I woke up on Saturday morning with a voice mail from my mom: I'm standing in the grocery store and I'm wondering how you cook ribs. Your grandmother and I got ribs for the grill and we were wondering what you put on them.
I'd never made ribs before and I hadn't even had them in a restaurant in a long time, but I slowly warmed up to the challenge.
I returned mom's call from the Port Authority bus station. Mom picked up and I told her what time I would be getting in and, of course, she mentioned the ribs again.
She said we'd figure out how to make the ribs and go back to the store to pick up the ingredients later. I was so close to saying that it wasn't really warm enough yet to grill outside and that ribs are really an odd thing to have for Mother's Day anyway, but then she started describing the ribs she'd been having in restaurants lately. Tender, sweet and smoky, with a great sauce. Yum! I got on the bus and started getting into the idea of grilling those ribs.
Saturday night we went online to look for recipes. Since we wanted some time to plant flowers, we didn't want anything that was too time consuming. I was suprised to see that even the "EZ" recipes called for cooking the ribs twice. An hour or more in the oven, and then some time on the grill plus simmer time for the sauce. We decided that we'd try this recipe
from Martha's Everyday Food.
The next morning, after a quick stop at the grocery store for spices (ugh, it sure is annoying to spend a lot of money on little bottles of spices when you want to try a new recipe), mom, grandma and I got to work in the kitchen. First I made the spice rub for the ribs, while they started peeling all those potatoes for the potato salad.
The spice rub smelled very strong, but the recipe exlained that you needed a strong spice rub to be able to withstand the hour and a half in the oven and then the time on the grill. To be on the safe side, we left a quarter of one of the racks of rib with no spice rub.
Then the ribs went into the oven at 400 degrees for an hour and a half. We cooked them in tightly covered lasagna pans. This way, we made sure no grease went over the sides of the pan.
While the ribs were baking, we went to work on the sauce.
My brother M seems to have enjoyed our bbq sauce.
While the ribs were in the oven and the sauce was cooking down, we used the time to start putting in some plants. Here's mom and grandma at work on the deck.
For our first try making ribs, I thought they came out pretty good. Next time, I try ribs I think I would use brown sugar to sweeten the sauce instead of honey. I also think I'd like some vinegar in the sauce.
We had two full ribs to serve six. It was just enough meat. One rack of ribs had a lot more meat on it than the other. Maybe there's something you can say to the butcher to get more of the meaty ribs?
I got the grill heated up to 400 degrees before I lowerd the heat down to medium and put the ribs on the grill. Heating up the grill that hot was a mistake. The ribs got just a bit too browned, but I saved them before they were burned. Pshew.
Maybe a little too spicy for some in the crowd, but they didn't mention it.
And their potato salad was excellent, one of my favorites. Happy Mother's Day, Mom and Grandma!