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Pork Ribs with Orange Glaze

June 15, 2010

Preparing ribs is a departure from the norm for me.  In fact, it’s safe to say that the first and last time I cooked ribs was at least five years ago.  No good reason, really.  I love pork; it’s just never become my habit to buy a rack and cook it.  My experience, therefore, is minimal at best but I have a recipe from Food & Wine Magazine to thank for a successful second attempt.

Would you laugh if I told you that until this weekend I didn’t know the difference between spare ribs and baby back or pork ribs?  I had to request the assistance of the kind gentleman at the meat counter to make sure I brought home the correct parts for my recipe.  That embarrassing moment out of the way, I went home to prepare the ribs and hoped my version would turn out at least half as beautifully as the one pictured in my Food & Wine cookbook.  Sadly, with my house in shambles from the interior work going on all week, my little “studio” was dismantled and these pictures were all I could salvage.  At least this time I actually had an excuse for not-so-good pictures.  Onward.

The marinade/glaze piqued my interest with its interesting combination of ingredients:  white wine, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, orange marmalade, orange juice, orange zest.  While some of the ingredients struck me as traditional rib accompaniments, the white wine, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, and the heavy infusion of orange screamed, “Try me!”

And I did.  The three layers of orange flavor mingling with the wine and herbs was a magic combination.  If I describe these ribs as delicate-tasting would that be an oxymoron?  The words I typically hear to describe ribs are sweet, rich, heavy.  These ribs were fruity, subtle, light–definitely not cloyingly sweet.  The wine, detectable in the glaze, imparted just a little refinement to a normally casual dish.  Eating them, however, remained a messy, bone-gnawing affair.

I had to omit the sun-dried tomatoes for I didn’t realize I was out of them so the tomato component that was intended for this recipe was made considerably weaker.  I also had to use my outdoor grill instead of the 2-hour baking time that was originally required, but we opted to see a movie at the last minute so the latter option wouldn’t work.  After a long morning bike ride and a commitment to not snack, we were hungry!

The results were very good.  Grilling the ribs brought dinner to the table faster and the six hours of marination allowed ample time for the pork to be infused with the marvelous flavors.  Next time, I’ll marinate the ribs overnight and prepare them in the oven to see if this yields even more flavorful results.  I would imagine that basting with the glaze over a two-hour period will contribute to more depth and complexity in the glaze.  Still, the quick-grill method was a welcome alternative.

Pork Ribs with Orange Glaze

Click here to find the recipe as published by Food & Wine magazine.  My notes below:

  • The only omission in my version was the sun-dried tomatoes (I ran out)
  • When it came time to boil the marinade (Step 2 of the F&W instructions), I added 1 tablespoon of honey just to add a subtle sweetness to the glaze.
  • Since I didn’t have time to bake the ribs in the oven for two hours, I used my outdoor grill but I kept the temperature close to that recommended for the oven, between 375º and 400º F.
  • I basted the ribs a few times while they cooked.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2010 9:59 AM

    Oh my goodness…how I miss ribs! Being a vegetarian is normally very easy, but seeing this pictures…I’m craving a rack! This glaze looks incredible, and I think I’ll give it a try on some grilled tofu (which of course, won’t be the same). Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  2. June 15, 2010 11:49 AM

    That looks really, really, really good. I can’t wait to try this.

  3. June 15, 2010 2:11 PM

    I love ribs! I like to tearing the meat from the bone 🙂
    This looks sooooooo good. I like it’s a bit burned and yours are just perfect.

  4. June 15, 2010 3:01 PM

    I love ribs and we try not to eat them often, but I will have to try this recipe next time we do.

  5. June 15, 2010 5:51 PM

    Now the combination of the anchovies and orange marmalade really does interest me – the salt and the sweet – something I always love. Good luck with the housekeeping. I just give up after a while!

  6. June 15, 2010 5:57 PM

    Hi Jean, Your ribs look good! Great recipe to share before Father’s Day, I’m sure these would be a delicious addition to a family celebration!

  7. June 15, 2010 6:36 PM

    my wife loves ribs…these look incredible!! What a great job you did with these ribs!

  8. June 15, 2010 9:51 PM

    Man I love piggy, and these ribs are decadent with the orange glaze!! You’re makin my mouth water!

  9. June 15, 2010 10:09 PM

    Oh how beautiful those ribs are! I love orange mixed with porks, they are two great matching combo. You did a great job grilling, grilled outside but moist from the inside!

  10. June 15, 2010 11:48 PM

    Don’t feel bad, I can’t tell the difference between the different types of ribs, all I know is they are gooood. Sinfully good. Yours look awesome!

    By the way, I left you an award on my blog. 🙂

  11. June 16, 2010 12:02 AM

    Well, they look marvelously perfect, experienced or not! I love the sounds of the orange glaze. I will definitely give that a try! Beautiful photos!

  12. June 16, 2010 1:42 AM

    We love ribs here at our house, and I have to agree with Claudia that the combination of anchovies and orange marmalade is very intriguing! Looks delicious – I’ll have these for breakfast any day 🙂

  13. June 16, 2010 4:21 AM

    i LOVE pork ribs! they look great!
    ps: i think your photos turned out great even they r just shot in your little studio 🙂

  14. June 16, 2010 7:02 AM

    Oh my….This ribs looks so tasty! I must try this some time.

  15. June 16, 2010 9:39 PM

    Oh boy!!! Those look GOOD!!!

  16. June 16, 2010 10:44 PM

    I absolutely love BBQ ribs! The glaze and adjustments you made I think are spot on. This is a must try, especially with BBQ weather here now.

  17. June 17, 2010 7:12 AM

    Thanks, everyone! I was very happy to find this recipe. It will be used again, for sure!

  18. June 17, 2010 9:37 AM

    yes i hear it screaming “try me” too.. first off, it’s the inclusion of anchovies , second it’s your description: “The three layers of orange flavor mingling with the wine and herbs was a magic combination” that got me.

    … and Jean you’re not alone, considering the foodie that I am, I still can’t tell which one is baby back or otherwise… I’m glad there are labels for me to read haha.



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