June 14, 2009: Baby back ribs. I get my ribs from the local Costco; they come with three racks per package, and is fairly cheap.
The first thing I do is to prepare a rub for the ribs. The base of the rub is brown sugar which makes up about 80 percent of the mixture. The other items I use are garlic powder, salt, pepper, ground chili, a touch of five spice powder, touch of curry powder, paprika, and a few other things from my spice rack.
The mixture is combined and thoroughly mixed together. I keep empty spice bottles to hold the rub mixture. This also makes for easy application of the spices to the meat.
The ribs are removed from the packaging and rinsed. Large sheets of heavy duty foil is laid out with the shiny side down.
The ribs are laid onto the foil and the rub mixture if applied liberally over the meaty side. The bony side only needs a small amount of the rub. Once the rub has been applied, the ribs are wrapped up with the foil. A small opening at one end is folded over to be opened back up later when the ribs are to be cooked. Once the rub has been applied and the ribs are wrapped they go into the fridge to sit for at least a day to a full week. I like to allow the rub to soak into the meat over the period of a full week.
When the ribs are ready to be cooked, the folded end is opened up and a braising liquid made up of some port wine, balsamic vinagar, honey, and some soy sauce is combined and heated up. The braising liquid is poured into the ribs then the foil is folded back and the ribs are ready to cook.
I cook the ribs on a charcoal grill, spreading out the charcoal evenly around the center of the grill. The air vents are closed to keep the temperature as low as possible. The ribs are cooked with the grill lid covered for 3-5 hours at about 200-250 degrees.
Once the ribs are finished cooking, cuts into the foil in the center are made to drain the melted gelatin for use in the BBQ sauce. The gelatin is stored until the ribs are re-heated for serving. To make the BBQ sauce, the geletain is heated up with a base liquid, here I use a few ounces of regular coke. Added to this a small amount of balsamic vinegar, honey, and your favorite BBQ sauce. The amounts are varied to create a more sweeter, or more tangy BBQ sauce. Using the geletain from the ribs creates that sticky BBQ sauce effect. The mixture will become very thick when cooked down.
To serve the ribs, they are heated up over the grill. The home made BBQ sauce is brushed on and after the ribs have been heated up, they are removed from the open foil and placed right over the grill to put some marks and melt the BBQ sauce into the ribs.
June 14, 2009: Home made BBQ baby back ribs.