Boil-n-Bake Baby Back Ribs – Crime Against Nature, Or Just Guilty of Being Delicious?

Here’s what I know: I took some baby back ribs, simmered them for an hour in a flavorful liquid, glazed them in sauce, roasted them in the oven for about half an hour, and they looked and tasted really good. I also know these boil-n-bake baby back ribs would be great at any party, preferably a Super Bowl party (during which the Giants win the game).

Here’s what I don’t know: Why so many people will lose their minds over the fact that I boiled these ribs. They’ll say it’s a crime against nature, and that these are just not the same as baby backs slowly roasted over smoky coals for hours and hours. Well, duh.

These aren’t meant to replace, or even compete with, a traditionally barbecued version. This is simply a fast and tasty alternative method for having a nice stack of ribs appear on your snack table. Seriously, what’s the problem?

This is one of those recipes where I don’t want or expect you to use the same stuff I did. This is more about the quick and dirty method than any specific ingredients. I would make sure the simmering liquid is very well salted, and have a decent amount of acid and spice, but other than that, anything goes.

As far as the glaze, I just threw a bunch of stuff in a mixing bowl, in a sort of stream of saucy consciousness, but very much enjoyed the results. Chinese 5-spice is wonderful with pork, and created a beautifully aromatic base for the sweet, sour, and spicy sauce.

By the way, if it looks like I was a little short on sauce, I was, but made a little more while they were roasting, and it was fine. The amounts below will give you plenty for a rack of baby back ribs. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

1 slab baby back ribs
2 1/2 quarts cold water
1/2 cup rice vinegar
6 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbsp kosher salt (less if using fine salt)
1 tbsp Chinese 5-spice
1 tsp red chili flakes
2 bay leaves

For the glaze:
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp ketchup
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp sambal chili paste, or to taste
1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice