Disclaimer: This isn’t BBQ, it’s faux-B-Q, but FBQ is better than no-B-Q, and I no longer live in a BBQ Mecca. Needs must when the Devil drives. Also, don’t get twisted at everything in the pic. I was going to talk about homemade rubs, but after I got the ribs back in the fridge, I realized that rub’s an article in itself. Mine’s based off Alton Brown’s rub recipe (google the words ‘Alton rub”, it’s the top result), or you can go commercial. I’ll use commercial sauce, but if you have your own, great.
OK, y’all said more structure would help, so here we go. I will lead off by saying that my style of cooking is very much by eyeball and feel (baking is another matter), so pretty much everything is an estimate – and the recipe, such as it is, is a description of what I did. The how and why I did what I did will follow the structured segment, but I’ll try to ensure that all the basic steps come first. Additionally, while I’m using a 2-day method, rubbing that early isn’t essential, it’s just that longer is better. Shorter cure time works ok, too, so don’t feel too tied to today’s process WRT how long before cooking you rub your meat.
So, the star of the show is brought to us via a nice sale on country style “ribs”. At $1.59/lb., I brought home almost 5 pounds of meat for under $8.
Cheap Yellow Mustard (CYM)
6oz. (approx) Rub (more on this later)
Heavy duty aluminum foil
Rub a thin layer of CYM over all surfaces of each rib
Shake thick layer of rub onto all surfaces of each rib
Wrap in foil
Put foil pouch in fridge
Drink Bert’s and be a nuisance online (optional)
Go to bed
Notes: I will get into homemade rubs below [edit: in the comments, I guess. I was a bit rushed today.], but if you prefer, there are many fine commercial rubs available that will work just fine. Perhaps other BBQ folks would be kind enough to suggest some favorite brands, for those who prefer that route.
Safety note: Because this is pork, be careful to avoid touching anything after you’ve handled the meat. I go clean hand/dirty hand, but medical-type gloves are cool, too. Also, put your pouch on something (like a cookie sheet) to catch drips and place on the lowest shelf of your fridge. Food poisoning might interfere with your enjoyment of the game.
Cookie sheet pan
About 1 hour before your scheduled cook time, take your meat out of the fridge and let it come up to room temp. If you haven’t done so to this point, this is the time to rub the ribs, as described above.
When you’re about ready to go, preheat the oven to 375F
Place ribs on a cookie sheet lined with HDAF and put in oven for approx. 15-20 mins. (This is to help “set” the rub into a crust, more later)
Remove ribs (Careful, hot stuff) and wrap, loosely arranged (close but not touching) in a foil pouch and lower heat to 250F. Add 1/2 tsp liquid smoke in with the ribs, if desired.
Return to the 250F oven for an hour and a half (more on this below, but get a probe thermometer), open pouch and check for an internal temp of 175F – 180F.
If you are in the target zone, set the oven back to 375F, brush thin layer of BBQ sauce onto the ribs, then return to the by now preheated (I hope) oven for about 15 minutes. This is to set your BBQ sauce into a “bark”, but that doesn’t mean all hard and crunchy. You’re looking to give the sauce a good grip on your meat, get it friendly with your rub, and caramelize the sugars in the sauce a bit. A little crunch is ok, of course, but it depends on you, mostly. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 15 – 20 minutes. Your target temp for the inside of the meat’s 190F, plus or minus 10 degrees.
Take meat to a dark recess and hunch over it like a Neanderthal, snarling at any who approach as you gorge yourself silly, or serve to friends and family with sides of your choice. Box mac & cheeze for us tonight, but whatever you prefer with your ‘cue.
With ‘cue of any sort, your time and temp are going to vary depending on your heat source and what you are cooking, which is why a probe thermometer’s pretty close to essential. They don’t cost all that much, and once you get used to using them, you might wonder how you got by before that. Not to mention that factors like boneless vs. bone in can play a role.
The essence of my Redneck approach is inexpensive and do-able in the kitchen along with a heavy dose of getting your hands dirty and getting a feel for what you’re doing. Things might not go as well as you like at first, but if you pay attention to what you’re doing, you can adjust and adapt – and if it’s underdone, that’s what nuke-O-waves are for.
Bonus: Dessert course: Reese’s pie
Pre-made graham cracker crust
1 Box of instant chocolate pudding and the amount of milk the pie filling recipe on the box calls for.
Silicone spatula or other spreader (cooking spray to lightly coat it can be helpful)
Stuff to mix the pie filling in, microwavable bowl, etc.
Working in 30sec. bursts, nuke about 1/2 cup of your PB until it’s quite warm and loose and easy to spread, pour in pie crust, spread evenly, and set aside to cool.
Make the pie filling per the recipe on the box, doing it now will help keep you from pouring it onto hot PB (guilty). When the PB is cool, pour filling into pie crust, and chill per directions.
Slice, serve, and bask in glory. I’ve never seen this fail to please, but I suppose the uncouth who don’t like Reese’s might exist. For now. 😉
While good as-is, there are plenty of ways to tweak this. I’ll talk about those in the comments with whoever’s interested, but the main one is that a real Reese’s cup’s PB is slightly dry and gritty, and you can get a little of the grittiness going with a tablespoon or two of sugar mixed in just before you spread the PB.
Edited to add: I have a Q & A thread started for each recipe, so feel free to use them. I’ll keep up as best i can.