A Change of Pace: A Ribs Recipe!

Yeah, I know.  This has nothing to do with history or Boston or writing or any of the other things I normally post about on this blog.  But my house smells really, REALLY good right now, and I thought I’d tell you why.

Let me start by saying that my older daughter, who I love very, very much, is a vegetarian.  She has been for some time — since she was 13 (she’s 16 now).  She’s committed to that lifestyle choice, and my wife and I have done everything we can to support her.  But she’s away right now, and while we miss her, we also know an opportunity when we see it.  Because my wife, younger daughter, and I are still carnivores.

So today, I’m making ribs.  Baby back ribs.  Fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs.  I start with a marinade of kosher salt, sugar, chili powders, dried peppers (chipotle, ancho), coriander, dried garlic, and a few other herbs and spices.  Most of the rub is mixed with olive oil and a bit of water to make a fairly thick paste.  The rest of the rub I set aside as a powder. I spread the paste over the ribs and then sprinkle on the leftover rub, thoroughly covering both sides of the racks.  (This time I cut the racks in half, to make them more manageable.)  I leave the ribs in the marinade for a couple of days (refrigerated, of course).  Then, I brown them on the grill for about 20 minutes.  Enough to cook the meat and get a nice barbecue finish on the outside.  Finally, I tightly double wrap each rack in foil, leaving one end slightly open, and pour one bottle of beer per rack into the foil cocoon along with the left over marinade.  I then finish sealing the cocoon, so that none of the liquid can spill out.  I’m making three full racks, so essentially I wind up with three double wrapped foil cocoons, each holding a rack of ribs, a beer, and some marinade.  I put the cocoons on a large baking sheet and stick them in the oven, pre-heated to 250 degrees.  And I leave them there for five hours.  Yep.  Five (5) hours.

That’s where we are now.  The ribs are in the oven, the house smells divine, and when dinner time comes around we will feast on the most tender, delicious baby back ribs you can imagine.

Give it a try — it’s a great recipe and a wonderful treat.

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