Shane and I were at the grocery store late last week just when one of the meat cutters was marking down baby back ribs that had reached their sell by date that day. At half the regular price, we decided to give them a try. We'd never cooked ribs before...except for country-style pork ribs, which aren't really ribs at all. I'm not sure why we hadn't, other than the price usually seems expensive for the low ratio of meat to bone.
First I coated the two racks of ribs with a dry rub. I used something I already had mixed up in the cabinet, but any kind of rub will do. Just do a Google search for "dry rub for ribs" and pick the one that sounds best.
After rubbing on the rub, I wrapped each rack in foil and left them to sit on the counter for a couple of hours. You could also do this the night before and refrigerate them overnight.
Meanwhile, I mixed 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar with 3/4 cup water. After letting the ribs sit on the counter top for a while, I opened the foil just a little and poured 1/2 cup of the vinegar mixture over each rack. I closed the foil and put both packets in a large shallow pan. I put them in a 250°F. oven for about 2-1/2 hours.
We don't have a smoker, but we do have a fairly large charcoal grill. A couple of hours after the ribs went into the oven, Shane fired up the grill, and also soaked some hickory wood chip in water. When the charcoal was ready, he pushed it all to the center of the grill and piled on some wood chips. I then placed a rack of ribs (foil removed) on the grill at either side of the coals. (You could also push the charcoal to the outside edges and place the ribs in the center; either way is indirect-heat grilling). We grilled the ribs this way for about 40 minutes, occasionally adding a few more wood chips (dry, this time) and turning the ribs every 10 minutes.
We didn't apply any barbecue sauce since we both prefer to use just a little sauce at the table, but if sauce is your thing, you could certainly add it to the ribs while they are on the grill.
The ribs turned out great! We impressed ourselves...LOL! The baking/steaming step made them very tender, and the grilling gave them the smoke flavor we craved. We're already looking forward to the next time baby backs go on sale.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Posted by Annie Jones at 9:22 AM