Friday, May 25, 2007

Baby Backs with No Fire

I figured in honor of the Memorial Day weekend I would post a BBQ recipe that really isn't BBQ. I for one am a purist when it comes to BBQ ribs and I cook mine the traditional way most often but there are times when you don't have all day to slow cook ribs in a smoker for 6 - 8 hours. This method makes some damn fine ribs. You can even cook the ribs this way ahead of time and then put them on the BBQ grill and heat and sauce them up for a party.

This recipe is for one full slab of baby backs but it can be expanded easily. It will serve two or three people or me.

Make the rub. This is an important step so don't leave it out. You can shorten the time the ribs are resting in the fridge with the rub but they won't be quite as good.

You need about a 1/2 cup or so of rub for one slab o'ribs. This is my recipe but feel free to use one of your own.

5 Tablespoons of light or dark brown sugar
2 - 3 Tablespoons of good chile powder (depends on how much you like chile powder)
2 Tablespoons of paprika
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon of garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Teaspoon of ground thyme
1 Teaspoon of dry mustard
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne or 1/2 teaspoon dried chipotle which will add some smokiness
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

I like to remove the "skin" on the rib side of the ribs. Just work your fingers under the thin film and gradually pull it off the ribs. This makes them absorb the rub better and makes for a more tender rib. It is not necessary though.

At this point if you like a smokier rib you can rub a couple of tablespoons liquid smoke on but it is not necessary.

Rub your spice mixture on both sides of the ribs and be liberal and rub it in good. It should be well coated and stuck to the ribs. Place the ribs(meat side down) on a big sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil that is about 8 inches longer than the slab of ribs. Fold the long edges over and crease a couple of times to make and envelope then fold up the short edges to seal it all up. Put the pouch on your roasting pan (jelly roll pan) and put it in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours or better yet overnight. Turn the packet over once or twice while it is resting.

When you are ready to cook set your oven on 350 and while it is heating open one end of your rib pouch and pour in a cup some liquid. I use 1/2 white wine and water but 1/2 water and orange or apple juice works and even plain old water with and cider vinegar. This moisture will braise the ribs. Seal it back up and slosh it around to move the liquid evenly and pop it in the oven for an hour then reduce the temp to 250 degrees and cook for another two hours.

When done drain the cooking juices out of the pouch into a sauce pan and add 1/3 cup of molasses or honey, about a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and a 1/3 cup of ketchup and a dash of hot sauce to taste. Boil this mixture for a few minutes until it thickens. Get your ribs out of the pouch and cut them into two pieces. Glaze them with the sauce and run them under the broiler for a few minutes, repeat this until they are nicely glazed then do the bone side. If you want you can do this last step on the BBQ grill with a bottled sauce. Most of the bottled sauces are full of high fructose corn syrup which I avoid like the plague though so I don't recommended it.

Cold beer and a large bowl of homemade coleslaw and you're good.

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