I really enjoy making ribs for dinner. I love how they make the house smell. I love the anticipation of them. I love everything about them - except the unhealthy factor. I don't make them very often, but when I do, I generally try a different recipe each time. I just don't think there is a bad rib recipe!
A personal story for you about ribs for dinner in my home....when my little one was born, he decided to arrive 2 months early. The weekend before he was born, I felt the best of my entire pregnancy - it was like the calm before the storm.
I remember the Sunday before he arrived, going to dinner at a neighborhood restaurant with the hubby and my older son thinking, I am so happy, I am so calm, what a beautiful sunset. On Monday morning, I had my maternity photos taken (whew, good thing!). On Tuesday, I didn't feel right all day - but ribs were in the oven and I was going to eat them! Dinner rolled around and I could only eat one. One rib. Something was off! After the older one went to bed, I told the hubby I was going to the hospital because I thought my water was leaking. I drove myself there, was admitted, put on bed rest, and delivered my little one two days later. It was probably a year later before we made ribs again!
On the 4th of July this year, I decided to make ribs for dinner, and not just any ribs, but Tyler Florence's (one of my faves!) Ultimate BBQ Ribs. This dish was very easy to make - we paired it with baked beans and corn on the cob - a great pre-fireworks dinner for us!
The Ultimate BBQ Ribs
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence and The Food Network
2 slabs baby back ribs (about 3 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 bacon slices
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 smashed garlic cloves
2 cups ketchup
1 cup peach preserves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or 1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Note: This step was not in Tyler's recipe, but it is important for tender ribs! Remove the membrane! Here's a quick link from Bon Appetit on how to do that.
Put the ribs on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Stick them in the oven, and let the ribs bake, low and slow for 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the middle of the thyme sprigs and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat a 2-count of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme bundle and cook slowly for 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste.
Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly, without coloring, for 5 minutes. Add all of the rest of the sauce ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Put some sauce in a separate bowl for basting, reserving the remaining sauce for serving.
Baste the ribs with the sauce and let them continue cooking, basting twice more, for 30 more minutes.
When the ribs are cooked, take them out of the oven. You can let them hang out like this until you are ready to eat.
When ready to eat, preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and broil the ribs, basting with the sauce. They should become crisp and charred, about 5 minutes on each side. Pick the onion and garlic out of the sauce and serve with ribs.