From Cook's Country
To get ribs from the oven that actually have flavor, we found that marinating was key. Plenty of honey goes into our marinade, along with soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, and a pinch of cayenne to balance out the sweetness. After an hour of soaking up flavor, the ribs go into the oven covered, where they steam to tenderness. We boil down the leftover marinade to make a tangy-sweet glaze that we brush on the ribs during the last half-hour of cooking. After the ribs are sliced, a final toss in even more glaze gives us a thick, perfectly lacquered coating.
Cutting the racks into thirds allows them to fit into the plastic bags to marinate. The used marinade is boiled and transformed into a glaze for the ribs.
- 2 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) racks baby back ribs, trimmed, membranes removed, each rack cut into 3 equal pieces
- 1 cup honey
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 4 scallions, white parts minced, green parts sliced thin
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Divide ribs between two 1-gallon zipper-lock bags. Whisk honey, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, scallion whites, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne together in bowl. Divide marinade between bags, seal, and turn to coat ribs evenly with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, turning bags occasionally.
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set wire rack in sheet. Add enough warm tap water to cover entire bottom of sheet (about 2 cups). Transfer ribs, meaty side up, to prepared wire rack; reserve marinade in refrigerator. Tent ribs loosely with foil and bake for 1¼ hours. Uncover ribs and continue cooking until just tender, about 1 hour longer.
3. Bring reserved marinade to boil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook until thickened to glaze consistency, about 5 minutes. Brush ribs with 1/3 cup glaze, return to oven, and continue to cook until glaze begins to bubble and ribs are brown, 15 to 30 minutes. Transfer ribs to cutting board (leave hot water and sheet in oven to cool), tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. Cut ribs between bones, add to Dutch oven, and toss to coat with remaining glaze. Transfer to platter and sprinkle with scallion greens and ½ teaspoon salt. Serve.
Test Kitchen Tip: Use a Big Pot to Avoid Scary Boilovers
It’s important to use a Dutch oven when you boil the marinade to turn it into the glaze and a sauce: The honey mixture will boil up and in a smaller pot could be a dangerous mess. The roomy Dutch oven also allows you to toss in the ribs at the end to coat.
Test Kitchen Technique: One Mixture, Three Uses
MARINADE: We marinate the ribs in the honey–soy sauce mixture, giving them deep flavor.
GLAZE: After boiling and concentrating the honey mixture, we use it to glaze the ribs.
SAUCE: We toss the individual ribs in the honey mixture to sauce them on all sides.