I have a house full of college-kids to feed these days; which is why healthy salads and organic Quinoa or Vegetable Couscous like things just don’t seem to cut it! Despite my resolve to try to eat healthy, I just have to give in to the kids’ pressure/preferences. The two boys especially love all things meat and will NOT eat anything vegetarian – of course, I am so thrilled to have them back home (after suffering through the year of empty-nest) that I am happy to oblige. Over the weekend I made a whole boneless leg of lamb that went down really well with them and yesterday I made 10 lbs of pork ribs!!!! YES, it was 10 lbs of ribs!!! And at times like these I am so happy that I am a member of Costco or I’d go broke in trying to fill up these boys’ tummies.
Both my kids love ribs and we used to go out to various BBQ places around DC ribs until we concluded that most places near us were a real rip off – they charge an arm and a leg for a rack of ribs and even then the ribs have very little meat on them and are loaded with fatty tissue! I was happy to find a packet of ribs at Costco that contained three huge racks and they contained a ton of meat on each rack – I have to say this was a REAL bargain. To get the real barbeque effect of fall-off-the-bone-softness, I slow-cooked the ribs for about 4 and a half hours in the oven at 250F and then to get the charred smoky flavor infused in them I grilled them on a charcoal grill for 10-15 minutes. I made a separate Apricot BBQ sauce (with the dripping from the ribs) to glaze the ribs at the very end of the cooking process and the result was pure perfection!!!! If you don’t believe me – look at the pictures of these kids! Don’t they look like they are in hog-heaven?
Ingredients For the Ribs:
1. 10 lbs of pork ribs
2. 1.5 tablespoons of Garlic Powder
3. 3 tablespoons of Granulated Onion
4. 2 tablespoons of Mesquite Seasoning
5. 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
6. 1 tablespoon of Paprika
7. ½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
8. 1/3 cup of Maple Syrup
9. 1/3 cup of Ketchup
10. 2 tablespoons of white or brown sugar
11. 3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
12. 3 teaspoons of salt (or more if you so desire- I like my things mildly salted)
13. 1 tablespoon of Meat tenderizer
Ingredients for the Sauce:
1. 1.5 Tablespoon Granulated onion (I buy mine from Costco)
2. 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (my source is Costco)
3. 3 teaspoons of Garlic powder (Costco)
4. 3 teaspoons of Paprika (yup, Costco)
5. 1 tablespoon of Mesquite Seasoning (definitely Costco)
6. 4 tablespoons of honey
7. 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
8. 1 teaspoon salt
9. 3 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
10. 1 tablespoon of Sriracha Sauce.
11. 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
12. 4 oz of Apricot Chutney (I make my own but you can use store bought Apricot Jam or Orange Marmalade or Plum Jam to get any fruity flavor).
1. Set the oven at 250 F. I used two ovens because I needed two Pyrex dishes to cook such a large quantity of ribs.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients for the marinade of the Pork Ribs – Garlic Powder, Granulated Onion, red pepper flakes. Paprika powder, meat tenderizer, salt, sugar in a large bowl.
3. Add the apple cider vinegar to the marinade.
7. Add the Mesquite seasoning and mix everything together to make a wet marinade. This is not a baking recipe so all these quantities of spices and liquids can be varied to your liking – there is no hard and fast rule for any of them! Feel free to experiment and use what you like.
8. Place the ribs in a large baking dish (I used two dishes because the ribs were too big to fit into one) and cover all the racks (both sides) with the wet marinade.
9. You can leave the ribs out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to let them marinade or you can cook them right away (the marinating makes them slightly better, but only slightly).
10. Cover the baking dishes with aluminum foil (fold all the ends) and place them in the middle rack of the oven and set the timer for 4 hours or so.
11. After 90 minutes or so, take the dishes out of the oven and turn the rack over. Using a large spoon, take the juices that have collected at the bottom of the baking dish and drizzle it back over the rib racks. This basting keeps the ribs juicy and moist.
12. Cover the dishes with the foil again and place them back in the oven.
13. Again after 90 minutes repeat the basting process and this time before you put the ribs back in the oven, make holes in the foil to let some of the moisture evaporate.
14. When only 30 minutes of the baking process is left, take the ribs out of the oven and remove about half a cup to a cup of the liquid collected at the bottom of the dishes (we’ll use this to make the glazing sauce). Place the dishes back in the oven for 30 minutes more but this time remove the foil completely and let the ribs cook completely uncovered.
15. At this time, you can also start your charcoal grill (the coals will take 30 minutes to be ready).
16. While the ribs are getting done and the charcoal is getting ready, you can start making the glazing sauce by combining all the dry ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan. These would include the granulated onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, mesquite seasoning (the quantities are in the second list of ingredients given above).
21. Add the Apricot Chutney (to get the recipe for the chutney, here is the link – http://flavornspice.com/2013/05/apricot-habanero-chutney/) to the sauce and stir.
22. Add 1/4 of a cup of water to the sauce and stir everything.
23. Cook this sauce over a low flame for 8-10 minutes while stirring constantly. If you need to add some water, add some more – the consistency of this glazing and dipping sauce should be like that of ketchup.
25. Place the ribs on the charcoal grill and cover them. Grill on each side for 6-8 minutes.
26. Take the ribs off the grill and let them rest for 4-5 minutes to keep them juicy inside.
27. Cut the ribs with a sharp knife (in between the bones) or serve the whole rack.
28. Serve the ribs with the glaze/dipping sauce on the side and some mashed potatoes on the side. I also made a baby lettuce and strawberry salad to go with them. Absolutely delicious – good enough to die for!!!! If you are not vegetarian or keeping Kosher or Halal, these will be your family’s all-time favorite home cooked meal – I promise!!!!