Rib tips are incredibly flavorful, but the high collagen content requires long, moist cooking. If you have a sous vide setup, cook at 156°F for 12 hours (the Herndons also smoke them first), before tossing in the sauce and finishing in the oven. Otherwise, follow the directions below. The salsa negra here is a sweet and smoky paste that you’ll find yourself dabbing on everything. It keeps for several weeks in the fridge.
Mix together the salt, pepper and sugar and rub into rib tips, covering every surface. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 and up to 24 hours.
Heat oven to 325°F. Place rib tips on a foil-lined roasting pan or other large shallow baking dish, and cover the bottom with a thin layer of water. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake for 3 hours, or until tender. Remove to a cutting board and, if desired, cut into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Raise oven heat to 500°F. In a huge bowl, or on a cookie sheet, toss rib tips with the salsa negra to coat. Return to oven on a baking sheet or rack and cook until the glaze is sticky but not burnt, about 5 minutes.
Serve ribs topped with chow chow, peanuts and herbs.
*Chow chow is a pickled relish, usually based on green tomatoes and/or cabbage, with a long history in the U.S. and Canada. You can find recipes (or buy it) online, or substitute minced pickled vegetables (like Italian giardiniera).
How to Make Steen’s Salsa Negra Glaze
Mix garlic, syrup and vinegar in a large bowl. Add ¼ cup fat to a large heavy sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add chilis and cook, stirring often, until they smell flavorful but not burnt, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then add to bowl, mix well, and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
Using a powerful blender (not a food processor), blend the chili mixture until very smooth, adding just enough chicken stock to keep the blades turning.
In a heavy saucepan (to minimize splatter), add remaining ¼ cup fat and place over medium heat. When hot, add the puréed mixture and stir constantly until it becomes one uniform paste, which should just take a few minutes. Add salt and vinegar to taste. Set aside.
Two Vintners 2019 Syrah (Columbia Valley); 92 Points.
Rib tips are rich and chewy, suited to powerful sauces like the sweet-and-smoky glaze here. Syrah brings power and body to match, with rib-friendly flavors of cured meat, pepper and dried herbs. Washington State is emerging as one of the grape’s great homes outside the Northern Rhône and Australia, and this is one of the best: plummy, earthy and smoky, but never overly heavy.
Or try it with a straight bourbon
These usually have darker and sweeter dried fruit notes, sweet-spice, and coffee or chocolaty elements. All complement the sticky, dark glaze here.
This article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!