Nothing says “I love you” to the carnivore in your life like a well seasoned, slow roasted rack of ribs. My favorite carnivore has been working madcrazy hours lately. Hearty meals help keep him going. These ribs are a dining vacation… until it’s time to get back to work!
1 large rack of pork baby back ribs (about 3 pounds)
For the brine:
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
4 whole allspice
4 whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Step 1) Combine all brine ingredients in a saucepan and stir well. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
Step 2) Refrigerate brine until the brine is very cold. This can be done a day ahead of time, if you wish.
Step 3) Cut the rack of ribs into serving size lengths (I cut the rack into 4 pieces). Place the pieces in a gallon size zip-lock storage bag. Carefully pour brine into the bag. You don’t need to use all of the brine, but should add enough brine to the bag so that the ribs are covered.
Step 4) Set the bag in a large bowl (in case of leaks), and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.
Note: If you need to store your ribs in the fridge for longer than 12 hours, remove them from the brine after 12 hours and simply store them in a fresh zip-lock bag.
Step 5) Remove ribs from brine and place on a baking sheet with shallow sides. The bones should be on the bottom, with the meat facing up.
Step 6) Place ribs in a preheated 300 degree oven and roast for 1 hour. While the ribs are roasting, combine the ingredients for the “almost-dry rub” and mix into a paste.
Step 7) After 1 hour of roasting, remove ribs from the oven. Carefully rub the “almost-dry rub” all over the tops of the ribs. Return the ribs to the oven for an additional 40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer measures an internal temperature (not right against a bone) of 180 degrees.
Step 8) Once the meat reaches a temperature of 180 degrees, reduce your oven temperature to 180 degrees (really… that’s not a typo) and return the ribs to the oven at this lower temperature for 20 minutes. The meat will become more tender during this time.