That’s right. A menage-a-trois of ribs. Crazy, I know.
I don’t mind saying I’m a little nervous, I’ve never done this before. I am strangely excited though, I can tell you that. Let’s do it.
Innuendo in place? Check.
Three racks of baby backs from Costco ready to go? Check.
Preparation of rubs and/or sauces? SCREEEEEEEEEE…..
Wha? What am I going to do? Options:
- I could throw them on the grill but I don’t really want this to turn into an all day affair and I really don’t want to mistakenly torch them or, God forbid, run out of gas halfway through.
- I could throw them into a crock pot, easy as pie, but as much as I love fall off the bone ribs, I really prefer something I can get my teeth into (and again with the all day thing).
- I’d like to try something different flavor-wise and, hoo-boy look at the time, I sure am hungry, so let’s do something that will have these suckers done in an hour or so. Hmmmmmm……to the GOOGLE!
After some serious searching I found some recipes that looked tasty and provided the range of flavor that I was looking for and would give my family some choices.
Let’s get it on….
Honey Glazed Goodness
loosely based on this recipe from Jamie Oliver
extra virgin olive oil
Easy and tasty. I used a bit of EVOO to moisten and sprinkled all of the spices onto the ribs, to taste, then drizzled a little honey over the top. Didn’t want them to be “meat candy” just a little sweet. (see below for cooking)
Spicy Cocoa Dry Rub
loosely based on this recipe from Paula Deen
2 tsp cocoa
1 Tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
I’ve done dry rubs before but wanted to mix it up a bit different this time, hence the cocoa. I mixed all the spices and cocoa together and spread liberally on the meaty side of the ribs and a sprinkle on the bone side. (see below for cooking)
Simply covered a rack with Trader Joe’s Bold and Smoky KC BBQ sauce. Doesn’t get easier than that.
Cook ‘em up!
Wanting to expedite the process (sooooo hungry) and keep it relatively simple (sensing a theme here?) I decided to throw everything into the oven. I know, I know, I’m sure those of you in the “Rib-erati” are freaking out right now, but I will throw myself on the mercy of the pork, I mean court. It was late, I was hungry and if this caveman didn’t get some grub in him fast, there was going to be hell to pay. So into the oven they went.
I started them meat side down at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes and then flipped them for the next 30. Everything was looking dreamy but I wanted a little extra crispness, so I cranked up the broiler, re-applied some BBQ sauce to the Saucy ribs and in just a few minutes, achieved the perfect crustiness. I removed the ribs and let them rest for as long as I could stand it (about 10 minutes to take some pictures and such) and then it was GO TIME!
The Taste Test
The Honey Glazed wasn’t too sweet and the thyme was a nice counter point to the other flavors. A lighter flavor combination then most ribs I get, but I really liked that the pork flavor came through. This was definitely different, but definitely tasty.
The Spicy Cocoa Dry Rub was yummy. Just the right amount of heat and a nice bark from the rub and extra crisping. The cocoa didn’t come through as much as I’d hoped but the flavors were dark and rich and spicy. Yum!
The Simply Sauced didn’t offer any surprises but was a perfectly tasty rib. I’ve eaten racks of these at plenty of places (that will remain nameless) and these were perfectly good. I’m sure my kids will be reaching for this one over the others and they are welcome to them.
So who won? They were all mighty good, but I think the Honey Glazed eked out ahead of the Cocoa. There’s something about a slight sweetness that goes so well with the roasted ribs that I can’t deny. The Spicy Cocoa is a close second. I’d gladly make them again, but perhaps kick it up a notch with a little sweetness.
Ribs are one of my favorite things in the world. I don’t think I’ve ever met a rib I didn’t like. There are very few foods that really give you the caveman experience that you get by chowing down a slab of beefy or porky goodness. Enjoy.