Another week down, another weekend awash and another week ahead.
It never ends, and neither will your need to eat.
Personally, I’m a big fan of the Super Bowl — always have been. But football has never been a big thing for me. Instead, the Super Bowl has turned into a mainstream, materialistic celebration. While I try to avoid such things on a regular basis, the Super Bowl is my “cheat day.”
I love to hype it up without knowing when the game starts or which teams are playing, I love to choose a team to root for somewhere between the end of the first quarter and second quarter (because I never lose), I love to yell at the refs for no reason, I love to pay way more attention to the commercials than the game and probably most importantly I LOVE to eat “game food” while watching.
This year was ribs.
That’s right. Meaty, fatty and saucy in all their glory. Wilbur will not go down unappreciated. That being said, if you’re a vegetarian, vegan, calorie-cutter or whatever, the following recipe is not for you. You CAN keep reading, but if you do, and subsequently find yourself tearing up or questioning why you ever decided to go on that godforsaken diet, don’t blame me — I warned you.
Note: If you keep Kosher or Halal, have no fear, you can substitute pork ribs for beef ribs.
Last week I said I would give you recipes that are “painless to make and don’t break the bank” or something along those lines. I am sticking true to my word.
You may be skeptical given that you don’t know all the tricks and trades of a 30-year pit master living in rural Texas, nor do you probably have a smokehouse. But here’s a secret: You don’t need to know those tricks of the trade to make good ribs. I don’t know those tricks of the trades either. Any person who has never worked as, or alongside, a pit master and claims to know the secret to good ribs is lying, and probably just wants something to talk about while sipping a craft beer overlooking the claim that is their fenced-in back yard.
This recipe is simply how I would prepare ribs in a relatively quick and easy manner. I bought ribs at about noon and was eating them the same day at about 6:30. The ribs will probably not be “the best” ribs you will ever eat, but they will definitely live up to medium-high expectations. Do not report me to your local pit master.
The key to successfully executing this recipe is time, sugar and salt.
Ingredients for one rack of ribs:
6 hours of your time (only need like 1 hour max for prep)
1 rack of ribs
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (add more if you like spicy food)
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
You will need a crockpot (borrow one or buy one for $25), or a disposable aluminum pan and tin foil.
Mix the spices and sugar together to create a “rub.” Rub the entire rack of ribs, top and bottom, with the spice mix: Do not just sprinkle it on like Salt Bae. Put some elbow grease into this and get personal with your meat. It should be fully covered and look sandy. At this point, you can choose to let the meat sit in your refrigerator overnight, which theoretically allows it to absorb more flavor, but I never do.
Next, take your crockpot and put about 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce and 1/2 cup of water in. Maneuver the ribs so they fit, set your crockpot to medium (about 175 F) and go read a book or watch TV for four hours.
If you do not have a crockpot, do the same thing with a disposable aluminum pan, adding slightly more BBQ sauce and water. Set your ribs face side (meaty side) up. Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil. If the entire rack does not fit, cut the ribs in half “hotdog style” and lay in the pan as two half racks. Set your oven to 175 F and allow to cook for four hours, checking on them occasionally to make sure they are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. If they are, add a little more water and BBQ sauce and reseal your aluminum foil tightly.
After cooking for four hours, the ribs should be tender — not falling off the bone, but pliable and able to pull apart. At this point, you can eat them, but I like to finish them on the grill or in an oven on broil to give them the characteristic BBQ flavor. To do this, lather each side of the ribs with BBQ sauce, set your oven to broil or your grill to medium, and put the ribs on a tray to go in the oven or directly on the grill. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes on each side, or until you see some browning. If you are grilling, make sure your grill is low enough to ensure flames do not touch the meat. Serve with BBQ sauce and a lot of hand towelettes.
That is all for now.
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