BBQ Baby Back/Loin Pork Ribs

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There’s a “gift without ribbons” growing abundantly, and might I say, aggressively, in my herb garden. Check the photo out — it’s a pumpkin vine! No one’s sure how it got there. Anyway, it has taken over the medicinal and culinary areas of my herb garden, and is now vining out over the garden wall and into the Bible herbs area. So far it hasn’t creeped into the household herbs and edible flowers but I have a feeling it will.

Since there are no herb garden tours this year due to the pandemic, I’m going to let it grow. IMG_3030

Now, about the recipe I’m sharing for ribs: Today I had a reader stop me at the store, telling me how much she liked my barbecued ribs recipe.  “You should share it again. Every time we have a gathering, your ribs are requested.” Well, ok, here’s the bbq rib recipe and dry rub and my special bbq sauce again, updated a bit. It really is a keeper.

Now this recipe isn’t brined; I do have a recipe here on my site for brined ribs if you want to go that route.

My bbq’d ribs

I like baby back ribs, sometimes called loin ribs, since they are flavorful and easy to eat. 

Ingredients

About 5 pounds or so baby back/pork loin ribs. 

Dry rub and bbq sauce

Instructions

Remove silver skin from ribs. Then cut into slabs, up to 6-7 ribs per slab. 

Removing silverskin

Also called the membrane, this skin covers the bone side of each rack. If left on, it keeps seasoning from penetrating and silverskin cooks up with a leathery texture. Some ribs are sold with skin removed. If you have to remove it here’s how:

Slide a knife under the silverskin toward the beginning of the rack, or really just about anywhere. It if resists in one spot, try another.

Lift and loosen it with the knife until you can grab it with a paper towel.

Pull it off ribs. Sometimes it comes off in one log sheet; other times you have to start over with the knife.

Seasoning ribs:

This may be different from what you’re used to, but trust me, it works well.

Season ribs with my spicy dry rub (or your favorite). Be generous and pat rub in on both sides.

Precooking: first on grill to mark, then in oven

Place on hot grill and “mark” them for a couple minutes on each side. 

Marking means allowing ribs to grill just until you see grill marks, that’s all. You’ll finish cooking them in the oven and then sauce and char them on the grill afterwards.

Bonus: can be done ahead!

Preheat oven to 300.

Arrange marked ribs in single layers, curved side up, in baking pan and pour chicken broth or beer around ribs (not on top), a generous cup or so. This makes for a flavorful steam.

Cover tightly with foil and cook until done and tender, from 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours depending upon size.

Don’t over cook, you don’t want them falling apart since you’ll be finishing them on grill.

Bonus: this can be done ahead of time!

Finish on grill, coating with sauce:

Place ribs on medium high grill and start brushing with bbq sauce. 

Do this several times on both sides. They’re ready when hot throughout and charred a bit. Serve with additional warm sauce.

Spicy Dry Rub 

Delicious on pork tenderloin or loin, too.

Ingredients

6 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chili powder blend 

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cumin

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons allspice

Instructions

Whisk everything together. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

My hot & smoky bbq sauce

After cooking, adjust seasonings, adding more vinegar, etc. if you like.  I always add more brown sugar to make it taste similar to Montgomery Inn’s. 

4 cups catsup

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/3 to 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup yellow mustard

2 tablespoons Tabasco

2 tablespoons rub (see above) 

2 teaspoons liquid smoke or more 

Chipotle pepper powder to taste or 1-2 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, chopped fine (or couple shakes cayenne – go easy on the cayenne if using)

Combine everything in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until dark and thick, about 20 minutes

Tip: Make store-bought sauce taste homemade

Stir in a couple spoonfuls of dry rub.

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