The robins are back and spring is teasing. Can barbecue season be far behind? Even if you’re not ready to fire up the grill, these oven-baked barbecue ribs can give you a taste of what’s to come. Dry-rubbed and slow-roasted in the oven, these ribs will help put the barbecue craving to rest – for a few days.
This is a meal where you need to plan ahead. For maximum flavor, you want to put the dry rub on the ribs at least 3 hours before cooking. Better yet, let it sit in the fridge, rubbed and marinating overnight. For the barbecue sauce – use your favorite. I often enrich a bottled sauce with some of the following: dry mustard, Tabasco, chili powder, honey, garlic, scallions, ginger or orange marmalade. Pick your favorite flavors and add according to taste. If you want to add some Asian tastes to the sauce stick with the garlic, scallions and ginger. Like your sauce sweet? Add some honey or orange marmalade. If you want more heat add some Tabasco, cayenne pepper or dried chilies.
Baby-back pork ribs Ingredients (covers 6-8 pounds of baby back pork ribs) – generously serves 4
- 7-8 pounds pork baby-back ribs
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbl paprika
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 cups your favorite barbecue sauce – bottled, homemade or enriched
Baby-back ribs preparation
- Combine ingredients 2-11 in a bow. Mix well.
- Trim baby back ribs of extra fat. Put ribs in lightly sprayed-foil. Rub dry rub all over them. Really rub the mixture into the meat – top, bottom and sides. Cover completely with foil and let sit in the fridge for 3-24 hours.
- When ready to cook, bring ribs to room temperature (no more than fifteen minutes). Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Open the foil to expose the ribs and put on baking sheet. (The ribs can stay in the original foil).
- Bake for 2-1/2 – 3 hours. Start checking for doneness after about 2-1/4 hours as some ovens are hotter than others. When done, the pork ribs should be browned inside and out with no pink remaining. Cut into the thickest part of the ribs to make sure.
- When cooked, lather on the barbecue sauce – be generous. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve.
My ribs came from a meat sale at Festival Foods. The majority of my meats come from Otis Family Farm at St. Paul’s Farmer’s Market. Morelli’s Market on the east side in St. Paul also has excellent ribs and probably the best prices in town. One of the reasons their prices are so low is they don’t accept credit cards or check cards. So bring cash or a check and enjoy the low-prices.