I used to be scared of ribs. No, not ribs in general, and no, not run away crying calling for mama scared either. I used to be scared of cooking ribs. I know it's silly, but it's true.
My sister has this recipe for dreamy, melt in your mouth, fall of the bones ribs with a sauce that explodes with flavor in your mouth. No pressure, right?
My wife picked up some pork ribs a few weeks ago at the store, which I grilled as slowly as I could. They were...meh. They had decent flavor, and they were moist, but they were tough. I was a bit discouraged.
So when I saw a Good Eats on pork ribs, I figured that with AB's help I could do it. Kara picked up some more ribs yesterday and I followed the recipe as best as I could. Those ribs were dreamy, melt in your mouth, fall off the bones ribs--but the sauce needs work. See, I grilled them instead of cooking them in the oven. Technically, I braised them, since I wrapped them in foil and cooked them with some liquid, but the temperature control on the grill was a bit problematic. I had the grill on the lowest setting, but it kept creeping up towards 300 instead of the 250 I wanted.
The result of the slightly higher temps meant slightly faster cook time, but I didn't take that entirely into account so the liquid at the bottom of my foil pack burned, meaning that I couldn't make sauce from it. *sigh* Still, the ribs had great taste without it! It was just a bit more...intense. I'm so close to great ribs! Next time will be better. :)
By the way, this rub is to die for!
Baby Back Ribs
2 whole slabs baby back ribs
8 tablespoons light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 Tbsp kosher salt (if you use regular salt, use less! But why wouldn't you use Kosher??)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp jalepeno seasoning
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp rubbed thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 cup white wine (I used broth in its place, but forgot that broth is much more salty than wine would be...gotta figure out a good substitute.)
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency. Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.
*This recipe makes several batches of dry rub. If more rub is needed, it can be extended by any amount, as long as the ratio of 8:3:1:1 remains the same.