As I continue to work my way through the Mozza cookbook, I’m beginning to realize that Nancy Silverton knows protein as well as she knows bread. I was enamored with her meatballs, elated by her Grilled Beef Tagliata, and have just had an extremely elevating and existentially enthralling experience with her baby back riblets. Too much? Try them yourself.
Mozza Fennel Rubbed Riblets
Adapted from the Mozza Cookbook
1 tbs kosher salt (as written – I’d recommend cutting the salt significantly – perhaps 3/4 tbs)
2 tbs freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs fennel seeds
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 quart water
2.5 lbs baby back ribs sawed in half lengthwise
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
To make the rub, simply combine salt, peppercorns, and fennel seeds in a spice mill (aka whirlybird style coffee grinder) and grind until they form a fine powder.
Have your butcher cut the ribs down the center lengthwise. It seems odd, and is not totally necessary, but it makes for nicely presented riblets.
Mix the brine in a baking dish making sure that the salt and sugar dissolve thoroughly. Submerge ribs in bring and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour. Remove ribs, discard brine, pat dry, and wipe baking dish clean. Return ribs to baking dish bone side up.
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine rub ingredients, and use about half to rub the bone side of the ribs. Turn the ribs meat side up, and rub with the other half of the fennel rub. Combine vinegar and honey and pour over ribs. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven for 1.5 hours.
After 1.5 hours, remove ribs from oven and carefully remove foil as there will be steam. Baste ribs with juices in the dish, and return to oven for 20 – 30 more minutes.
Remove from oven and enjoy.
The original recipe calls for a side of slaw composed of red and green cabbage, parsnip, carrot, and granny smith apple, all tossed in a multi-mustard, olive and grape seed oil emulsion. While I made the slaw as directed, I don’t intend to post the recipe as it took far too much effort for what I felt was a decent, but not great slaw. As a note, it did get better the second day, particularly when mixed with the rib juices, but there are certainly better slaw recipes out there.
That said, the pics don’t look bad.