Saturday, May 9, 2009

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back...

Have you ever made something, something that took a good long time, but at the end of it said, "SO WORTH IT."? This meal I had, which consisted of ribs, homemade potato salad, and corn, was SO delicious it made the hours in the kitchen worth it. The New Best Recipe never fails me, and in this instance, really blew my socks off. 

One of the best parts is the fact that you do everything in advance. As the ribs were brining, I was preparing the dry rub as well as boiling the potatoes for the salad. As the ribs cooked, I finished the salad and made the barbeque sauce. I put water on to boil the corn about 20 minutes before ribs were done. It's always so nice when you don't have anything to clean up after the meal!

We have a Rival Crock Pot BBQ Pit that my husband bought on a whim a couple of years ago. Think a really wide Crock Pot. Normally it's kind of a pain to store, being as big as it is, but it  does a great job on stuff like ribs.  Like you can see above, it comes with an insert that you can stack the ribs in, set on high for 5 hours, and have fall-of-the-bone ribs. I do like the not thinking aspect of cooking ribs with this!

Since most people probably don't have the BBQ Pit, I thought I'd post the brine as well as the dry rub for the ribs. The brine is essential to tender ribs, and the dry rub was so good you could easily go without barbeque sauce. 

Also, despite all the hype with "baby back" ribs, The New Best Recipe states loin back ribs are usually preferred because they're meatier.

Rib Brine
This brine is for 2 full racks (or 4 pounds) or baby back or loin ribs. I was making only one full rack, so I reduced the salt and sugar in half to avoid over-seasoning.

1/2 cup table salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 full racks of baby back or loin back ribs (4 pounds total)

Dissolve the salt and sugar in 4 quarts of water in a stockpot or large plastic container. Submerge the ribs in the brine and refrigerate 1 hour, until fully seasoned. Remove the ribs from the brine and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. 

Dry Rub for Barbeque
Makes about 1 cup. Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks.

1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 - 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Rub each side of the racks with 1 tablespoon of the dry rub and refrigerate the racks at least 30 minutes. Cook racks as desired.

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