Thursday, October 22, 2009

BBQ pork ribs

It’s not exactly kosher to post a recipe for which I made no precise measurements; nor did I stick to a consistent oven temperature, or even remember exactly how long the fruits of my labor were in the oven. Now that I think of it, it's not exactly kosher to say kosher when speaking of a pork product. Oh well, too late for that now.

But there’s a life-lesson here: it’s not necessary to follow a recipe all the time. I guess it’s ironic of me to say that and then go ahead and post, what else, a recipe!

Everything below is approximate. However, no precision is required. Brine a bit longer or shorter, set the oven temp a little higher of lower, reduce cooking time (after all, what matters in the end is that the meat is falling off the bones), etc.

A word about the type of ribs: they were merely labeled “pork ribs,” definitely not spare ribs, perhaps closer to St. Louis-style ribs. This recipe would work for any of these and as well for “country” pork ribs.

BBQ pork ribs
2 ¾ pounds pork ribs
Chicken stock as needed

Brine: (well-dissolved)
4 cups water
4 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

Dry rub:
2 tbsp cumin
2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
black pepper to taste

Wet rub:
1 cup catsup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp soy sauce (dark if you have it)

Brine the ribs for 2-6 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 300°.

Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Apply dry rub all over ribs.

Place on baking rack in a baking pan with at least 1” sides. Add some chicken stock to the pan (1/2 cup or so).

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 2 ½ - 3 hours, checking each hour and adding stock if it has evaporated.

Reduce oven to 250°.

Remove foil from the ribs and slather them with the wet rub all over. Return ribs, uncovered, to the oven to ½ to 1 hour. Recover with foil and let the ribs rest for 10 minutes. Cut between the bones and serve.

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