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Tuscan-inspired roasted ribs stay tender thanks to an American barbecue technique
Milk Street Bowtie Rosemary and Fennel Pork Ribs (Rosticciana)

Rosemary and Fennel Pork Ribs (Rosticciana)

3½ hours 15 minutes active

Rosemary and Fennel Pork Ribs (Rosticciana)

Free

In Tuscany, rosticciana is cooked on a grill and served with other meats, such and steak and sausage. We chose to focus on just the ribs and brought the recipe indoors so we could use the oven to create just the right moist environment for yielding ultratender and perfectly browned ribs. The seasonings are simple, so for the fullest, richest flavor, it's best to pulverize your own fennel seeds in a spice grinder. If convenience is key and you can find ground fennel seed at the grocery store, use the same amount as called for (1 tablespoon). The start-to-finish time for this recipe may be long, but the hands-on cooking is minimal. These ribs are delicious as is, or drizzle with lemon juice and fruity olive oil, if desired.

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, ground
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2 2½- to 3-pound racks St. Louis–style pork spareribs
Ingredients
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons packed light brown sugar

  • 1

    tablespoon fennel seeds, ground

  • 1
  • 1

    teaspoon granulated garlic

  • 4

    teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

  • 2

    2½- to 3-pound racks St. Louis–style pork spareribs

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Comments
  • Brad W.

    This is very good. I will cut the salt in half next time. Also, make sure to remove the membrane from the backside. It didn't get as brown as the picture, but very tender and tasty.

    0 votes
    0 comments
  • Samantha O.

    Excellent and relatively easy rib recipe. We all loved every bite - flavorful and tender meat, with a bit of crispiness. Just delightful.

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    0 comments
  • Courtney C.

    This was a huge hit in my house -- the family agreed these were the best ribs I've made yet. The only thing I eliminated was the red pepper since the weaklings in my house don't enjoy hot pepper. The rack I bought was closer to 3 1/2 lbs, so I cooked them just a bit more than 2 1/2 hours. We had a couple of ribs leftover, and they were just as yummy the next day. This is our new go-to for ribs. Thanks!

    0 votes
    0 comments
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Rosemary and Fennel Pork Ribs (Rosticciana)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

3½ hours

15 minutes active

Tip

Don't substitute baby back ribs for the St. Louis spareribs. Baby backs are smaller and leaner and will end up overdone. St. Louis–style ribs are spareribs that are trimmed of excess meat and cartilage, so the racks have a neat rectangular shape. And don't be tempted to open the oven during the cooking time; leaving the oven closed traps steam, keeping the ribs moist and tender.

Ingredients
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons packed light brown sugar

  • 1

    tablespoon fennel seeds, ground

  • 1
  • 1

    teaspoon granulated garlic

  • 4

    teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

  • 2

    2½- to 3-pound racks St. Louis–style pork spareribs

Step 1 of 2

Season Ribs

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2
tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1
tablespoon fennel seeds, ground
1
teaspoon red pepper flakes
1
teaspoon granulated garlic
4
teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2
2½- to 3-pound racks St. Louis–style pork spareribs

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, the sugar, ground fennel, pepper flakes, garlic and 4 teaspoons of rosemary.


Rub the mixture between your fingertips until well combined and the rosemary is fragrant. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of the racks of ribs, then thoroughly rub it in.

Step 2 of 2

Bake Ribs

Place the ribs meaty side up on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven, then pour 3 cups water into the baking sheet.


Bake until well browned and a skewer inserted between the bones meets no resistance, 2 to 2½ hours.


Transfer the rib racks to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes. Cut the ribs between the bones and transfer to a platter.

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Done!

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Rosemary and Fennel Pork Ribs (Rosticciana)

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