04 November 2014

Back to Cooking

Think about ribs. Your ribs. They are probably not the most attractive part of your body. Vital, yes. Attractive? No. When was the last time someone - when presented with the opportunity to nibble at any of your body parts - went for your ribs? 

::leans in and listens:: 

Yeah. I thought so.

Do you know who does have beautifully attractive and endlessly nibble-able ribs? 
Our friend, the farm-raised pig. 

CG1 and I are beyond fortunate to live in a community where we can buy locally-sourced, humanely raised and very carefully harvested eggs, poultry, pork and beef.

One day this little piggy was happily munching acorns in the sunshine and the next he was on his way to my freezer. As a former vegetarian I am at peace with that.

This is how I do him - and his careful upbringing - justice.

The recipe below is easily scalable, to wit: Count the number of people on your guest list and divide by four - that's how many times you need to multiply each ingredient. If you are multiplying the recipe, cook the ribs in batches. Do not overload the oven - you'll regret it. Trust me.

Plan to prepare one pound of ribs (they are mostly bone, after all) per person, unless you are feeding lumberjacks, football players, or any young man between the ages of 13 and 30. I can't help you with that math.


Oven Braised Pork Ribs for 4

5 lbs. pork ribs, trimmed (If you purchase store-bought ribs they are already trimmed)
2 large onions
2 cans Guinness beer
6 tablespoons +/- Lawry's seasoning salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 miles (hey, it's recyclable) aluminum foil +/-
2 rimmed baking sheets
The trinity of successful ribbing.

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Tear off one sheet of aluminum foil to fit the length of the pan, plus 4".
3. Tear off another foil sheet, matching the size of the first one...then tear off four more sheets.
4. Make two (2) three-sheet foil packets. If you can do that - great! Skip down to Step 5. If not:
4a. Lay one sheet of foil on a flat surface. Lay another sheet on top of it. Fold down the top edge of both pieces of foil - both at once - to create a folded seam. Like wrapping paper, or a standing seam roof. Fold over a second time. Open the conjoined sheets and add a third sheet to the end, following the same process.
5. Rinse and dry the ribs. Season first with pepper, then with seasoning salt. Set aside.

A note about seasoning salt - this is not straight salt. Six tablespoons of Lawry's is not equal to six tablespoons of table salt. Still, you may think six is a ridiculous number - or not enough. This is a baseline best practice. Just make sure both sides of the rack(s) are covered. 

6. Slice onions into 1" rings. Separate rings and scatter across the bottom of the sheets. Gently lay ribs atop onions, like, so:


7. Carefully pour one can of Guinness into each pan. 
8. Just as carefully, seal the foil around the pans, creating lovely little silver snowglobes of ribs, onions and beer.
9. Place pans in preheated oven and bake - steam, actually - for 90 minutes. There is no earthly reason to fiddle with the rib packets during this time. Put them into the oven and forget about them.

Remove the pans and carefully (steam!) cut through the foil. Remove the ribs and allow them to cool enough so that they can be handled without inflicting pain. 
I like to cut them into pairs, so go ahead and cut them into pairs, then throw them into a bowl and cover with the barbecue sauce of your choice (see yesterday's post). 

At this point they can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours or thrown directly onto the grill to be finished. If it is too cold to grill (I would argue there is no such thing since stepdad used to grill in the snow) put the ribs back onto  the now-clean cookie sheets and slide them under a low broiler. 
Keep an eye on them and pull them out when the tips begin to blacken.


Proving once more that CG1 and I are on exactly the same slightly out-of-tune wavelength, we absolutely did not coordinate these posts. It's funny how that happens, isn't it?

3 comments:

Country Girl said...

Hands down....favorite rib BBQ sauce of ALL TIME is Cattleman's. All. Time. Having eaten at the original Cattleman's in Fort Worth, I am a convert. I had bull's balls there, too. They were actually quite good!

Country Girl said...

Just saw the last line...we need to go buy some mustard. Just sayin'.....

Country Girl said...

This may be dinner tonight.....