Another temptation of grilling for our household is BBQ pork ribs. In fact, the first time I ever had pork spare ribs was at an unpretentious weekend dinner with my husband's family. My husband and I were dating at the time. His parents took one look at my "impress-the-future-in-laws" outfit and insisted I borrow a shirt-- an oversized men's flannel shirt-- to protect my clothes and ensure I had fun. They were right: the ribs were messy. And they were delicious.
There's a secret "family recipe" for the BBQ sauce, but there's a family curse, too. Mr. C, Sr. has a terrible track record, inviting pouring rain everytime he makes ribs on the grill. This weekend we decided to test fate, invite the in-laws over, and have a southern-style feast: bbq ribs, greens, and pimiento cheese mac and cheese. We broke the curse and had a great time. I guess not everything runs in the family!
|Like father, like son|
2T kosher salt (see note below)
1T dry mustard
1T paprika (regular or smoked)
1/2t cayenne pepper
1/2t black pepper
Note: We've become convinced that the grocery-store ribs wrapped in thick plastic are packaged in some sort of brine that makes the ribs salty. If using the pre-packaged kind, omit most or all of the salt from the dry rub. You won't need it.
I've been sworn to secrecy on the "family secret" sauce combo, but my advice is to use your favorite bottled sauce. We combine a thick, sweet sauce with a tangy, vinegar-based sauce to get the covert combination.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean and pat dry the rib racks. Rub generously with dry rub. Wrap in foil and place on large baking sheets. Bake for at least 2 hours until tender, but not falling apart. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Add the ribs to a grill heated to high for a few minutes, then turn the burners down to med-low. Baste with sauce, turning occasionally and adding more sauce, until the ribs look lacquered and begin to brown.
Remove ribs from the grill and cut between the bones to serve. Be sure to set aside a separate bowl of sauce serve alongside the ribs.
Recipes for pimiento cheese mac & cheese and braised greens follow.