J – I really enjoy barbecuing, but living in an apartment makes that just about impossible. Given that, when we got some really good pork short ribs the other week, I have to say I was a little disappointed – only because I couldn’t make them right. However, after looking around, I found some really good recipes and techniques and decided to just bake them instead. First, I made my dry rub following Chef John’s suggestions:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard (I use crushed mustard seeds)
Simply mix the dry ingredients together or adjust as you like – taking out a little paprika/cumin will take some of the kick out of it, and you could substitute a little more sugar (in the same quantity as you took out) to make it a bit sweeter, or maybe add in some ginger for a little more flavor. Up to you. The rub as it is is quite balanced, though, so I might stick with it. The trick is to have about 1/3 salt, 1/3 sugar, and 1/3 spices, and not to mess much with that balance.
Put the ribs onto enough foil in a 9×13 pan such that the foil can cover the ribs entirely – you will want to wrap them up before baking. I put my dry rub into some shakers and coated the ribs evenly on both sides – do not pat! Just sprinkle liberally and let sit at room temp for an hour or two. Otherwise, the rub will clump on the surface of the ribs. The salt will draw out the juices in the ribs and ensure you get a nice even distribution all over the surface, don’t worry.
After the meat has sat for a little while and spices have set in, wrap the ribs up and pop them into a 350 F oven (bone side DOWN!) for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on your oven. During the last 15-20 minutes, unwrap the ribs so that the top is exposed and drizzle 1/4 to 1/2 cup honey on both sides if you can mange – if the ribs are falling apart by now, just the top is fine. Pop them back in the oven to let the honey bake in, and you’re all done!