These ribs were the best that V. and Vanja have ever eaten. That is a Sous Vide Supreme and A Canadian Foodie victory!
These are definitely fall-off-the-bone tender ribs. V. and Vanja said that these were the best ribs they had ever eaten in their lives. I will say that I have made some pretty mean ribs and was actually surprised by their exuberance. But, they were both spontaneously genuine and it was apparent by watching them tear into them that these ribs were special. So special, in fact, that I have no close-up photo of the meat as it is cut into. It is unusual for both of these men to agree on something so vehemently. When I expressed my concern about the amount of plastic used to vacuum pack food for sous vide cooking, each had an immediate response to calm my social conscience. That was also truly surprising.
This is the first time I started to feel that wanting feeling… I had marvelled over what this machine was capable of the past few days reviewing it and using it; now I am feeling that wanting feeling…
I started by cutting the ribs into portions with three ribs in each, and brining the ribs in a 7% salt and 3% sugar solution for 24 hours in the fridge. Just before they were rinsed and patted dry to receive the rub, I mixed up a batch of it. I have never made a rub before. I am surprised, too. I investigated many rub recipes and then adapted the one from Douglas Baldwin according to my readings.
I started with 3 tablespoons of fresh paprika. I bring it back with me from a little independent spice store in Belgrade every year. They pack it in a paper bag for me, and by the time I am home, the bag is transluscent with the oils from the freshness of this lovely sweet paprika. I have found none other as good anywhere. I then added 3 tablespoons of ancho chile powder made by grinding dried ancho chiles in my Thermomix. I love the deep flavour of this dried chile. Garlic powder (as fresh garlic develops an off putting flavour when cooking sous vide, according to Douglas Baldwin), a small portion of cumin seeds, basil leaves, a bit of brown and white sugar, and the addition of salt and pepper rounded out the rub. The recipe follows.
With the ribs well rinsed and patted dry, I pushed each into the rub, and it coated the ribs beautifully. I was impressed.
Each was vacuum packed into individual bags. The colour of the rub intensified as the moisture from the meat dissolved it.
I was excited before they even went into the water bath. They looked really gorgeous. Beavie was cheering me on from his seat of honour on the window shelf in the kitchen.
This time I changed the position of the racks. These were put into the water at 155ÂºF for 24 hours. When the time was up, they were put into an ice bath of 50% ice (at least) to 50%, or less, of water to cool quickly, then placed in the fridge for dinner that evening.
They just out of the vacuum bags after being chilled and just before cooking. Beautiful colour, and the gel was so flavourful. I saved it for a sauce.
I heated the barbeque to its highest temperature (over 700ÂºF) with the lid down, and then seared the ribs for about 1 minutes, or less, on each side.
Before I seared the ribs, I roasted the gorgeous sweet peppers, and the asparagus from Edgar’s Farms, and the onions from Kulman’s. I was also roasting Greens Eggs & Hams red potatoes in the oven (450ÂºF with olive oil and garlic, turned at 10 minutes, and roasted for 20 minutes). This was truly the first nice weekend day we have had all season. I think there was one two or three months ago, but I wasn’t ready for it then. I have been very eager to grill during a weekend!
The onions received praise, too, as they were an unexpected treat on the grilled veggie platter.
The salad included Greens Eggs & Hams Greens (yes, they cost more, but are hand washed and last a long time in the fridge), Sundog Farm’s pea tendrils, toasted spiced walnuts and my garden chives with an oil and vinegar dressing. Simple, fresh, and full of crisp Spring flavours.
An incredibly simple meal to prepare, yet one that was definitely a tribute to the grilling season which has finally begun here! Let’s hope the rain happens only during the week from now on!
Dry Barbecue Rub Recipe (for sous vide BBQ ribs)
- 3 T paprika
- 3 T garlic powder
- 3 T ancho chile
- 2 T white sugar
- 2 T brown sugar
- 2 T salt
- lots of pepper
- 1 T cumn seeds
- 3 T basil
- Mix all of the above together in a large bowl; store remainder in a zip lock bag, labelled and dated in the freezer
Sous Vide Barbecue Ribs
- Pork Spare Ribs
- Barbecue Dry Rub
- Cut the ribs into portions which will fit in the vacuum pouches ( 3-4 ribs per piece); brine ribs in a 7-10% salt, 0-3% sugar water solution (70-100 grams salt and 0-30 grams sugar per 1 liter) in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, well sealed (I chose the higher brine for both salt and sugar)
- Drain, rinse and pat dry with paper towels; generously season each rib with a barbecue spice rub; place each piece of pork in a vacuum pouch and seal
- Place the pork either in a 176°F (80°C) water bath for 8-12 hours or in 155°F (68°C) water bath for 24 hours (I chose the lower temperature and the longer time)
- After cooking, rapidly cool in ice water and freeze or refrigerate at below 38°F (3.3°C) for three to four weeks
- After removing the ribs from the bag, sear the top with a blowtorch (I used the grill)
- Serve immediately with barbecue sauce (I served the ribs as they were, no sauce, just the lovely rub and char from the grill)