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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A rib-a-licious Sunday

I have to say, there is no food I can hammer through quite as easily as pork ribs. Something about the rich, tender meat enveloped in a powerfully spiced dry rub just sends my olfactory system into another world. I decided to use a recent family gathering to cook 5 racks of pork spare ribs and attempt to document the process with photos and descriptions, in case anyone is interested in the good life.

First things first, so I went ahead and preheated the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit while I gathered my dry rub ingredients.
Dry rub spices, not pictured is salt and black pepper.
That's paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I don't know the exact quantities that I use and every batch of dry rub is different but I can't think of any mixture that has been tastier than it's predecessor.
Ribs, stacked and generously rubbed
I'm not shy with the dry rub, I pour it on and rub it in. The next step is to wrap each rack in foil and place on a cookie sheet. Once encompassed in aluminum, pop 'em in the preheated oven and then find something else to think about for the next 4 hrs because you'll want to take them out and devour them when the smell of tender ribs starts to penetrate every corner of your house.
ribs, wrapped in foil, entering the low and slow oven
Ribs are essentially done, but what is a BBQ without a sauce? Being generally weary of anything that comes from the grocery store, I decided to make my own.

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 cups beef broth
I diced the onion and garlic as finely as possible with a sweet little gadget (my mom has every kitchen gadget ever made, which is why cooking at my folks' place is great). You just put this chopper over a mound of veggies and slam the handle down over and over. Repeat until all your vegetable matter is uniform.
Onions, fine dice with pampered chef chopper.
Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan, cover, and simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes; stirring frequently.
Final sauce is chunky and delicious:
Thick, spicy, delicious sauce
The sauce tasted like chili with no beans or meat and it was sweet enough with just the tomatoes, plus the vinegar gave it a nice tang.

After 4 hours in the oven, I pulled the ribs out and brought them out to the grill. Grill on high, I unwrapped the ribs, placed them on the grill over a flaming burner and gave them a little crust on each side (5-10 min each side). The result was finger licking delicious and undoubtedly the best ribs I've ever made (and thus the best I've ever eaten). Due to the fact that my fingers were covered in rib drippings, dry rub, bbq sauce, and other things I don't want all over my phone, I forgot to take pictures of the finished product.

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