Divine Rack of Ribs

WIN_20160407_154543Nothing 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!

WIN_20160407_140526Ingredients (Serves 2 with leftovers)

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

WIN_20160407_140651For the almost-dry rub:

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Directions

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.

WIN_20160407_140920Step 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.

Step 9) Serve with your favorite side dishes, such as Great Grandma’s Baked Beans and Easy Peanut Cabbage Slaw. Enjoy!

 

Drunken Spare Ribs

WIN_20160103_092431It’s springtime, you’re busy, and the fussiness of holiday meals is behind you for a while. Spring is the perfect time of year to pull out your slow cooker and make a few easy, hearty, delicious dinners. Drunken Spare Ribs are perfect busy day fare. You can throw everything in the slow cooker in less than five minutes on a busy morning, and have a hot, delicious meal waiting for you at the end of the day. Enjoy!

WIN_20160102_203803Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 pounds boneless spare ribs Continue reading

Spicy Slow Cooker Spare Ribs

WIN_20150416_185434

Spicy Slow Cooker Spare Ribs served with mashed potatoes, fresh roasted vegetables, and a slice of whole grain baguette

Slow cookers are wonderful for busy workdays. This recipe only requires a moment of time in the morning – seriously, start your pot of coffee, and you’ll be done cooking dinner before that first cup of coffee brews. Just toss your ingredients in the slow cooker, and the aroma of fork tender, savory, spicy spare ribs will greet you at the end of your workday.

When I prepare a slow cooker dish, I like to really fill the slow cooker – it’s an energy efficient way to cook, and I enjoy having leftovers to divide into lunch portions and freeze. If you don’t want to make quite so much at once, that’s fine. Just cut each of the ingredient quantities in half. The cooking time, however, remains the same.

WIN_20150416_071745Ingredients (Serves 6-8 for dinner, or 4 with leftovers)

3 pounds boneless pork spare ribs

4 cloves of garlic, finely diced

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional!)

1 cup dry red wine

WIN_20150416_0726352 cups tomato-based vegetable juice

Directions: Place ingredients in a slow cooker in the order listed above. Set slow cooker to cook on “low” and allow to cook for 8 – 10 hours. If you wish, you can give everything a gentle stir after 4 or 5 hours. Do not, however, lift the cover on your slow cooker more than just that one time! After about 8 hours, your spare ribs should fall apart when poked with a fork. If they aren’t quite that tender after 8 hours, allow them to cook for another hour or two. Enjoy!