Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Perfect Baby Back Pork Ribs

I was trying to think of a title for this post that wouldn't sound pretentious or arrogant, but the only word I could think of to accurately describe these ribs was indeed "perfect."  I'm talking fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth, perfect!  Now, I have eaten my fair share of ribs.  Ask any one of my immediate family members about it and the first thing they will tell you is the Chili's story from when I was fourteen and I ate an entire rack of ribs by myself (in addition to all the french fries that came with it and two lemonades…but I digress.)

Long story short, I know my ribs, and my mom makes some darn good ones… But not as good as mine. (Sorry, mom!)  I asked her for her recipe and she briefly described her process, which I then followed pretty closely.  I made a few tweaks such as using my own go-to spice rub and making a paleo barbecue sauce (both included in the recipe below), and the ribs did not come out tasting quite like my mom's.  They were better!  (Love you, mom!)

One big difference between mine and my mom's recipe is our method for searing the ribs.  My mom barbecues them on both sides before putting them in the oven to finish cooking, while I broil them on high in the oven beforehand.  I know it's grilling season and all, but I am not about to spend any length of time outside in 115º weather standing in front of a giant box of fire...because I already live in one. It's called Phoenix.

Also, I struggled for a while with the though of sharing this recipe on my blog.  I mean, everyone has their "kitchen secrets," and I wasn't sure I wanted to just put this one out there for the world to see…Then I had the thought that if my recipes can be useful to someone or make them happy, then I would be glad to share it…And I also remembered that no one really reads my blog anyway (#shrug).  Enjoy!

Perfect Baby Back Pork Ribs  (can be doubled or tripled easily for a larger crowd)

(Yes, that is my Primal Cravings
cookbook in the background.)
• One full rack of baby back ribs 
• 1 Tablespoon chili powder
• 1 Tablespoon paprika
• 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
• ⅓ cup tomato paste

1. Turn the oven broiler on high.  Remove ribs from packaging, and pat dry.  Cut the rack in half and place in a greased glass baking dish.

2. Mix together all of the dry spices (this is your dry rub), and sprinkle generously over the ribs, completely coating both sides.

3. Broil the ribs on high for 5 minutes on each side (10 minutes total). Meanwhile, mix together the balsamic and the tomato paste (this is your barbecue sauce - recipe courtesy of Emily at Practical Paleo).

4. Remove the ribs from under the broiler, coat the ribs on both sides with the barbecue sauce, and loosely cover them with aluminum foil.

5.  Set the oven to 300ºF, and place the ribs in the oven for 1½ hours.  Then, baste the ribs with the surrounding juices, put them back in the oven, and lower the oven temperature to 225ºF.

6. Allow them to cook for 20 more minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the ribs in the oven for 10-20 more minutes.  Take them out of the oven, let them rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing, and serve.

What fabulous dishes are you planning on making for the Fourth of July?  Would you be willing to try this oven-only method, or are you all about the grill on this downright 'Merican holiday?