Sunday, April 12, 2015

Recipe: Oven Roasted Baby Back Ribs

Ordering ribs at restaurants is always a hit-or-miss ordeal. You hope that your ribs are delicious, succulent, and tender, but they usually come out dry, burnt, and dwarf sized. Those ribs are probably microwaved unless you went to a legitimate BBQ place so save yourself the money and trouble and make a rack of ribs at home for about $10.

A small disclaimer: These ribs are NOT barbeque ribs. They are NOT smoked with charcoal and natural wood. These are oven roasted ribs. But they are amazingly juicy, delicious, and incredibly fun to make and eat!

1 Rack of Baby Back Pork Ribs
Dry Rub of Your Choice
Sauce of Your Choice
1/4 Cup of Water, Apple Juice, or Stock

-Use St. Louis spare ribs if you can get your hands on them. They are much meatier, just as tender, and cheaper to buy!
-If you have a grill, I highly suggest you finish the ribs off with it after unwrapping. The high heat produced can help reverse-sear the meat and caramelize your sauce!
-Don't have all the spices and ingredients needed for home made sauce and rub? Salt, pepper and store brand BBQ sauce will do just fine! 

The Preparation
Carefully rinse the slab of meat with water, removing bits of bone and blood left on during the butchering process. The ribs will have a gritty feel to them before cleaning them up properly.

Next up, remove the silver skin membrane! Start by inserting the blunt end of a spoon in between the membrane and flesh. Proceed to rip off the membrane and clean up any remaining pieces left.

Finally, be sure to pat them dry! This is crucial for our mustard spread to stick in the next seasoning step!

Seasoning The Meat
Spread a 50/50 mixture of mustard and olive oil onto the ribs. This helps add flavor and moisture to the surface of the ribs.

Season the the ribs, top and bottom, liberally with your dry rub and salt! Be sure to do these steps separately so you can properly gauge how much salt you're really adding in.

I took this picture here halfway thru the seasoning process to show you what I meant by being able to see the amount of salt you're using. If using Kosher or coarse grain salt, they are easily visible and help gauge the amount of seasoning that you're adding.

The Wrap
Wrap up your ribs in foil in such a way that you're folding a boat shaped banana.

Add 1/4 cup of braising liquid: water, broth, or apple juice all work perfectly well. Seal the foil tightly, place on any oven baking pans or trays and cook for 1 hr 30 mins at 350 °F.

You can be sure that the ribs are done cooking when the meat pulls away from the bone and shrinks as shown here.

The Layering Of Sauce
To create a perfect coating of caramelized sauce, we must add the sauce in layers. Remove your ribs from the foil and place on a baking tray. Spread a thin layer of sauce over your ribs. Set your oven to the highest temperature or on high broil. Bake the ribs and do not take your eyes off them! The high heat can easily burn the sugars in BBQ sauce.

First layer of sauce shown above. Take note at the pale color development.

After many layers of saucing and baking, your ribs will develop a delicious color and a thick glazed BBQ sauce on the surface. Due to ovens having uneven heat, you will never achieve a perfect caramelized crust. If you have the time to put these ribs on a grill instead, the results will be many times better!

The only thing left to do is the cut the ribs and serve! Happy eating everyone!

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