The question of whether people like their barbecued spare ribs slathered in a spicy barbecue sauce or whether they like their ribs dry roasted with a slightly crispy crust is still up in the air. Having had ribs both ways, I favor the dry version. There’s just so much more flavor there. Especially when you add smoky spices, which I did in Oven Smoked Dry Ribs.
Oven Smoked Dry Ribs
I first had dry ribs at P.F. Chang’s with their version of Northern Ribs. Fabulous taste in those ribs with Five Spice flavoring. I do have to say that PF Chang’s is a great restaurant with top notch service, but I can’t go there very often. The food is wonderful, but the calories, fat and sodium of my favorite dishes is far too high, like the Northern Ribs. When I checked on their nutrition, the calories come in at a whopping 1130 per serving. And then there’s the fat of 63 grams. But my real showstopper is 6360 mg. of sodium. Whoa!
So, I went back to the kitchen to see how I can make Dry Ribs a whole lot healthier without missing the flavor. When coming up for a Blend of spices for the dry rub, I wanted something like Five Spice, with its cinnamon and clove flavor. But at the same time I didn’t want the sweetness of the star anise and Fennel in the Five Spice, since I was thinking of having the rub be more of a smoky, almost Southwestern flavor. I had Garam Masala and I thought that might be perfect.
Garam Masala is an Indian Spice with a blend of black peppercorns, mace, cinnamon, cloves, brown cardamom, nutmeg and green cardamom. So it had the cinnamon and cloves, but the rest of the spices were rich tasting rather than sweet. Smoked paprika and Hickory Smoke Powder were next. After tasting, it definitely needed a touch more pepper, and salt…garlic salt…and cumin. One taste and it was exactly what I was looking for. The bonus is that when those ribs were slowly baking, the smoky barbecue aroma coming from my oven was heavenly. Plus these wonderfully tender dry smoky ribs are soooo much healthier for you.
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Oven Smoked Dry Ribs
- 1/2 Rack Baby back pork ribs approximately 6 ribs
- 1 Tsp Smoked paprika
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
- 1/4 Tsp Garlic salt
- 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 Tsp Hickory Smoke Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Cumin
- 1/2 Tsp Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees F
- Remove membrane from back of ribs.
- Combine smoked paprika, pepper, garlic salt, Garam Masala, hickory smoke powder and cumin in a small bowl and mix to combine.
- Rub both sides of ribs with spice mixture. Place on a rack in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Bake slowly for 3 1/2 - 4 hours depending on the size of your ribs.