March 13, 2006

NC2008 076 (Large)

The other day I had a hankering for ribs – they just sounded good, never mind the fact that I’ve never cooked them myself, I don’t really ever eat them, and it’s gonna be hard to keep a grill going for 3 hours tonight after work. After a quick perusal of the options available I figured out I wasn’t going to keep the grill going for hours, and that good ribs are surprisingly easy to do at home. There are as many ways to cook bbq as there are pigs, so I had lots of wiggle room. The meat itself was easy to find without a trip to the butcher. Markets generally carry two types of pork ribs, the spare ribs and what’s known as back ribs. Both come from the belly of the hog and are known for flavor as opposed to the leanness and quality of the meat. The curved ribs are the least meaty variety and are typically larger and heavier than back ribs. If you are buying the prepackaged type, the spare ribs are the bigger cut, whereas the back ribs are longer and narrower with smaller bones. In hindsight, when I do this again I’ll get the back ribs. The spare ribs are just too fatty, although the meat is great when you find it.

There are two basic ways to season ribs – dry or wet. A dry seasoning is just that – dry spices mixed and rubbed onto the ribs prior to cooking. Ribs basted with sauce while cooking are called wet ribs. Some purists insist on only basting during the last few minutes of cooking, while others insist on marinating the meat before cooking and then basting thoroughly while cooking. Both camps seem to agree that grilling over charcoal is the only way to go, but I found plenty of evidence and recipes that indicated a decent job could be done in the oven. An aversion to cooking unseasoned meat led me to blend the two styles, so I dry-rubbed AND basted. Basted recklessly, I might add.

1 package ribs cut into manageable chunks
3 tbs paprika
1/2 cup freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup ground cayenne pepper
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbs salt
2 tbs cumin
Trim the ribs of any obvious excess fat. Mix all of the spices together in a large bowl till well blended and coat the meat, working the seasoning in well both sides. There will be leftovers seasoning – seal and keep for another time. Lay out the ribs in a large pan. Treating the pan with cooking spray and/or covering it with foil will help lots with the cleanup. Heat the oven to 500 degrees and load up the ribs, immediately dropping the heat to 325. Cook for an hour, drain the excess grease, flip and baste with sauce on both sides.

3 tbs white vinegar
3 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs grated/prepared horseradish
1/3 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 stick melted butter
Whisk everything together and baste the meat often, especially during the last thirty minutes of cooking.

Serve it up with lots and lots of paper towels, coleslaw, corn bread, and sweet tea.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 slackline radio March 15, 2006 at

First, ever thought about pork tenderloin chimichuri? Second, do you keep one of your cameras next to the knives?

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