Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Easiest and Most Awesome Ribs Ever!

This is another story of a recipe that lived in my house for quite awhile before I finally made it.  Ribs are a food that you find all over the South, but not all of us are born and bred rib chefs.  In fact, until I made this recipe, I was always very intimidated by the idea of cooking ribs.  Depending on who you ask, you'll learn that cooking ribs requires hours and hours of slow cooking on a grill or boiling first, grilling then hours more in a slow oven or baking, grilling then grilling again.  You name it, I've heard it.  That's the reason this rib recipe sat around my house so long.  

But, the picture on the cover of Bon Appetit was so beautiful, I just couldn't discard it.  One day, I'll muster up the courage to try it, right?  So, this magazine lived here...you guessed it...on top of my microwave until that fateful day finally arrived.

I remembered Neil's mom telling me that the only ribs to even bother with are the baby backs and that they aren't available all the time. You have to keep your eyes out for them.  The groceries are full of all kinds of rib-types.  For instance, "Country Style" means fatty, gristly, nasty, reject meat just clinging on the bone hoping for mercy.  Don't buy those.  So, one day, I saw baby backs in the store, on sale and they looked very lean and pretty.  I went for it!  I bought them and I came home, went straight to the microwave to retrieve the recipe, and got started. 

That was one of those days that Neil was impressed with his little Wanna-be Chef-wife.  I was at the grill, following instructions to a "T", focused and intent.  I think he was proud of me for jumping off that rib cliff but I also think he was genuinely excited.  Well, long story short, the ribs were fantastic.  We both loved them so much, we were giddy.  And, the most impressive thing of all?  They don't take hours...less than an hour actually to cook.  What????  That's right folks...easy, flavorful, and quick enough for a weeknight.  

Wrapping these babies in delicious honey-ginger marinade!
So, the other day I found goodlooking ribs at Aldi and I couldn't resist them.  I had yesterday off, so I mixed up the marinade. That marinade is so heavenly, it smells so good you want to eat it with a spoon.  So, I had the ribs marinating in the fridge most of the day.  When it came time to cook, I made a foil packet of red potatoes, onions, yellow & red bell peppers and green onions.  Drizzle with olive oil, close up and it goes on the top rack of the grill.  I also had fresh corn, so I rinsed them in water and wrapped in foil...off to the top rack.  

Then, the fun part.  At least, it usually is.  These ribs are a cinch to cook.  You grill them 8  minutes per side with the grill open.  Then, 8 minutes per side with the grill closed.  That's it.  They are tender, the flavor will punch you in the face and all is right with the world.

As I turned them for the last time yesterday, I also turned my burners down to keep the grill around medium.  I then walked around the corner of the house, helped the Vivver fill up a little watering can and when I came back I noticed fire.  Yep.  Fire.  What's this wanna-be chef's ultimate nightmare?  House burning down.  I turned off the burners and flipped the lid open.  There are my two racks of ribs engulfed in a raging fire.  So, first, I grabbed my tongs and rescued the meat.  The veggies were shaking in their boots up on the top rack...they might have to be sacrified.  Then, I called  Neil.  Uhhh...what do we do?  We turned off the gas of course, closed it up and let it burn.  Obviously, some grease/fat had accumulated in the bottom of the grill and caught on fire.  The temp of this grill had gone from 400 degrees to 700 in the time it took me to fill up a kid's toy watering can.  
Right before the big inferno started

Anyway, we rescued the ribs and the veggies survived too.  The house is undamaged and still standing.  All is well, thank God! Oh, by the way, it's never too early to explain to children about grease fires and why we don't need them to try to use their watering can on one.  Dodged a major bullet there!


  1. Any ribs are good on the grill or in a smoker, you can't really ruin them. But if you want something special, cook for 4 hours at a low heat in a smoker or grill with smoking wood chips.

    Here is a Memphis recipe.

    Mark’s Championship Quality Smoked Dry Ribs

    Large Pork ribs – St. Louis cut

    Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Wash off and pat dry. Cover both sides with cheap yellow mustard and rub on dry spices. Let them sit covered in the refrigerator overnight.

    Cook at a low heat, around 200-220 degrees in a smoker or BBQ grill. Use hickory or pecan chips for smoke for the first hour.

    Cook for 2 hours in the smoker uncovered. Then wrap them in foil and cook 2 more hours in the smoker. Let them sit for at least 30 min before eating.

    Cooking spray - apple or cranberry juice alone or Jack Daniels mixed with it. Spray when you put them on initially and anytime you open the cooker- every hour or so. Keep the cooker closed to maintain the heat. After you wrap them with foil don’t open them until you are ready to serve.

    They are done when the bone twists, gives way and the meat is easily pulled from the ribs.

  2. My Neil wraps his in Saran Wrap and tin foil and bakes them on low heat for hours. THEN he puts them on the grill. And they are literally falling off the bone!

    You! You and your "8 minutes per side" open/closed nonsense!

    But, glad y'all didn't get burned down and such :)



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