Monday, February 23, 2015

Mom’s Fall-Off-The-Bone BBQ Ribs

My Mom was always famous for her way of cooking ribs, because they came out VERY tender.  And coated in caramelized BBQ sauce.  You could easily pull them apart by hand, or cut them apart with a fork.  They were delicious!  She used bone-in baby back ribs mostly, but also sometimes boneless country-style ribs.   Beef or pork, depending what was on sale.   Some people boil them, but she figured out a way to make them come out fork-tender without boiling—covering them and slow-baking them, via 2 different temperatures.  This recipe is more about the cooking method.  Not so much the ingredients.  There is a lot of room for "your own personal preferences", and it works regardless of what spices and sauces you prefer.  If you have family members who love ribs, give this a try!

Mom’s Fall-Off-The-Bone BBQ Ribs


1 rack beef or pork baby back ribs (or as many as you want)
Your favorite spice rub (about 1 heaping tsp. per rack)
You favorite BBQ sauce (enough for all your ribs)

1.        Remove the rough membrane from the ribs (it’s the thin, white, tough layer along the bottom curved side of the ribs).  Dig your fingers under the membrane, and peel it away.  This membrane is what makes ribs so tough and chewy.  You don’t want that. 
2.       Take your favorite spice rub, and rub about a teaspoon of it over the rack of ribs (or each rack, if you’re doing more than one).  
3.       Line a baking sheet with foil (with slightly raised sides all the way around) with foul.   Lightly grease foil, or use cooking spray. 
4.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and place ribs in the oven.  Allow the meat to brown on both sides for about 20 minutes, turning over when needed. 
5.       Take ribs out and use your favorite BBQ sauce to brush BOTH sides of the ribs.  Return the ribs to the 350 degree oven, for about 20 minutes.  Or until the sauce begins to caramelize, but not brown.   Turn them over halfway through.
6.       Add another generous amount of sauce to the top of the ribs.   Make sure the top of the ribs are facing up (the raised, rounded part).  Cover them with foil.  Keep the foil low, but try not to let it touch the ribs.  Seal the foil TIGHTLY all the way around.   The big trick to this is to not let the steam escape, or else the ribs will be dry. 
7.       TURN THE OVEN DOWN TO 250 DEGREES.   This is important, because if the heat is too high, the sauce will burn.   Put the ribs back in the 250 degree oven, and set your alarm/timer for 2 hours.   Check the ribs after 2 hours, by poking them with a fork (only lift the corner of the foil, and be careful not to let the steam burn you!).  The meat should pull off the bone easily with a fork.   If not, return it to the oven and continue baking, checking every 20 minutes until ribs are “fork tender”.  If you are doing more than one rack, you may need 3 or 4 hours of cooking time.  Move the time up to accommodate the number of racks you have. 
8.       Remove ribs from the oven.  Let stand 5 minutes and serve with your favorite sides. 

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