food & Wine, November 2004
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped sage
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
6 pounds pork spareribs
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, preferably one aged for at least 5 years
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, rosemary, kosher salt, fennel, black pepper, sage, thyme, paprika, crushed red pepper, coriander and allspice. Rub the spice paste all over the spareribs and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Arrange the ribs on a large, rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan, meaty side up. Roast the ribs for 2 hours, or until tender.
- Preheat the broiler. Brush the meaty side of the ribs with the balsamic vinegar and broil 6 inches from the heat until browned, about 2 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut between the ribs and serve.