I LOVES me some good ribs. As long as there's plenty of napkins and bibs around.
Hmm that reminds me of a funny [stupid] story: when Deb and I were in high school, her favorite restaurant was Tony Romas - for the ribs. OH the Carolina Honeys we used to eat... I took her there for her birthday dinner our Jr. year (we thought we were SO mature going to a restaurant by ourselves with new drivers licenses burning holes in our pockets.) After dinner we went to a HS basketball game and wore. our. bibs. They were clean, cuz I don't even think we wore them at dinner. But we thought we were HILARIOUS. We did a lot of silly [stupid] things like that thinking we were cool and funny when in fact we were just lame. Yes, I used the past tense - why would you ask that?
Ribs are actually super easy to make at home. I never really realized just how easy until I did a little research. But oh-so-easy they are. I make a dry rub out of roughly the following quantities of ingredients:
~1.5 cups brown sugar
~2 T kosher salt
~2 T paprika
~1 T ground cumin
~1 T chili powder
~1 T cayenne pepper
~1 T black pepper
That's enough for 2 slabs of ribs. The only item that might stand out there to anyone is the cumin. But I think it adds another level to the ribs that gives it depth.
You don't even need a BBQ - although if you want the smokey grilled flavor, then of course a BBQ is in order. But I've been making these in the oven the past month. Slather on your favorite barbecue sauce and no one will know they didn't sit on the grill for hours! Believe me they really won't - they'll be too busy devouring them.
I made these ribs for dinner on Wednesday night. Connie came over to watch me make French macarons. Actually I take that back. She came over last week to watch me make French macarons. And I'm so rusty at it (it's been a couple months at least) that I totally messed them up. Those who make macarons know... you do one thing wrong and they FAIL with a big fat F. So we did a redo. This time they worked. WHEW!
If you've got a favorite BBQ sauce - use that. We have a "secret" family sauce that I don't give out 'cuz it's honestly good enough to bottle and I may just do that someday. But pick a fav off the shelf or use your own family favorite. It's really a fail-proof way to make ribs that fall off the bone. Err wait, meat that falls off the ribs? You know what I'm getting at...
Easy "BBQ" Ribs
~5 pounds of ribs (should feed a double date) *
2 cans of Coke or Pepsi (water's fine too, or beer, or apple juice)
Rub the slabs with your dry rub of choice (or mine). Put them in a roasting pan and fill the bottom with the Coke or Pepsi. Cover tightly with tin foil. Bake at 350° for 1.5 hours. Take the foil off (be careful of the steam!), drain as much of the liquid out as you can and return to the oven for 30 minutes at 250°. ** If your BBQ sauce is cold, cover the ribs with it about 20-25 minutes into the last half hour before they're done otherwise top the ribs with it after they come out. Cut the individual ribs and chow down!
*Oh and for my Muslim friends (ahem Bassel) - beef ribs should work too!
**If you want to finish them on the BBQ, instead of putting them back in the oven for 30 minutes, put them on a med-low fire grill for the same time. Basically to dry them out. Then continue with the sauce.