Parts of this weekend were so beautiful! With guests coming into town, I knew that we'd want to be outside, enjoying the deck and the fine weather. So, I opted for ribs on the grill for our Saturday evening dinner. The actual preparation on Saturday was super easy, I just handed the ribs over to my husband with a basting brush and barbecue sauce and let him take over. However, the preparation for these perfect, fall-off-the-bone ribs began 3 days before the first bite (which was quickly followed by the first MMMMMmmmmm)...occurred. On Wednesday, I thawed my ribs. On Thursday, I applied the rub. On Friday, I braised the ribs for 3 hours, made the bbq sauce, basted the ribs with the bbq sauce, wrapped them in foil, and returned them to the fridge for one more night. Then on serving day, as I said, I just handed them over.
Here are the ribs right off the grill, just before the hungry mob attacked. Unfortunately, I didn't get a pretty picture of these ribs that illustrates just how tender and delicious they were. In truth, I couldn't wait to dig in, so I snapped this quick pic and filled my plate! Oink, oink, Krista!
I went with a Kansas City style rub. I like a little sweet to my ribs. The rub ingredients: brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, kosher salt, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
Some people are squeamish about meat with bones. Not me. I'm a gnaw on the bone kinda girl and ribs offer the perfect, messy, gnaw-on-the-bone experience! The ribs that I used weren't even really ribs. They were country style or Western style ribs, which aren't ribs at all, rather they are a cut from the shoulder region sliced into a rib size (or actually a little larger) strip. And they were cheap! $1.00/lb, I got them at our Super Kmart. Classy, huh? When I lived in a town with a Kroger, I loved the 10 for $10 deals. With no Kroger store in sight, I've resorted to the local Kmart to get my 10 for $10 on! Believe it or not, I look forward to this occasional bargain shopping trip. My girlfriend, Staycie, alerts me of the 10 for $10 sale when she gets the ad. We hover over the flyer making our lists together. Then we enlist our husbands or parents to watch the kiddos and we carpool. We make it a girl's day (or night) out. It's a great opportunity to catch up. Sometimes we grab a bite to eat before we shop. And then we "cruise" Kmart. I know, I know... we're SO cool. I have to say the Kmart where I live is much nicer than the one in my hometown. I was relaying my Kmart bargains over the phone to my youngest sister the other day and she was like, "Really? Kmart? When I have to go into Kmart here I actually feel a little dirty after the experience." She's right. I've been inside of my hometown Kmart. It's nothing to brag about. But the Super Kmart in my area here has the best 10 for $10 sales, so any disillusionment that I had with Kmart in my formative years is blinded by the glow of such great bargains!
Okay, enough on Kmart and back to the ribs. Here are my rubbed-down ribs. I wrapped these up and put them back into the refrigerator overnight.
It's been a few years since I prepared ribs for the grill. Of course, I wanted them to fall-off-the-bone (who doesn't?), so I did some research. In the past, to achieve tenderness, I boiled the ribs before grilling or I slow-cooked them in the Crock Pot. This time I wanted to try braising them in the oven and then grilling. I wrapped the ribs into 2 foil packets and placed them on a baking sheet. They baked in a 250 degree oven for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Although a couple of recipes recommended using a braising liquid, I didn't. The juices that were created by the ribs as they cooked was sufficient for braising. I have to say, mission accomplished! There weren't many bones in the country style ribs for the meat to fall off of...but meat was very tender.
While the ribs braised, I made my barbecue sauce. I love this tangy barbecue sauce with a hint of orange. I have no idea where I got this recipe, I copied it into "my favorite recipes" notebook years ago. Here are the ingredients: olive oil, ketchup, chili sauce, brown sugar, orange juice, cider vinegar, and garlic. I added a little orange peel, also, but I forgot to put it in the picture. For me, the sauce needs a little more heat, so next time I'll also add some red pepper flakes.
I saute the garlic in the olive oil and then stir in the other ingredients and bring it all to a boil. Then turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Stir frequently for the next 20 minutes or so.
Brush both sides of the ribs with barbecue sauce and then put em' back into the fridge for one more night. Reserve the remaining sauce to baste the ribs while grilling and to serve alongside the ribs.
Grill the ribs for 15-20 minutes, basting with sauce and turning occasionally to prevent burning. Now grab your rib bib and wet wipes and dig in!
Country Style Barbecued Ribs
5-6 lbs. Country style, Western style, or pork shoulder ribs (whatever you wanna call em')
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine ingredients and rub into the rib meat. Cover and refrigerate over night.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup each of ketchup and chili sauce
1/4 cup each of brown sugar, orange juice, and cider vinegar
1-2 teaspoons fresh grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Heat oil in a skillet. Saute garlic for a couple of minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
The day before or the morning of the day that you plan to serve the ribs, wrap them in foil, making two packets of ribs. Place on a baking sheet. Braise in a 250 degree oven for 3 hours. Remove from oven, let cool slightly. Brush with sauce, wrap in foil again and refrigerate until grilling.
Grill the ribs for 15-20 minutes, basting with sauce and turning occasionally to prevent burning.
For a printable copy of this recipe, click here!