So now that I’ve publicly admitted it is fall, I felt compelled to revert to summer mode this past weekend. Who says barbequed ribs are only for summer, and who says a girl can’t grill up super tender and tasty ribs? I take issue with two suggested premises: 1.) certain foods can only be cooked/eaten at certain times of the year 2.) men are better on the barbeque. Ooh, the English teacher in me just realized that the second premise sounds like I am suggesting men should be thrown on the outdoor flames – well, that has, on occasion occurred to me. However, for the purposes of this post, I am suggesting that men are not necessarily more skilled at grilling food on the barbeque. (If anyone is sensing any resentments there, it simply isn’t true – LOL!) With regard to the first premise, as long as foods are not grown seasonally and are readily available year-round, I think they should be eaten year round. For those of you who have ever attended one of my Thanksgiving in July gatherings, you know what I’m talking about. So, now for the ribs. Over the past few years I was introduced to a new method for slow cooking ribs which includes starting them off in the oven and then transferring them to the grill. Michael Chiarello was the inspiration for this style. Let me tell you, the ribs come out moist and tender – practically falling off the bone. If you’re looking for a dryer, rip your front teeth out style of rib, this recipe is not for you. You can certainly use whatever barbeque sauce you like (I never discount the worthiness of bottled sauce – there’s a reason these people/companies are able to sell their product: it’s good), but I have included my recipe for a spicy/zesty sauce similar to an Open Pit style, and also this link to Michael Chiarello’s Espresso Barbeque sauce which is amazing and unlike any other barbeque sauce I’ve tasted. If you’re making your own sauce, I recommend making it a day in advance so that the flavors really develop, however, since the ribs take 3-4 hours, worst case scenario: start your barbeque sauce when you begin prepping/cooking the ribs. You can also use your favorite dry rub (there are many commercial brands available – or make your own), but if you do so, eliminate the salt and pepper – I do recommend keeping the garlic because it adds such good flavor as the ribs slow cook in the oven. I use a gas grill, because that’s what I have, but a charcoal grill would only intensify the flavors and add to the overall flavor. These ribs go great with blue cheese coleslaw, caprese pasta salad, garlic and bacon smashed potatoes, or grilled vegetables (to be posted in the future). I served them with grilled corn (it’s probably the last of the season, so I had to embrace it) and roasted golden beets (also to be posted in the future). This is a great meal for a crowd – particularly if you can find the ribs on sale. The measurements here are for two full racks of babyback ribs, but can easily be adjusted. (Serves 5-6).
- 2 Full Racks/Slabs Babyback Pork Ribs
- 6-10 Cloves Garlic – minced
- Kosher or Good Quality Coarse Salt- can be a blend (I use a blend that my sister-in-law brought from France)
- Seasoned/Mixed-up Pepper
- Barbeque Sauce (see recipe below or link above)
Preheat oven to 325 Degrees. Cut ribs between every 3-4 bones. Place one layer of ribs in a roasting pan (I use a disposable foil pan) and rub with 1/2 the garlic and a generous amount of salt and pepper (or dry rub). Add a second layer of ribs and repeat rub process. Cover roasting pan with aluminium foil and seal as tightly as possible. Place in preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove from oven and rotate the layers so that the top layer becomes the bottom layer and vice versa. Repeat this process every 45 minutes. Overall cooking time for the ribs is about 3-4 hours – cook until they reach desired tenderness (I go for practically falling off the bone). After last rotating process, prepare a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill. Remove ribs from oven, coat with a generous amount of barbeque sauce (on both sides) and place on grill meat side up. Grill for about 10 minutes and baste ribs again with sauce. Flip ribs so the meat side is directly on the grill and grill until desired “crispy crust” is achieved. Serve immediately with additional sauce.
Zesty/Spicy Barbeque Sauce:
- 3/4cup White Vinegar
- 1 Cup Cider (apple) Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar (cherry if available)
- 2 TBS. Brown Sugar
- 1/2 – 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (depending on desired heat)
- 1/2-1 TBS. Hot Sauce (my favorites are Frank’s or Texas Pete’s)
- 2 TBS. Dijon Mustard
- 2 TBS. Honey
- 1/2 – 3/4 Cup Molasses
- 1.5 Cups Ketchup
- 1 TBS. Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium/high heat (whisking until all ingredients are incorporated) until sauce reaches a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer sauce for at least 2 hours. Adjust seasoning according to taste.