Monday, February 7, 2011

Sweet & Tangy Pork Ribs

My husband loves ribs, but I've never made them before, so when ribs were on sale this week, I was on the hunt for the best recipe I could find. In typical fashion, I couldn't decide on just one, so I combined a couple and ended up with a meal that my husband declared was "Mmmmmmmmmm!"  This technique and dry rub would also be delicious for pork chops, chicken or steak...
     Baby back ribs*
(*About 3/4 pound to 1 pound per person. Keep in mind that a lot of that weight is bone. Can also use St. Louis or country-style ribs)

CAJUN DRY RUB (Emeril Lagasse):
     2 1/2 Tbs. paprika
     2 Tbs. salt
     2 Tbs. garlic powder (I used 1 & 1/2 Tbs.)
     1 Tbs. black pepper
     1 Tbs. onion powder
     1 Tbs. cayenne pepper (I omit for my kids)
     1 Tbs. dried leaf oregano
     1 Tbs. dried thyme

     2 Tbs. white sugar
     1/2 bottle of Barbecue Sauce -or- Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Begin by removing the white fat membrane on the underside of the ribs, if needed. Slide a butter knife under the membrane and pull off as much as you can. Place 2 layers of tin foil (shiny side out) on a baking sheet. Lay ribs on tin foil and sprinkle ribs generously on both sides with Cajun Dry Rub mixed with 2 Tbs. white sugar.

Place another layer of tin foil on top of each rack of ribs. Roll up the long sides first, then roll up the ends to form an airtight packet around the ribs. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, if you can. These can also just be put in the oven right after seasoning, if you don't have time.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 275° F. Place ribs, unopened, in their foil packets on a baking sheet with a 1" edge or in a 9 x 13" baking dish and bake for 4 hours.
(Above): All wrapped up and ready to bake!

(Above): Just out of the oven, after 4 hours. 
Remove from oven and cut ribs into smaller slabs. Place on a clean piece of tin foil on baking sheet and brush both sides generously with either barbecue sauce or sweet chili sauce. Move oven rack to the top 1/3 of the oven and set the oven to broil. Broil ribs for about 5 minutes, turning once, until sauce is caramelized. Do NOT walk away, check e-mail or turn on the TV... Resist! Keep an eye on them and don't let them burn! They cook fast!
Now get ready for those finger-licking, mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone ribs! Grab some napkins, because you're going to need them!

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