Monday, May 14, 2012

Back at Fox Ridge (and eating for two!)

We are back from Rio and we've been thrown right back into the thick of things. After a couple of busy days of work, we ducked up to the country for the weekend, where we rendezvous-ed with John's parents to celebrate Mother's Day. John decided that BBQ was the way forward, so he did his due diligence, and put together a composite recipe for barbecue baby back ribs that struck his fancy, and then we got to cookin'. This was an especially successful meal (if we do say so ourselves) and we'd enthusiastically encourage our readers to give it a crack. 

The recipe is divided into two prep steps, and then two cooking steps... I know that sounds complicated, but actually each of the steps are very simple and the end result is well-worth the process. YOU CAN DO IT! Have confidence! (When you're waning in interest, just look at the picture to the right and know that delicious ribs are in your future.)

1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
4 cloves Garlic, mashed
1 Tablespoon fresh ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS: PREP STEP #11. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, except the baby back ribs, and whisk together until well blended.
2. Rub slather over both racks of ribs. Place in a large baking pan.


  • 2 tablespoons smoky paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
Combine paprika, salt, sugar, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, pepper, cayenne, onion powdergarlic powder, celery salt and oregano in bowl; mix well. For a smoother rub, puree ingredients in a spice grinder until well combined and all pieces are uniform (the rub will be very fine and tan in color). Once the dijon mustard slather has been applied, sprinkle the dry rub over both sides of the racks of ribs (in the baking pan, like the photo down below) and store in the fridge for 1-2 hours. 


After the ribs have marinated for 1-2 hours in the fridge, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place ribs in a deep large pan. Cover with foil securely. Cook ribs for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, and unseal foil on each corner to allow the steam to vent. 


Meanwhile, preheat gas grill on lowest setting. John set the two outside burners on high and the middle burners on low, and that worked out well. Now, take your favorite BBQ sauce (we are partial to Bulls Eye Traditional Sauce) and dilute with water by 50%. This apparently helps avoid burning due to the sugar content in the sauce.
Once the grill is hot, place the ribs on the grill and cover. Baste the ribs every 5 minutes with the diluted BBQ sauce, turning frequently. Cook ribs for 20-40 minutes - they are done when the meat begins to pull back from the bone, but is still slightly firm.
We served these delectable ribs with a wilted rainbow chard and my go-to favorite, cuban-style sweet potatoes. (Click the links to see the details for each recipes...) Both side dishes are a cinch to make, reasonably healthy, wildly delicious, and the meal was a very festive, roaring success! 

We hope all of the mothers out there had a wonderful day... Happy Mother's Day to all of you champions! 
You know you're the best. 

Love, John & Christina

*IMPORTANT ADDITIONS TO THIS RECIPE: I realized as I was preparing the ribs without John's assistance that there are a couple of key pieces of information missing from this recipe. First: The quantities discussed in the rub and slather recipes are intended for 2-3 full sized racks of baby back ribs. These ribs are sometimes called "St. Louis Style" ribs too. I don't know why, but either name gets you the same results. You should use up almost all of the mustard slather and will have only a little extra rub for three racks. If you're doing two racks, you can save the rub for 6 months, to use for future rib rubbings. Any extra slather you should pitch. Second: John watched a youtube video about removing the membrane from the underside of the rib racks, and now swears by this prep step. I'm going to post the video on the blog, so check it out to learn this vital trick of the trade. I did it by myself on Friday night and it isn't difficult at all... Just kind of hands-on. : ) 

Good eating!  

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