Braised BBQ Top of the Rib

We generally avoid using a lot of sugar in our cooking, but sometimes a good old-fashioned pulled piece of tender, BBQ meat is what you need (not to mention the cornbread, coleslaw, pickles, baked potatoes….) Top of the Rib is a nicely marbled roast that is a good stand-in for Second Cut Brisket (it’s marbling is comparable, but much more even). In this super simple recipe, you coat the roast with spices, then braise it with barbecue sauce and red wine until the meat is tender. This is a great one to make ahead and reheat as needed. This meat would also be great on tortillas or tacos if you want to take dinner in a different direction.

Recipe adapted from Seven Bites
Serves 4

  • 1 4.5lb Top of Rib
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (we like Mendels, or make your own)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons paprika


Bloom the aromatics

Preheat the oven to 250F.  Lay the top of the rib on a flat surface. Generously coat each side with garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Place the meat in a baking dish. If the meat is too long for the baking pan, you can fold over in order for the top of the rib to fit.  Bake for 10 minutes, uncovered. Flip, then return to oven and roast another 10 minutes.

Add the sauce

Combine red wine, Worchestershire sauce and barbecue sauce (a large measuring cup works well).  Remove rib from the oven. Pour wine mixture over the meat, making sure that it is thoroughly covered in the sauce.


Tightly cover the meat with tin foil, and place back in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove meat from the oven. Flip the rib over and place back in the oven for 30-90 minutes, or until desired tenderness.

Serving Options: Slice or Pull

If you want to be able to serve slices, cook roast until tender but not falling apart. Ideally, let the roast cool and slice when cold (if you can’t wait, use a very sharp knife and cut generously thick slices, to prevent the meat from falling apart).  Nestle slices in sauce and reheat before serving.

For pulled meat, roast an additional 30-90 minutes.  Use two forks to pull the meat apart.  If reheating, make sure meat is tightly covered and submerged in sauce to prevent drying out.  Serve on tacos or tortillas.

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