When you are from Kansas City, I think it is genetically imprinted upon you to love BBQ.
(Unless you are a vegan.)
Since I am living far away from good Kansas City BBQ these days, I’m on a continual quest for tasty, tangy, saucy ribs at home.
This current experiment was definitely a winner. It combines several tried and true BBQ techniques – a dry rub of spices for the meat, low and slow cooking (in the oven since I don’t have a smoker), and a good final char on the grill while being slathered with tangy sauce.
Add to that the wonders of braising the meet in beer and you have some seriously tasty eats.
Here’s what you need:
Ribs, Paprika, Smoked Paprika, Chili Powder, Garlic Salt or Powder, Coriander, Cumin, Salt & Pepper
Good Beer and BBQ Sauce.
The spices I’ve used for the dry rub are all things I had on hand. Feel free to add/subtract/alter these to fit what you have in the pantry. Just choose things that are a bit sweet (paprika), a bit spicy (smoked paprika, chili powder), and a bit smoky (cumin, coriander).
I used about 1 Tablespoon each of the sweet paprika, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. I added less – about 1/2 Tablespoon of the smoked paprika and the garlic salt.
Since I used garlic salt and not powder, I omitted regular salt. Add some good freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine the spices. Exact measurements are not required…you might need more or less depending on the amount of ribs you are cooking.
I have about 5 pounds of pork spare ribs. I like to cut them into smaller, more manageable slabs of 4-5 ribs.
Place the ribs in a shallow baking dish and rub the spice mixture all over the meat.
Be sure to rub both sides but pay special attention to getting a good coating of the spice rub on the meatiest side of the ribs.
Note: if you can plan ahead, put the spice rub on the meat 2-3 hours before you plan to cook them for extra flavor. Place the spice rubbed ribs uncovered in the refrigerator to marinate in the spices then let them sit out on the counter for about 15 minutes before you cook them to take the chill off.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Place the rib sections on a flat baking tray and pour 1 bottle of good beer all around the ribs. The beer will infuse the ribs with flavor as they cook but since the tray is flat and shallow, the ribs are not totally soaking in the beer.
Cover the tray with foil and bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Low and slow.
After 2 hours, the meat should be tender. Poke it with a fork or give it a little tug with your fingers. You don’t want it totally falling off the bones but you want it very tender.
If you have a grill, preheat it to medium high heat. Remove the ribs from the pan and place them on the grill.
Turn the meat after about 3-4 minutes to get good grill marks on both sides. Since the meat is fully cooked, we’re only grilling for appearance and extra flavor.
Some day I will make my own BBQ sauce but today is not that day. I like a combination of KC Masterpiece and Bone Sucking Sauce. Sometimes I add a bit of bourbon too.
Find your favorite sauce and slap some on the ribs once they have picked up some good char from the grill. Be sure to add the sauce last so that it does not burn.
If you are grill-less, remove the ribs from the cooking tray of grease and beer and place them on a foil lined baking tray. Place them in the middle of the oven under the broiler until they get golden brown. Add the sauce and continue to broil until they have bits of color and char. Don’t put the meat too close to the broiler or it will burn.
When you are ready to eat, cut the slabs into individual ribs for easier serving and pile them up on a big platter.
Go grab the extra napkins.
You can use this rub/beer/bbq technique for any kind of ribs. Jim has requested baby back ribs next time. I’m thinking this also might have to involve chicken and the grill one of these days.
Sounds like a good plan.
Here’s the recipe: