By Our Chef, Phillip Schaaf
I spent the last few days walking around the streets of New Orleans, one of my favorite cities I have had the luxury to visit. NOLA is arguably one of the greatest food cities in the world, with a rich cultural DNA comprised of cuisines from all over the world. This cultural mashup is the backdrop for some amazing flavor, the smells which waft down the sidewalks; roasting garlic, fresh french bread, worcestershire, rice, and so much more.
New Orleans is an inspiring city, and the experience has inspired this recipe for baby back ribs. There is no real BBQ identity in New Orleans. There are several restaurants that serve New Orleans BBQ shrimp, and the sauce is unique to the city. It is comprised of just a few ingredients, garlic, lemon, worcestershire and butter. We are going to use all of those flavors in this recipe for baby back ribs.
This is a three part recipe but it isn’t very difficult to get bold flavors from just a few ingredients. The ribs will first be braised on the stove top and then seared at high heat. We will use the braising liquid to build our sauce, which will be a bit of a variant of traditional NOLA BBQ sauce.
What You'll Need
Fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt
For the braising liquid/sauce:
2 Tbsp oil or lard
1 small white onion, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
½ C white wine
2 C of pilsner or lager style beer
½ C worcestershire
Juice of 3 lemons
2 Bay leaves
1 sprig of thyme
1 C of heavy cream
2 Tbs of butter
Fresh chopped parsley and chive
Season the ribs about 30 minutes before cooking. In a 4-6 qt pot, heat the oil or lard to the smoke point and sear the ribs meat side down. Remove the ribs from the pan and then add the onion. Sweat the onion for about a minute or two until they become translucent. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook for a minute. Add the beer, worcestershire, herbs and lemon juice and then add the ribs back to the pan. Simmer the ribs on the stove top until they are tender. This will take about an hour and a half. Once they reach the desired tenderness, remove them from the pan and set aside. Once they cool for a bit, cut them into sections of two bones each.
Turn the heat up on the braising liquid and reduce until it is thick and syrupy. It will look a bit like molasses. Once the sauce is reduced, it is time to sear the ribs and finish the sauce. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp of oil or bacon fat and sear the ribs to heat them through and get a nice crispy brown exterior.
Add the cream to the sauce and whisk in the butter. Spoon the sauce over the crispy ribs and sprinkle with the fresh chopped herbs.
Serve hot and enjoy!