Friday, February 22, 2008

BBQ Ribs

No picture - we ate the evidence!

I had not had ribs this wonderful since leaving the US. There is a great restaurant in Maryland called Red, Hot and Blue and that was the place where we last indulged. For the last homemade BBQ ribs, we might have to go back to my dad's BBQ-ing days back in Florida - he was good enough to go pro. I miss good BBQ!

We do not have a grill, but for some reason I went ahead and picked up 2 racks of ribs at the store anyway. I had to. They called me. I decided to slow cook them in the oven, and they turned out beautifully. Brian said it was the best meal I've ever cooked - of course, he says that sometimes, but the way he said it, and the fact that Brad and Honor also loved them, the cats were going crazy at the smell, and even the Betta fish chowed down on scraps, well, it really made me feel successful. Here's how I did it:

I preheated the oven to 225F. I got two large cookie sheets, laid out a long piece of aluminum foil in each, and placed a rack of ribs in each. Foil turned up to catch liquid. I was not sure if 'bones up' or 'bones down' would be the best way to cook them... sometimes it can matter... so I did one of each. They both turned out fine.

I mixed about a quarter a cup of cider vinegar, a half cup of water, 1-2 tbsp of hickory smoke flavoring, and a dash of lemon peel. (Forgive me, for I do not measure.) I poured half the mixture on each rack. Then, I took two more pieces of aluminum foil, covered each piece of meat, and rolled the edges up carefully - to seal in all the juices and steam. I put both in the oven (they barely fit - guess it pays to check the size of your pans first!) at noon.

At 1:50pm, I had to leave the house to go get Honor from school, so I turned the oven down to 200F. When we got back, I checked that the foil had not leaked (no - I suppose I would have had to make sure they still had fluid otherwise), then Honor and I went off to a birthday party. We got back at 5:30pm.. oh the house smelled wonderful!!!

At about 6pm, I nuked some whole baking potatoes, then placed the mostly cooked potatoes in an aluminum pie pan with butter, salt and sliced onions. Covered it with foil, and popped them in the oven on the bottom rack. I took the ribs out, turned the oven to Broil (moved a rack up higher - not the top space, but close to the broiler, with room enough so the ribs would not spatter the elements. )

I mixed half a stick of butter (melted in the microwave), about a cup of commercial BBQ sauce, half cup of brown sugar, some honey, dash of chili powder, dash of cumin, and a few tablespoons of rum in a bowl. I poked a knife through the foil, and through the meat, to test doneness - the knife went through easily. So, I opened the foil on the ribs (sliced down the middle) and basted the ribs on the top side. I put them, still uncovered, in the broiler for about 10 minutes, then removed the pans, carefully turned the ribs over - very tricky because they were amazingly tender! - and repeated the baste and broil. I removed them from the oven, and let them rest about 5 minutes as I set the rest of dinner on the table.

The ribs were perfect! The sauce was nicely glazed, the meat was done just right.. to the 'almost but not quite' falling off the bone stage. It was an amazing meal! We polished off one rack of ribs Thursday night, and one Friday. To reheat the ribs on Friday, I put them back in the oven at 325F for 20minutes. I will have to do this again.


grams said...

I am salivating!

Christine said...

This sounds delicious! I want to try the recipe.