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Eve and Adam's Ribs

By Ellen Wheeler

I love to grill in the summer. Or rather, my husband loves to grill in the summer. Well, truth be told, I love (insist) for my husband to grill in the summer and I love to eat the result.

We were not always grillers. In fact for the first 20 years of our marriage we

lived in New York City and the closet thing we had to a backyard was crawling out the window onto the fire escape and sneaking onto the roof of our building. We were not supposed to go up there and there certainly was not a grill.


When we moved back to Southern Utah we found ourselves with a lovely, spacious backyard. The previous owners had it well landscaped and manicured. There was a covered swing that looks out over the valley and pergola over the large patio off the back door. The place was just yelling out for a grill. So of course my husband headed to the home improvement store and bought the largest grill they had in stock. We thought we would be in heaven. My husband had grown up an avid camper and backpacker and we thought fire would be fire, but after a summer of burnt but still raw steaks, tough briskets and dried-out burgers we realized that we had a lot to learn about grilling.

Luckily we had a teenage son with lot’s of friends and a willing family we could experiment on. And after a few years we began to get the hang of it. The only nut we had left to crack was grilling for large groups. Every year we host a Super-Bowl party at our house. We invite about 50-70 folks and have a blast. With a crowd that big you have to make as many cook-ahead dishes as possible and grilling is more a day-of feast. Hot dogs and burgers are always best done on the day (although you can prep ahead) but we have devised some cook ahead grilling recipes that we love, especially if you are having friends over for a BBQ or if you want left overs that are delicious and easy.


Here is one of our favorite rib recipes that is mostly cooked the day ahead or morning of. Ribs are tough, like chuck roast, and are best cooked low and slow. I do the low and slow bit in the oven and finish on the grill for a smoky flavor. Membrane off, dry-rub, wrap in foil, bake and 2-3 hours later, cut, sauce, toss on the grill. Simple! I love making them when we’re having friends over. And if you are feeding a crowd you can make several slabs!! You can even pre-cook, and then put them in the freezer for several months! Then when you are ready to use them, defrost them and grill. We often have a couple of ready-to-go half slabs in the freezer.

Ingredients

  • 2 racks of St. Louis, Baby Back or Spare ribs (Cooking time will differ for different cuts. Bigger thicker ribs require more time)

  • Your favorite grilling rub

  • 3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce

(Opinions about spices and sauces are as

varied as recipes so this article will

focus on cooking and leave flavor up to

you.)

  • The reserved pork stock from braising the ribs.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 275° F.

  • Remove the silver skin from the back sides of the ribs to ensure tenderness. (I remove it by loosening it with a knife then grabbing with a paper towel and pulling. It may come off in several pieces.) You can cut the ribs into half racks if this will be easier for you to handle.

  • Season lightly with salt and completely cover the ribs with a dusting of your favorite dry rub.

  • Wrap each half rack of ribs in aluminum foil, rolling and pressing the edges together to get a good seal. I use 2-3 layers. Place the wrapped ribs on a baking sheet.

  • Place in the oven and bake undisturbed for 2-3 hours (1 hour and 30 minutes for spare ribs - you will have to experiment a bit. My husband and I like our ribs falling off the bone but our son likes to hold the bone and rip the meat off with his teeth. You will have to find what is your ideal time and remember you are going to cook 20-25 minutes more on the grill)

  • Remove ribs from oven. Carefully cut open a corner of the foil packets and drain the liquid off of the ribs into a small bowl or large measuring cup. Let the juices cool completely in the fridge so that the fat can be easily removed from the top and discarded.

  • You can chill the ribs for several hours or overnight. (You can even freeze, just remember to thaw before cooking.) The precooking can be done up to 2 days in advance.

  • When you are ready to grill, remove ribs from fridge 15 minutes before grilling.

  • Mix the BBQ Sauce and rib stock together, brush one side of the ribs with the mixture.

  • Heat the grill to 400°. Place the ribs sauce side down on the grill and brush sauce on the other side. Turn the ribs every 4-5 minutes brushing on sauce each time you turn, until desired tenderness and sauciness.

  • We usually take 20 - 25 minutes to get them completely heated through and fall off the bone tender. It's worth the time!



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