I love Memorial Day weekend. Not only is Memorial Day a time to commemorate U.S. men and women who perished while in military service to our country, but it is also serves as a time to gather as a family. It has become the traditional summer kick-off celebration, which brings me to summer.
Summer. I truly love summer. It is by far my most favorite season. I love the long days, the warm weather, having a glass of wine on the screen porch, dipping my toes in the lake, and feeling the sun's rays on my nose.
For us Americans, it's not unusual to celebrate Memorial Day with a big cookout covered with hamburgers and hotdogs. That would have been an easy choice for us, but we felt a little frisky and decided to buck tradition. Instead of opting for tried and true burgers and dogs, we decided to grill baby back ribs. It was an awesome choice, if I do say so myself.
Now, if you know ribs, you know that there is a lot of debate in the rib department. Depending on what part of the country you are from, you will have strong opinions when it comes to ribs. Should they be beef ribs or pork ribs? Dry rub or wet sauce? Boil them first or slowly bake them? The choices are endless.
What I have found to be the best method, the one that absolutely seals in the flavor, the one that produces the most succulent fall of the bone ribs is actually a combination of methods. My favorite way to prepare them is to begin with pork baby back ribs. Slather them with a spicy rub, tightly cover and slow roast in the oven, and then finish on the grill with a dousing of homemade barbecue sauce. Whew! Just writing that made me hungry. Whatever your preference, I urge you to give this one a try.
So, the next time you get a hankering for ribs, give this recipe a go. First of all, it's easy peasy. Guaranteed, you will need lots of napkins, and you will become very skilled at licking your fingers! At the end of the day, you won't be disappointed! In fact, you'll begin dreaming of the next time you can have a bite and a lick. I know I am.
3 tablespoons smoky paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon ground cumin
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1 tablespoon dried mustard
Combine paprika, salt, sugar, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, pepper, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, oregano and dried mustard in bowl; mix well. For a smoother rub, puree ingredients in a spice grinder until well combined and all pieces are uniform (the rub will be very fine and tan in color).
Nay Nay's Barbeque Sauce
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (40-oz.) bottle Heinz ketchup
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Worcerstershire sauce
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dry (ground) mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and cook for five to seven minutes or until soft.
Add the ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke and stir well. Stir in the chili powder, paprika, mustard, black pepper and ginger. Let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Baby Back Ribs
4 racks baby back ribs
1 recipe Nay Nay's Barbecue Sauce, recipe above
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the racks of ribs in half crosswise. Rub the ribs, paying special attention to the meaty side, with the rub. Lay the rib pieces meat side down in an 11 by 13-inch baking dish. The pieces will overlap slightly.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the meat begins to pull away from the ends of the bones and the ribs are just tender, about 2-3 hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
Grill the ribs, brushing them with about half the sauce, until they're crispy and heated through, about 10 minutes. Move the ribs around as they grill; the sugar in the barbecue sauce makes it easy for them to burn. Put out the rest of the sauce for dipping or brush it over the ribs.