I had the opportunity to enter a recipe competition sponsored by New Belgium Brewing. I figured I’d give it a shot and see if I was one of the lucky ones that would be chosen. I checked out their website and found out that the only beer I was familiar with was Fat Tire. I was blown away with choices and styles of beer I just wanted to do a marathon tasting of all of them, but, alas that was not possible. The next best thing was to see if I’d be able to find a location that carried all their beers, well no such luck. At least not around me. So I went to the local BevMo and worked with their selection. I picked out 3 for my recipe.
Their Enlightened Black Ale 1554, the Ranger IPA and their Organic wheat beer Mothership Wit. I knew the IPA would have a bit of a bitter flavor and that the 1554 would be more coffee/chocolate like. After reading the description on the bottle I knew it would work well for the flavors that I was thinking of. The Wheat beer I thought would be a good pairing for my recipe because of it’s citrus and sour flavors that would balance with the deep rich spice, cocoa and sweet flavor of the ribs. I decided on beer braised spare ribs and with a beer reduction sauce. I got some wonderful meaty spare ribs and then began my process.
1 Rack of Spare ribs about 3 pounds
24 oz Ranger IPA
24 oz 1554
2 generous Tblsp Cocoa Powder
1 Tblsp ground Cinnamon
1 C brown Sugar – 3/4 for liquid and 1/4 to adjust sauce if needed
1 tsp ground Cumin
1tsp chili flakes or 1/2 tsp for less spice
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 medium onion diced
8 large cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 6oz can of tomato paste
Begin by combining all the dry ingredients in a
large bowl and mix well so there are no large chunks of brown sugar, then add chopped onion and garlic salt & pepper at least 1 Tblsp each. Add in beer and mix ingredients well. Lightly trim some fat from the ribs and place in large baking pan bone side up. You may need to cut the rack into 2 or 3 sections to fit in your baking pan. Pour in marinade and make sure the ribs are mostly covered. Cover pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours overnight would be better.
After marinating is finished remove from refrigerator
and remove cover. Turn ribs meat side up and season with salt & pepper then cover with aluminum foil and put on middle rack in 275º oven for about 4 hours. Check the ribs after 3.5 hrs to see how they are cooking. The meat should be tender when they are done. Times may vary depending on your oven.
Once they are finished remove racks and let stand. If you will be serving them immediately then cover with aluminum foil till you are ready. Pour the braising liquid from the baking pan into a sauce pan through a sieve. If you want to use
cheesecloth in the sieve or strainer that would be even better. The finer the stainer the better. Add the can of tomato paste and whisk it into the braising liquid. Put burner on high and bring to a boil let the sauce boil till it is reduced by half to 2/3. When it gets close to half reduction taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and if needed some more brown sugar.
When the sauce is finished place ribs under the broiler or on a hot grill to warm and caramelize the meat. Then brush with sauce and place back under the broiler or on the grill to get the final char. It’s all about personal preference at that point.
When done slice ribs along the bone to separate into individual ribs and serve with sauce.
I paired the ribs with the Mothership Wit beer and it went perfectly with them. Also you can serve with asian slaw and
mashed potatoes or mac and cheese or roasted/grilled vegetables.
All I can say is these ribs are tender and super tasty. The sauce is rich with many flavor layers sweet, a bit spicy, and chocolate caramel from the beer and a slight tang. One word describes it best… Amazing!