Tuesday, June 12
Baby Back Ribs
What is appropriate food for a baby shower? Crumpets and tea sandwiches? Bonbons and a veggie tray? Not my baby shower. My (our, I guess, if you want to get technical) baby shower was going to have awesome food. Like deviled eggs. And baby back ribs.
It had been quite a long time since I actually made baby back ribs on the grill, and before that, the only ribs I have had were from BBQ joints. I thought it would be complicated to get delicious, flavorful ribs at home. Well, it turns out that you can make super delicious ribs with a bit of spice, coffee and your favorite BBQ sauce.
Speaking of the fancy-pants grocery store, that is where I bought the ribs. They were on sale for $7.99, and I considered that a pretty good deal for the quality. The meat-to-bone ratio was excellent, and one rack feed the entire baby shower crowd. Sure, there was other appetizers for the guests to enjoy that supplemented the ribs, but when every guest left, they said the ribs were fantastic (amongst congratulations and praise for having a baby).
The BBQ sauce that I use is a local one, so feel free to use a personal favorite of yours, or, hell, make your own. The Salt Lick is legendary in Austin, and has a fantastic chipotle BBQ sauce. It is the only one I ever use because it is sweet, but packs a nice very spice to it. Plus, there was a coupon for it.
So, to start off, I just rubbed the ribs generously with my homemade ancho-coffee rub. Very generously. Then they go in some plastic wrap (a very big ziplock would work, too), and let them absorb over night. About 30 minutes before grilling, I took them out to get about to room temperature. I set the grill to medium heat to start, and ended up turning it way down after the first flip. I also heated up the BBQ sauce in a small pot because, I mean, have you ever tried to ply on cold sauce to ribs? It does not work out well.
After they have cooled for about 10 minutes, I used my cleaver (its one use of the year), to cut individual ribs. The ribs turned out juicy and packed a delicious flavor. Everyone, like I said, was really impressed. So was I. This was my first attempt at baby back ribs in some time, and it was fantastic, and surprisingly affordable to feed a crowd. My wife demanded that I make them again, ASAP, so when my father-in-law visited shortly thereafter, that is what we did. That time I decided to go whole hog (har!) and got way too many ribs. Thankfully, that meant we had awesome rib leftovers for several meals. I had no complaints.
Baby back ribs are very easy, and will please a crowd of meat-eaters, and make non-meat-eaters quite jealous.