Urban Tavern’s Spice-Braised Pork Ribs

Today’s Secret Recipe is from one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. Urban Tavern is located in the heart of the city and features a delicious gastropub menu.

Their braised baby back ribs are always in demand. These slow-cooked ribs are so tender and richly flavored with an interesting blend of spices.

To prepare these ribs at home you will need a very large roasting pan to fit the 2 racks of ribs. Serve these ribs with some fresh coleslaw using this simple recipe from our Secret Recipe Forum.


Urban Tavern’s Spice-Braised Pork Ribs

Spice rub:

  • 1/2 cup fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder


  1. In a medium sauté pan heated over medium heat, toast the fennel and coriander seeds until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

  2. Grind the fennel and coriander seeds to a fine powder using a spice mill or coffee grinder, then combine with the ginger, nutmeg, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne powder to form a rub.

  3. This makes a generous 1 cup rub, and you may not use all of it for the final recipe. Store the rub in an airtight jar or sealable plastic bag in a cool, dark place up to 4 to 6 weeks.

Braised pork ribs:

  • 2 racks pork ribs, preferably St. Louis-style, silverskin removed
  • Spice rub
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups diced apples, about 2 apples
  • 2 1/4 cups diced onion, about 1 onion,
  • Scant 1 cup diced carrots, about 2 carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery hearts, from about 1 bunch
  1. Coat the rib racks generously on each side with the spice rub.

  2. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight to season.

  3. The next day, in a large saucepan, bring the cider, chicken and beef broths and bay leaves to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Heat the oven to the broiler setting. Place the rib racks on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the racks until browned on each side, about 2 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the heat of the broiler.

  5. Reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees. In a large roasting pan, combine the diced apples, onion, carrots and celery heart, and place the seared ribs on top (pour any drippings from the rimmed baking sheet over the ribs). Pour over the hot broth.

  6. Cover the pan tightly, first with parchment paper, then a layer of plastic wrap, then with a layer of foil, creating as tight a seal as possible. Place the covered pan in the oven and braise the ribs for 3 hours.

  7. Remove the pan from the oven and cool the ribs completely. Skim the fat from the pan and set the ribs aside. Strain the braising liquid (we had about 1 quart) into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the sauce by half.

  8. To reheat the ribs, place the ribs in a roasting pan and pour the sauce over. Place the ribs in a 325-degree oven and heat until the ribs are warmed through before serving.

Serves 6-8

Source: LA Times

Happy Cooking!

Until Next Time… Be Well!

Kind Regards,


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