One of the cornerstones of our new menu is the Italian Baby Back Ribs with Balsalmic Barbecue Sauce. In our quest to broaden the menu with unique flavor profiles, I thought that this recipe would be a perfect fit. While working on this new menu item for Johnny Carino’s, I felt myself going back to my kitchen roots. The first prep cook job I have had was back when I was fourteen years old, and you guessed it – a barbecue/ribs joint of all places. I fondly remember skinning and roasting ribs by the case and coming home drenched in the odor of smoke and barbecue sauce. And since we started serving ribs here at Johnny Carino’s, my wife will be able to tell you all about those odors, since our laundry room now has them as well after a day in the kitchen.
Now back to the point as hand – ribs at Carino’s? How does that work? Well, one of my main philosophies in menu development is to take food concepts that are comfort food in nature, and put a unique, Carino’s Italian spin on them. Now of course everybody likes ribs, and a lot of restaurants serve them……but I wanted to make ours unique. What makes them unique is the sauce, which is a homemade balsamic vinegar and brown sugar barbecue sauce. We import our balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, which is the birthplace of this delicious aged vinegar. It helps add a tart acidity to the sauce which you won’t be able to find at your traditional barbecue joint. I also wanted to make sure that the ribs are ‘fork tender’ and fall right off the bone, that is why we marinate them in garlic , fresh cracked black pepper, basil and oregano before slow-roasting them for 3 hours. After roasting, we then finish them off on the oak grill while basting them in the sauce and dusting them with grated parmesan right before bringing them out to you. I sure hope that you can come by Carino’s and give them a try – and a little tip, if you come by Carino’s on Thursday night you can join us for Rib Night where at most locations, they are only $9.99.
NEW! Italian-Style Baby Backs