Ribs, whether pork or lamb, are a firm favorite at a barbeque. They have a lot of flavors and are usually very tender. The only problem is that they can be easy to burn, especially if you use a sweet marinade on them.
The sugar scorches easily, leaving you with blackened, bitter-tasting meat. Nobody likes throwing food away, especially since ribs can be rather expensive. So, what can you do to salvage them?
Read on because we have 4 ways to fix those burnt ribs.
How To Fix Burnt Ribs
Of course, you won’t be able to use the outside bits that have turned to charcoal. But that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t save some of the meat from closer to the bones.
1. Make Soup
You could turn your burnt ribs into soup. First, scrape off as many of the burnt parts as you can with a sharp knife. Rinse the meat under clean, cold running water to remove any charcoal residue.
Now, get out your soup pot and caramelize some chopped onions, carrots, and leeks in a little oil. The sweetness of these vegetables will help offset any bitter tastes on the meat.
Next, add your ribs to the pot along with any other soup ingredients, such as lentils, potatoes, and herbs. Cover everything with stock and allow the pot of ingredients to simmer away gently for a few hours over a low flame.
When the meat is falling off the bones, remove it from the pot. Shred the meat and return it to the soup. Throw away the bones. Taste your soup and see if it needs further seasoning.
2. Cut Out the Good Stuff
The second thing that you can try is to take out the ribs from the pan or off the fire and see how badly they are burnt. If the ribs are black to the core, there is nothing that you can try and you will have to throw them away.
On the other hand, if just the exterior part is burnt, cut away the burnt parts and discard them. Next, shred the remaining meat off the bones and put it into a bowl.
Mix it with some barbeque sauce or your favorite sweet and sour sauce. This shredded rib meat can now be used in tacos, on sandwiches, or in wraps.
If you add shredded lettuce, sliced onions, guacamole, sour cream, and other items, nobody will even notice the slightly smoky taste of the meat. If they do, they’ll think it was deliberate!
3. Make Rib Sauce
Another way of using your burnt ribs is to make them into rib sauce. As before, cut away the burnt exterior of the ribs and incorporate the leftover meat into a vinegary sauce.
In particular, you can use a 50/50 combination of apple cider vinegar, fruit juice, or water and BBQ sauce and braise the ribs with it. To make your sauce, line an oven dish with aluminum foil and place the ribs on top of it.
Spread the sauce evenly on top. You could also use a 50:50 mixture of tomato ketchup and fruit chutney, plus a little water. Wrap everything tightly in the foil and put it into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour.
Remove and cool enough to handle. Remove any meat and shred it into the sauce. Use this as a flavoring with other dishes, for example, a cottage pie, or as a sauce for a roast. You could also use it as a pasta sauce.
4. Use White Wine
If you intend to rescue and reuse your ribs on the bone, you can take off the burnt areas and cook them with some fresh gravy for 20 minutes or so to let the flavors blend.
Simply use a ready-made gravy to match your meat. However, the meat will still have a slightly bitter flavor, but you can overcome it with the help of a little white wine.
If you don’t have any, add a few fried onions, Madeira wine, or lemon juice because these ingredients can cut through the burnt, bitter, smoky flavors and rescue your meal.
Tips To Make Ribs Better Next Time
We’ve given you four ways of reusing and saving your burnt ribs. We’re sure you don’t want to have to do that again though, so we’ve included a few tips to help you cook your next batch of ribs to perfection.
- First of all, you need to be extremely particular about the meat you buy. Try to get ones with a minimal amount of fat because fat causes flames on the barbeque and can scorch your meat.
- Cook ribs low and slow. Never try to rush them by using high temperatures. The fat needs to melt, and the sinews need to tenderize. If you are in a hurry, cook steak instead.
- You must remove the silver skin from the ribs’ underside, as doing so helps prevent the chances of overcooking. You can also ask the butcher to remove the skin for you.
- If you are using a marinade or barbeque sauce that contains sugar or honey, only brush it on towards the end of the cooking time. Sugar burns fast.
- It is better to precook the ribs in boiling water (add some apple cider vinegar to the water). Once the ribs start getting tender, you can remove them from the pan and grill them. At this stage, you can brush them with a sauce or marinade.
- Make sure that the grill is properly oiled, and use medium-heat coals to make sure the ribs are moist, tender, and well-cooked.