Monday, September 23, 2013

BBQ Spareribs


If you live in Minnesota the weather comes up in almost every conversation with friends, neighbors, teachers, fitness instructors, you name it. We talk about the weather - it's our thing. Our weather has extreme changes in temperature and atmosphere, one day it will be 55 degrees, windy and cold and the next its 85 and sunny, the hottest, most humid day you can imagine. Its a whirlwind of confusion and oddness and I think that's why we love to debate on the weather here in the good ole' Twin Cities.

Anyway, what got me started on today's weather rant is because it's absolutely gorgeous in Central MN today. Lovely day. Sunny, breezy, crisp and delicious. A day that inspires a charcoal grill, unfortunately, it's Monday so no one really wants to "fire up" the charcoal grill after a long day of work, but I know what you could do...Get yourselves some ribs for a Saturday grill-fest and think about firing up the grill until Saturday (because that will make your week go by so much faster - insert facetious tone here). Yeah, good plan.
Start with a flavorful dry-rub, nothing too exotic. You should have all the ingredients in a typical, well-stocked pantry. Sugar, salt, celery salt, chili powder, pepper, cayenne, garlic and onion powder. When you slather it on the meat, pat - don't rub. Be gentle. You could also let the dry-rub sit on the meat for a couple hours and up-to overnight. 
My rib-fest included three racks, because that's how they're sold at Costco. But the original recipe called for two racks. I didn't adjust my dry-rub to include more volume, I just followed it as printed and I had enough for three racks. 
When they come out of the oven, try to gently separate the meat from the bone, if they are falling apart easily they are done. The water in the bottom of the tray keeps them soooo moist - careful not to spill it on the bottom of your oven--like I did--because now every time I open the door black smoke billows out. Pre-black-smoke-plumes the house smelled really yummy as these baked and I watched Downton Abbey season one all afternoon. That was a lazy, delicious day. I even got my 5 year old to watch one episode with me. Weird? Yes. 
Starting to get saucy. 

Starting to get crispy. 
The original recipe called for two bottles of BBQ. I only used one bottle, for three racks! But I think I would've preferred two bottles. Depends how saucy you like it. And if you are having a finicky small person telling you they don't eat ribs, tell them they are "dinosaur bones." That worked for my son and now he absolutely devours them. Something about a small man-boy imagining he's eating a dinosaur really appeals to his sense of...man-ness? Yeah, these are definitely going in the "man food" category! 
 
Printable Recipe Here

BBQ Spareribs
recipe adapted from Maxim Magazine Aug. 06'
serves 6 to 8

prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 3 hours, inactive + 15-20 minutes active

6 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3 racks pork spareribs
Water
1 cup sweet barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl combine the first 8 ingredients. Place the ribs on a cutting board and pat the dry rub into the meat on both sides.

Put racks on a large cookie sheet with raised sides; its OK if the racks overlap. Add water to the base of the tray so it reaches halfway up the sides. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for at least three hours, until the ribs are extremely tender and the meat is falling off the bone.

Remove the rack of ribs from the tray and wrap in aluminum foil. You can keep them on the counter for several hours or refrigerate overnight. When you're ready to eat, prepare your grill, preferably a charcoal one. When the flames have died down and the coals are orange and dusty, place the ribs on the grill, bone side down. With a brush, baste the tops with the sauce. After a few minutes, flip the ribs and baste the bone side with the sauce. If flare-ups occur, you may have to move the ribs away from the flames with a pair of tongs. Continue to flip and re-baste every few minutes, until the ribs are crispy but not blackened, about fifteen minutes.

Place the ribs on a cutting board and hack them up. Serve with extra BBQ sauce and lots of coleslaw.