Saturday, 2 July 2011

What We Ate Last Night : Bar-B-Q Rubbed Ribs

I love bar-b-q, not the typical English bar-b-q of burnt but raw sausages and charcoal colored burgers that are as dry as cardboard.
No, I’m talking about the good ol’ yankee bar-b-q type. The low and slow cooking that can take up to 24 hours to cook a Boston Butt, and 6 hours to cook some baby back ribs if you use the 3-2-1 method.
This is my preferred method of cooking them, although I unfortunately do not have a garden and therefore no kettle bar-b-q. Sad times indeed, especially with the weather as it is at the moment.
So I have to make my bar-b-q in the oven. Very sad times. It’s not the same as the smell of charcoal on food makes it all taste so much better.

With an oven you have better control, but the skill in keeping a bar-b-q at 110 degrees for 6 hours is an art form in itself, and I think those cooks that can do it are vastly under rated.
In England bar-b-q is not taken too seriously as I’m sure we’ve all seen this at many a crappy back garden event we’ve been to. So a lot of people are ignorant of the skill it takes to do a good bar-b-q. It's really not just add some lighter fluid, light it and burn away. Good god no.
There are one of two places in London that sell American style bar-b-q, but they are mediocre at best. Oh how I long for the real thing over here.
I’ve been cooking these ribs the same way for eons now, and they always turn out not too bad. I sometimes change the rub but generally I always use the same recipe, which can be found here.

You will need :
Baby back ribs (as much as you want to eat)
Your desired rub (enough to cover every part of the ribs)
Tin foil
Lemon juice / vinegar for the mop sauce

So the 3-2-1 method is quite straight forward. 3 hours uncovered, 2 hours covered and a final hour uncovered. During the first three hours and the last hour I always mop the ribs with the sauce, just to add a little bit of moisture back into them so they do not dry out. After the 6 hours the meat would have shrunk away from the bone and will be falling apart. The leftovers make great sandwiches.

  1. Trim off any excess fat that you do not want. Take off the piece of membrane that is on the back of the ribs. This will help the rub penetrate more easily.
  2. Rub your rub powder over both sides of the ribs.
  3. Set your oven at Gas Mark 1 or 110°C. Yes very low.
  4. Pop ribs into oven and every 30 minutes or so, just give them a mop with the sauce.
  5. After 3 hours give them one final mop and then cover them with tin foil.
  6. 2 hours later uncover and cook for a final hour. Mop after about 30 minutes and just before you take them out of the oven.
  7. Serve with your favourite bar-b-q sauce and of course any leftovers are amazing in a roll the following day. If there is any left. 
Next up slow cooked shoulder of pork.


Tonya - What's On My Plate said...

i don't have outdoor space either but it's easy enough to make a smoker indoors. I've posted it on my blog but you basically get a wok and put wood chips in it and put a rack on top and smoke! It works.

Mzungu said...

Tonya - Thanks for the tip. I've been thinking of buying a stove top smoker, but this will save me a hell of a lot.