Bless grocery store sales. I would choose baby back ribs over nearly any other food, but I’ve never cooked them because I was too intimidated. But when I saw ribs on sale at WF for $4.99 a pound I couldn’t resist. I got the ribs home and did some quick googling, which led me to Alton Brown’s “Who Loves Ya” baby back rib recipe. I laughed at the name until towards the end, when I turned to Ben and said “Who loves you?” as I pulled a rack of ribs out of the oven. So there you go, the cheesy name has a reason.
[Note: I accidentally got my camera stuck on a 1600 ISO for a while earlier this month. As a result, there are some truly terrible photos in the pipelines. Grainy and awful; I’m sorry!]
There are quite a few ingredients in the dry rub, but everything was super easy and quick, actually. My mom asked if I really bought all the things the recipe calls for, and I did since most were in the bulk spice section. I only skipped the jalapeno seasoning, which I didn’t find and didn’t search for particularly hard.
Once the rub (which contains brown sugar salt and a bunch of chili powder, cayenne, onion powder, etc…) was mixed up, I covered the ribs on both sides and bundled them up in tinfoil.
Then they rested in the fridge for a while (I didn’t leave enough time, so I only gave them an hour), and when it was time to cook I mixed the braising liquid (white wine vinegar, white wine, worcestershire sauce, honey, garlic) and heated it in the microwave.
Then Alton says to open one end of the foil packet and pour in the liquid. To my shock, this actually worked. (And this is the worst photo of them all, I’m afraid.)
The ribs went in a 250 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours. Towards the end of cooking, Ben and I made up a batch of corn muffins (recipe at the end of the post). Note the fancy new wiper-mixer-blade thing Ben got for Christmas! It makes HORRIBLE squealing sounds as it rotates until there are wet ingredients added, but then it scrapes down the sides of the bowl perfectly.
Those baked once the ribs were out, since I needed a much hotter oven.
Meanwhile, the cooked ribs were out and I poured the liquid out into a pan to reduce into a glaze.
The reduced glaze went on the ribs, which then went back in the oven for a quick broil to caramelize.
Cut them up and it’s time to eat!
I mean, seriously. Who loves you?
The ribs were very tender, flavorful and delicious. They weren’t smoky, obviously, but for an oven recipe? Excellent. Also A+ leftover, cold.
(From Ina Garten; my mom is going to let me know which book)
Over Christmas Mom made a batch of these with raspberry jam on the tops–not as much as the recipe recommends, just a dab. They were sensational; not dry and with a terrific crunchy toastiness after being heated up in the toaster over. I made them for this dinner without the jam and then froze half the batch (it made 16 muffins; I used those foil liners that stand up on their own for the extra).
“3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup medium cornmeal
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup good raspberry preserves (if you want)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line 12 large muffin cups with paper liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, melted butter and eggs. With the mixer on the lowest setting, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until they are just blended. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. Bake for 30 minutes, until the tops are crisp and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly and remove from the pan.
(If you want the jam:) After the muffins cool, spoon the jam into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. push the tip of the bag through the top of the muffin and squeeze 1 to 2 tablespoons into the middle. Repeat for each muffin.”