Baby Back Ribs

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BY JEFF GRIMSHAW

Baby Back Ribs
Total Time: 3.5 hours
Prep Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 2.5 hours
Assembly time: 15 min
Total Servings: 4-6
Difficulty: Moderate

Fall off the bone… that’s what it’s all about when it comes to a rack of ribs. When you slow roast the ribs first, the meat will be tender and stay juicy. Once roasted, they are packed and stored in bbq sauce. Then they just sit, absorbing the flavours from the sauce, ready for you to finish whenever you want. When the time is right, ribs can be thrown on a grill or heated up in the oven in less than 15 minutes. With items like these, prepped and ready to go, you can stay and do a little extra grooming at the barn.

I’ve included my recipe for Chipotle BBQ Sauce. I like to make my own sauce at home so that I can control the ingredients that go in it. The sauce will keep for a month in the fridge or for a year in the freezer. Feel free to substitute your favourite store-bought sauce in this recipe. What is important here is the three-step technique; slow cook the ribs in diluted sauce, package and freeze, heat and serve.

Baby back ribs are delicious and tender but can be pricey. A less expensive option are side ribs, commonly known as St. Louis ribs or spare ribs. St. Louis ribs tend to be meatier than Baby Backs so you may have to cook them a little longer. This cooking technique will also work with beef ribs. You can ask for short ribs to save space while cooking or opt for the full size beef rib that looks impressive on the cookout table.

Ingredients
Pork Baby Back Ribs        4 racks
BBQ Sauce                          1 recipe

Chipotle BBQ Sauce
Olive oil    3 Tbsp
Onion – finely-diced    2 medium
Garlic – chopped    1 bulb
Molasses    1/2 cup
Brown sugar    1 cup
Tomato paste    1 cup
Dry mustard    1 Tbsp
Chipotle in adobo    4 tbsp
Cider vinegar    1/2 cup
Chili powder    ¼ cup
Black pepper    1 tsp
Sea salt    1 tsp
Water    2 cups

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1. Method – BBQ Sauce
In a heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat, sauté onions until they start to caramelize.
Add garlic and cook for two minutes until it starts to soften.
Turn off the heat and add all the rest of the ingredients.
Stir well to combine and turn the heat back to medium.
Bring the sauce to a simmer stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Simmer for 20 minutes.

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Pass through a strainer, using the back of a spoon or ladle to push out all the liquid and set aside to cool.
Once completely cooled, divide into three equal portions.

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2. Cook the ribs.
Cut the pork rib racks in half, rinse and pat dry.
Find a deep baking dish that will hold all the ribs at the same time.
Mix one of the sauce portions with four cups of water and pour over the ribs.
Arrange the ribs in the sauce; it’s ok to shingle them so that they all fit and they don’t have to be completely covered with liquid.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a 325-F oven for two hours.
Check for tenderness. If the meat pulls away from the bone, they are done.
Remove from the oven, cool completely and refrigerate overnight exactly as you cooked them.

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3. Freeze the ribs.
The next day, remove the ribs from the baking dish and discard the liquid.
Stack ribs two high and put in sandwich size zipper bags.
Divide one portion of BBQ Sauce evenly between the bags, moving the ribs around to coat and distribute the sauce.
Squeeze the air out of the bag, label and freeze.

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4. Dinner Time
Thaw the packaged ribs in the fridge the night before.
Grill or oven broil basting often with bbq sauce.

Ribs need only to be heated through and basted with the reserved sauce.
• In the Oven: Set the rack low, oven set to broil. In a baking dish, broil, basting often until heated through, caramelized and bubbly
• On the Grill: Over a medium heat, wipe the grill with a little oil to prevent sticking. Grill them up, getting a little char on the edges and baste often.

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