Growing up, my family would occasionally order take-out ribs from a local place in our small town called Big Jeff’s. The name Big Jeff’s made me giggle then as much as it does now. And I don’t know what it was…maybe it was just the fact that we were having take-out, maybe it was watching my sometimes picky Dad devour those ribs as happily as a bear in a blueberry patch…but by the time I was ten, barbecued ribs were top notch in my book.
And then came one of my worst birthdays ever. I had strep throat like you wouldn’t believe. I spent over a week swallowing little more than mashed potatoes and smoothies. But days before my birthday, certain I would be better by then, I requested that my mom make ribs. And she did. And on my birthday, I laid on the living room couch, smelling the ribs and their barbecued goodness, as my family inhaled them; while I was still totally unable to even think about swallowing them. #birthdayinjustice
Despite that rib betrayal, I still love them. In fact, when I was pregnant with Owen, I craved Famous Dave’s ribs more often than not. And this baby seems to have similar tastes. But now? I have rib-making power and need not call Eric minutes before he leaves work to
request demand that he stop and pick up some ribs…you know, for the baby.
I always though making ribs was out of reach for me, even though my mom’s been making them for years. Hers are just…perfect. Falling-off-the-bone tender-smoky-barbecued perfect. But ribs were on sale recently, so I emailed my mom for the recipe, and to my surprise, she sent me an ingredient list that contained only seven items, and 3 basic steps. What the what?
So I mixed up the simple sauce of ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and a few spices. Poured it on the ribs, and then cooked them covered for a few hours in the oven. Our entire house smelled like the 7th level of Rib Heaven for three hours, and it was all I could do to not snarf them all down the minute I pulled them out.
But after eating only
two three four, I got my act together, threw them on the grill, and brushed them with barbecue sauce. They tasted like my mom’s. They tasted like ribs should. And I can’t even tell you how easy it all was; seriously, the hardest part was smelling them in the oven all afternoon. I hope before the weather turns to fall, you find an excuse to make these; they’re great for a party, or you know, for you to mow down on alone because who really wants to share something this good?
(recipe from Carpé Season)
(yields 4 slabs of ribs)
This recipe is so simple, yet yields a ton of flavor on smoky, tender ribs that start in the oven and finish on the grill.
1 ½ c. ketchup
1 ¼ c. brown sugar
2 tbs. vinegar
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
4 slabs pork back ribs or baby back ribs
bottled barbecue sauce of your choice
Preheat oven to 325*.
Prepare a 13x9" pan (or larger) by spraying it with cooking spray. Place ribs in pan.
Mix together sauce ingredients and pour over the ribs, using your hands or a brush to coat them on all sides.
Cover pan tightly with foil, and cook for 3 hours. Remove from oven.
Grill over medium heat, brushing with bottled barbecue sauce, until they look grilled and irresistible.