Fall off the bone, tender and delicious BBQ ribs

Who doesn’t love Bbq ribs? Smokey, salty, sweet, spicy, tender, succulent… Ribs are one of those items that I love to cook more than I like to eat.  It’s the process.  The process of adding layers of flavors, tenderizing, braising, grilling, knowing what the end product will be and making it better… spectacular.

In my opinion, THE best way to cook ribs is to slow smoke.  It only makes sense.  But not everyone (or every restaurant) has a hot smoker and 8 hours to kill, adjusting the heat, monitoring the ribs, adding wood, etc to end up with the perfect ribs.  So we need to use other means.  That would be a 3 step process of curing, braising and grilling.  Though it sounds a little complicated, broken down, it’s quite simple and easier than running a smoker all day.

There is also the ‘wet’ vs ‘dry’ rub argument, and I take the side of the dry rub (ie the cure), finished with bbq sauce at the last moment.  It just seems to work the best.  I think you may agree.

Ribs are, essentially, a bunch of tough connective muscles, connective tissue, bones and a layer of fat.  They are a cheap cut, and like many cheap cuts, require long cooking times to cook until tender.  And once they release their flavor, tenderize and loosen up, what flavor they have!  Sometimes, after a little finesse and love, the cheaper cuts are the better!

This recipe is broken down into three fundamental steps:

Cure – dry rub
Braise – slow cooking process

For the bbq sauce, my suggestion would be the sauce I previously posted.

Fall off the Bone Baby Back Ribs
Serves 4 ½ racks
active cooking time: approx 4 hrs
non-active cooking time: 1 day

For the Ribs:

2 racks baby back or spare ribs
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup garlic powder
3 tbsp coarse ground black pepper
3 tbsp dark chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground corriander
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
3 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp cinnamon

Mix all dry ingredients (reserve ¼ cup for bbq sauce) well and rub into the pork ribs. Be liberal with
the seasoning, don’t go light.

Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Braising the ribs:

3 bottles dark ale
2 yellow onion, thin sliced
2 heads garlic, cut in half

Preheat oven to 275. Rinse the ribs and dry. Place in a non-reactive oven safe roasting pan and add
beer, onions and garlic. Cover tightly with foil and cook in oven approx 3 hrs or until tender (not
falling off bone tender, but close).

To finish:

Using a charcoal grill, let the charcoal turn grey, disperse to one single layer and thoroughly clean and oil the grates.  Begin grilling the ribs.  Slather the ribs with the bbq sauce, and continue to grill, slowly, covered until bbq sauce begins to brown.  Turn and re-apply sauce.  Keep doing this until ribs are almost falling off the bone.

Serve right away.  Enjoy your status as ‘king’ of the bbq.


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