After sucker-punching you all with my crock-pot chicken recipe, and failing in my duties to secure a Famous Dave’s Recipe from his latest – Famous Dave’s Barbecue Party Cookbook – I had to do something special to make up for all of my shameful behavior.
Today, and with great pride, I present my own recipe for ribs.
The secret to great ribs is to ignore my first 25 years of cooking them and check in during the most recent 5 years. Yes, I destroyed many racks of ribs by being pig-headed and not preparing them far enough in advance. No matter what anyone says to the contrary, you have to slow cook them before they go on to the grill if you aren’t going to smoke them. I have the option of a grill or a smoker with my Bubba Keg. Many of you don’t. So today’s recipe starts out in the oven and moves to the grill for finishing. Oh, yeah – lots of pictures to entice you as well.
The actual recipe is pretty simple to put together. You will need:
3 full racks of ribs, Pork – Approximately 3 pounds each, total of 9 pounds
4 Large Delicious Apples
1 Large disposable steam table tray liner (aluminum) or Large Dutch Oven
Kamardine Syrup (Sweet Apricot Syrup)
Preparation time approx 7 hours. Serves 7
Spray the pan with some non-stick stuff like Pam to start out. If not, you will have a mess if you use a Dutch oven. If it’s the disposable monster you can skip that step.
Season with your desired amount of the dry spices and rub them vigorously into the meat on both sides.The more you work them in the better it’s going to taste. If you want to go for the full effect, do this the night before you cook.
Once all the dry rub is on the meat, lightly coat the ribs with the Kamardine Syrup. This stuff is amazing – it’s great on Vanilla ice cream, a little bit in sparkling water makes a wonderful soft drink, and you can use it in lots of different cooking and baking situations. By glazing the ribs with it you keep the dry spices stuck to the meat while it cooks and gain a fruity/sweet flavor in your drippings.
The next step is to add just a little honey to the top of the ribs. I happen to like the combination of the Kamardine and the Orange flavor from the honey. You can skip either or but do use one of them.
Cut the apples into chunks approximately 1/2 inch on a side. Spread them throughout the ribs and between layers if you have to stack them in your pan. The goal is to keep the moist apples on all sides of the meat.
Now, break out a novel because you aren’t going to do anything with the ribs for about 6 hours.
Check back on the ribs towards the end of the 6 hours (more like 5 if you cook at 175 versus 150) They will be almost ready to serve. This is where you need to decide how you’re going to finish them. Decision time here is tough.
If you want to do them on the grill, throw some wet wood chips of your choosing on the coals once the grill is ready. You can use hickory, maple, apple, any fruit wood but not mesquite (sorry, Texas) as that will probably taste terrible with all the sugars from the honey, apples, and Kamardine syrup. You’re basically just finishing the ribs for color and glaze at this point – they’re already cooked from the time in the oven. Dab some sauce on at the end before you flip them over and let it carmelize just a bit before pulling them off the grill. I use Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy sauce – it adds a nice bite to sweeter meats.
The drippings in the pan? Well, you can use that to flavor season some green beans. Just boil them up and throw a bit of the fatty residue in to spark those flavors again. Or make up a batch of rice with drippings for part of the water content. Either way, the flavors that have cooked down in that pan are worth using somewhere – probably just not in home made ice cream.
I strongly suggest putting your beard into pony tails if you look like me. That way the sauce drips between the pony tails and you don’t have to shampoo your face immediately following dinner.
I hope you enjoy making and eating your ribs as much as I did mine. They were delightfully soft, and I couldn’t believe how the flavorful they were after slow cooking that long. Well worth the prep time when you’re just hanging around the house anyway.