One night a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at home reading when Dar came home from doing the grocery shopping. After taking her coat and boots off, she looked at me and said, "I bought some presents for you..."
"For me???? You shouldn't have..."
Dar then rummaged around in one of the grocery bags and proceeded to pull out a package of pork tenderloin, and a rack of pork side ribs.
My baby loves me.
Now, as incredible as it may sound, I had never cooked ribs before. I don't think that there's a specific reason for this, but I think that the lack of a BBQ grill is one of the factors. Turns out, the oven is fine place to cook your ribs. As with most things in life, it's not the equipment that matters, it's what you do with it.
Since I have spent a serious amount of time watching the Food Network, I have come to believe that the best way to cook ribs is 'low and slow'. This means that the ribs should be cooked at a low temperature for a longer period of time. This method results in very tender, fall-off-the-bone meat which, really, is what I look for when I order ribs at a restaurant.
The cooking instructions on the package said to cook the ribs at 375°F (190°C) for about 75 minutes. Hmmm... no. If I wanted pork chops, I would cook pork chops. SO, I did a little research online and decided to go with the slower route and try cooking them at about 250°F (135°C) for closer to three hours.
But first... the marinade. Oh yes. Since I was completely winging this anyway, I decided to marinate the ribs overnight with a dry rub first, then baste with a smoky BBQ sauce while they cooked.
The dry rub I used was as follows:
GG's Wonderful Rib Rub
Mix together in a medium-sized bowl -
About 10 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely diced
Equal measures (around 2 tbsp each) of:
- freshly ground black pepper
- kosher salt
- brown sugar
- chili flakes
I cut the rack into two pieces, rubbed this wonderful stuff well into the meaty side of both pieces and placed them, meat to meat, in a Ziploc baggie. I let them sit in the fridge overnight so the flavours could marinate and co-mingle and stuff.
Cooking them was pretty simple, really. I put them on a Pampered Chef stoneware pan (love the stoneware) and covered them with some smoky BBQ sauce I picked up at the One-Of-A-Kind Show in Toronto back before Christmas. Into the oven they went at 250°F (135°C) and I just let them cook, checking them every 30 minutes or so to make sure they hadn't dried out and to baste them with some more sauce.
We actually popped out to run a few errands while they were cooking and when we got back the whole apartment (and most of the hallway) smelled AMAZING. At about three hours of cooking time I took them out and tested the meat with a fork. Not quite fall-off-the-bone, but pretty close. The meat was cooked all the way through, was very tender and smelled wonderful. Close enough for rock-n-roll as far as I was concerned.
The hardest part was letting them cool down a bit before getting right in there. The first half rack disappeared pretty quickly and I had the other half for dinner the following night, much to the chagrin of my Facebook friends after I posted the pictures.