Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Happy BBQ Season! Martha Hall Foose's Glorious Baby Back Ribs
I have grill fever. The first day of March here in Texas is warm and sunny and not conducive to getting work done, though I am being forced to. But it's hard when you're having visions of sizzling steaks, juicy burgers, and beer can chicken sitting pretty on the grill.
My current obsession is ribs. I spent the first 30 something years of my life avoiding them, thinking them messy and fatty, and the last few years praising Jesus for those exact same traits. Now I'm making up for lost time with a vengeance, as if my whole reason for being on this earth is to try any and every iteration of them, from smoked to roasted and sauce less to those doused in thick, sweet goop.
After all, there are a lot of animals with ribs in them. And they should all fear me. I'm looking at a squirrel right now in my backyard thinking how adorable his tiny ribs would look on a plate. Just kidding - I feed possums cat food for crying out loud - but you get my drift. I'm temporarily possessed by a five hundred pound truck driver. It'll pass, I'm sure, though I kind of hope it won't.
Sunday I made baby back ribs (in the oven because I was out of propane, classic!) from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea (order this on Amazon now if you don't already have it) and they turned out flipping fantastic. So good in fact that they made me want to make more and more ribs. So stay tuned.
PS - my slaw recipe, though pretty, sucked. Anyone have a good, vinegary (cause that's how I like it, y'all) recipe to share?
Happy Grilling Season!
Martha Hall Foose's Mustard Rubbed Ribs with Vinegar Mopping Sauce
* There is nothing difficult about this recipe but it is a time sucker. Be sure to factor in the 24 hour dry rub and the 3-4 hours of actual cook time, with basting. The upside is the mop sauce doesn't need cooking - just mix and refrigerate.
* 1 slab of baby back ribs, rinsed and patted dry
* 28 oz low sodium chicken stock, only if roasting in oven
* 1 can or bottle of beer, only if roasting in oven
* ingredients for dry rub and mopping sauce below
Step 1 - Make the dry rub (whisk together ingredients listed below) and thoroughly coat your rack of ribs with it, pressing in and smearing around with your fingers. Cover the ribs tightly with plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge a good half hour before cooking.
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 tablespoon black pepper (she uses a whole tbsln)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Step 2 - whisk the ingredients below together for your mopping sauce and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made a day or two ahead.
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I halve this because I'm a wimp)
Step 3 - Grill or Roast!
If roasting, preheat the oven to 300. Prepare your largest roasting pan with a rack. Pour the can or bottle of beer in, then enough chicken stock to reach up the sides to 1/4 inch or so (you don't want the liquid to touch the ribs.)
Set aside a half cup of the mopping sauce for serving with the ribs. Place the ribs over the rack then baste thoroughly with the mopping sauce then continue to roast, BASTING EVERY HALF HOUR WITH THE SAUCE, for 3 1/2 hours, or until the bones move lightly when twisted. Also be sure to continue adding stock to the bottom of the pan to keep it from drying out/burning - if you run out of stock you can just add water.
Slice them up and serve with leftover mopping sauce.
If grilling, place coals on one side of the grill and set a drip pan on the other side. Set the rack 6 to 8 inches above the coals and light the coals.
When ready to grill, you should be able to hold your palm over the coals for about 2 seconds and there should be a light ash coating on the glowing coats.
Place the ribs on the grill opposite from the coals and cover.
Cook for 20 minutes, keeping the temperature at 200 to 225F. Brush with the sauce, cover, and continue to cook, brushing with the sauce every 30 minutes covering between moppings, for 3 hours or until the bones move slightly when twisted.
Slice and serve with remaining sauce.