Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof Ribs

If the Barefoot Contessa says a recipe is foolproof, believe her!

To bid farewell to summer, my family and I were craving barbecued ribs. In the past, we’ve had fall-of-the-bone delicious ribs, and dry, disappointing ribs. If you try the method the Barefoot Contessa — aka Ina Garten — instructs in her cookbook Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust, your ribs¬†won’t¬†disappoint! While they were tasty for a late summer dinner, they also would be perfect for a hearty fall meal.

Before cooking her Foolproof Ribs with Barbecue Sauce, you’ll want to follow the recipe for her BC Barbecue Sauce. Over the past six-plus months of “pandemic cooking,” I’ve been improvising, substituting ingredients I already have in the kitchen instead of running to the grocery store to follow a recipe exactly as written. However, I’m really glad I did purchase the hoisin sauce Garten calls for in her recipe! I sauteed a large chopped onion in half a cup of vegetable oil until translucent, added three cloves of chopped garlic and sauteed that for another minute. Then I added the other ingredients: 1 cup tomato paste, 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup honey, 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1 cup hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, and 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes. I brought it all to a boil, then reduced the heat to low and simmered it for half an hour.

Afterward, I lined a sheet pan with foil and preheated the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I seasoned the ribs with salt and pepper, placed them meat side up on the sheet pan, and coated them with the barbecue sauce. Then I covered the ribs loosely with another sheet of foil and slow roasted them for 1 hour, 45 minutes. I removed them from the oven and spread more barbecue sauce over them. At this point you can either finish them on the grill or refrigerate to grill later. Grill them for about five minutes on each side and serve with additional sauce, if you’d like.

You’ll likely have leftover sauce that Garten says will last in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust is available for request here (for the print book), or here (for the e-book via Overdrive/Libby).

Barefoot Contessa’s Ribs
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