“For a restaurant dish, these ribs are remarkably friendly to the home cook, with approximately zero concessions to convenience. Cooked slowly in foil with garlic, rosemary, and lemon, they steam in their own juices, which you later use to make a glaze, refreshed at the last minute with those same aromatics. A dusting of the Japanese spice mixture called shichimi togarashi provides a little heat and even more complexity without any added effort. The flavors are as sophisticated as the process is uncomplicated. If only every restaurant-quality dish were this simple.” —Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski with JJ Goode in their 2018 Beard Award–nominated State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook.
6 to 8 servings
- Two 2 to 2 1/2 pound racks pork spare ribs, preferably St. Louis–cut
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 5 medium garlic cloves; 4 thinly sliced, 1 smashed and peeled
- 2 lemons, top and bottom trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 large rosemary sprig, leaves only, plus 1 small sprig, torn in half
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
On a work surface, lay out a sheet of aluminum foil that is about 4 inches longer than the rib racks, then lay a piece of parchment paper that’s about 3 inches longer than the racks in the center of the foil.
Season the rib racks on both sides with the salt and pepper. Lay one rack, meaty side down, on the parchment paper. Scatter the sliced garlic on the rack, tile it with the lemon rounds, and scatter on the rosemary leaves. Lay the other rack, meaty side up, on top of the first rack.
Wrap the racks snugly in the parchment, tucking the short sides under to create a neat package. Next, do the same with the aluminum foil, sealing the edges well to make sure no steam or juices escape during the cooking process.
Put the foil package on a baking sheet and bake until the meat is very tender but not falling off the bone, about 2 hours, rotating once halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the ribs rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Open the package and scrape out and discard the lemon, garlic, and rosemary. Carefully transfer the racks to a cutting board and cut into the individual ribs. Pour the juices from the package into a small saucepan. Do not skim the fat. Add the smashed garlic and torn rosemary sprig to the saucepan, set it over high heat, and bring to a simmer.
In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually pour the cornstarch mixture into the pan, let it come to a boil, and cook, stirring frequently, just until the glaze is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the glaze from the heat. (You can cover and set aside for up to 3 hours. Re-warm in a small saucepan over low heat until it comes to a simmer, then remove from the heat.) Stir in the lemon juice (to taste), season with salt, and then strain the glaze through a fine-mesh sieve into a mixing bowl, discarding the solids.
Prepare a grill (or preheat a grill pan or wide heavy skillet) to cook over high heat. Oil the grill grates (or add enough oil to the grill pan or skillet to very thinly cover the surface). Add the ribs and grill, turning occasionally, until they’re browned all over, 3 to 5 minutes.
As the ribs are browned, brush them generously with the glaze. Transfer the ribs to a platter and sprinkle with the shichimi togarashi and scallions. Serve right away.
Reprinted with permission from State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook by Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski with JJ Goode, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.