spare ribs, moist and tender…how did that happen?

(As I post this, it is Cyber Monday. Off you go! Have fun! Did you know even The Pampered Chef is in on this cyber thing? With any online orders today of $75 or more there is free shipping! And shipping can be quite an expense when you are ordering direct. Get that large Bar Pan for your Aunty Sue or that Salad Chopper for Cousin Alice (or yourself)! No shipping! Of course, when you host a party, you get free shipping anyway and free product as well as half price and…oops, where was I?)

Well it’s 3 days after Thanksgiving and we still have a lot of leftovers to be thankful for. Among other things. Like general health, the roof over our heads, at least 1 car that still runs decent. You know. Then things like family, our new Bear, Gods mercy, health again because it really ranks up there, and sunshine.

But in spite of all those leftovers, it was time for a bit of cooking. I needed something to pull together those side dishes looking mournfully at me from their containers in the fridge. “Don’t let me die a moldy lonely death” they plead.

So here I was, rummaging through the freezer. A chunk of roast? Some pork chops? Ah-ha! spare ribs! Just what I needed. Easy to make and everyone likes them.

So I took the pack and put them on our favorite frozen food spot, the top of the cinder-block fence post, to let the warm sun do its thing.Now before you gasp in horror, I have been using solar power to speed up defrosting for years and we are non the worse for it. I bring it in while it is still cold to finish up indoors. (Okay, I can hear a bunch of you saying that you are never eating here again. Fraidy-cats. )

I have a new Pampered Chef rub I wanted to try. Its called Smokey Applewood Rub and smells heavenly. So to get started, I got out my large bar pan and laid the ribs out on it. I peeled off the thin skin on the back of the ribs. This is tricky and generally means using a small knife to pull the skin up, then using a paper towel to grab it and pull off a strip at a time.

Now, I tend to be a ‘separate the ribs before baking’ kind of person as opposed to the ‘ separate them after baking’ kind of girl. But for some reason the little voice in my head was saying “Just leave them be. No cut.” and oddly enough, I listened.

So, there are the ribs, in 2 short racks. I laid them on the bar pan and sprinkled salt, pepper and garlic salt all over, then covered the whole kit and kabootle in aluminum foil and put in a 350 oven. I got busy and forgot about them for about an hour and a half. (oops). I rushed to take them out and they looked great! All juicy and moist. Now for phase two.

Time to sprinkle the smokey applewood rub all over them. It made them a pretty reddish color. I tried not to skimp.  Then I used a bottle of barbecue sauce we already had open in the fridge. In this case it was Walton Farms Original barbecue sauce, my hubbies favorite. I put some of that in one of my 1 cup prep bowls with some maple syrup poured in, just for fun, then I warmed the sauce up in the microwave for about 30 seconds. I brushed that on the ribs and put them back in the oven, uncovered, for another 1/2 an hour, brushing more sauce on every 10 minutes. (remember “the secrets in the sauce”.)  I may be off on times, but I know they were in the oven for at least 2 hours, give or take.

Then I cut the ribs apart. Turns out that was the right choice. They retained more of their juiciness that way. “United they stand, divided they…get dried out”. The tops came out crisp and sweet, the meat was tender and moist. Probably the best ribs I have made, hence the sharing of the recipe here.

After this picture, I slathered on a bit more sauce before cutting up and letting everyone help themselves.

After that it was just a matter of pulling out all those leftovers, warming some of them up, putting spoons in them and letting everyone help themselves.  (Except for the leftover potato soup. I kept that set aside for our lunch tomorrow. Besides, who wants soup with their ribs? But with this lot, I wasn’t taking any chances.)


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