Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Great Summer Ribs!

 Baby back ribs were on sale.  How could I say no?  I toted them home before even thinking of how I might do them.  Digging around in my spice drawer, I found an un-opened packet of Colorado Spice Sicilian Pork Rub.  The ingredients sounded right up my alley: coriander and mustard seeds, garlic, fennel seed.  I used most of the packet to rub the ribs down.

Once I had my ribs rubbed down, covered and refrigerated, the question of sauce arose.  I wanted to use the remaining rub in the sauce, but what else?  This was truly one of those thrown-together sauces that turned out really well, I thought.  The first draft was tasty, but needed to be kicked up a bit.

I was going to visit my sister in Knoxville the following weekend.  (I can’t imagine why, but anytime I visit family I always wind up cooking.)   This was the perfect opportunity to do the ribs again.  With a few changes to the sauce, by Jove, I thought we had it!   With fresh green beans steamed, then sautéed in garlic butter, a home-made lentil salad, and potato salad and cole slaw from the local deli we had a real feast.

There's no reason, if you are having a cookout for the Memorial Day holiday, that you couldn't roast the ribs and make the sauce earlier in the day, to finish at meal time.   A trip to the deli for side dishes, or pot luck from the guests, and you have a great meal.

There was a good bit of sauce left over; it was great a few days later brushed on grilled salmon.  It  would be equally good, I think, on shrimp skewers, swordfish or chicken.  You might want to reserve half the sauce before adding the pork rib pan juices just in case!


2 slabs baby back ribs (4 to 5 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package Colorado Spice Sicilian Pork Rub (reserve 2 tablespoons for the sauce)
Spiced apple BBQ sauce

Rub the ribs first with the oil, then rub them down well with the spice rub.   Refrigerate, covered, for a couple of hours or even overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.    Place the ribs in a single layer in a baking dish and cover snugly, either with a lid or with foil.  Roast for about 45 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices.  Then baste lightly with the sauce and continue to bake, covered, for 15 minutes more.

Remove the rib racks and skim as much fat from the pan as you can.  Add a goodly splash of water, place on the stove and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the pan.  Add this to the BBQ sauce.

Brush the ribs on both sides with the sauce and place over hot coals (or under the oven broiler) and cook, turning several times and continuing to baste, until the ribs are nicely glazed.  Serve with the remaining sauce at the table.  Serves four to six.


2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup onion, minced
2 tablespoons reserved spice mixture
1 jar (16 to 18 oz) apple jelly
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup bottled BBQ sauce (I used Cattleman's)
1 tablespoon Dijon or brown mustard

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, without browning.  Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the reserved spice mixture and stir briefly.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until reduced by about a third.  Makes about 3 cups sauce.

NOTE:  Colorado Spice products are available at some supermarkets.  They are usually on hanging racks near the seafood or meat counters, not in the spice section.  If you can’t find it, use the following:

2 tablespoons mustard seeds, coarsely crushed (or 2 teaspoons ground dry mustard)
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

No comments: