Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oven Baked Ribs

I actually thought I had already written this post. Could have sworn I had written it. But I haven't. I've been meaning to, since we ate these ribs for Sunday dinner at least a week ago. They were so good. I served them with scalloped potatoes (that were only average) and corn bread (which was fantastic, as usual). I dry rubbed them and sauced them. They made the house smell like a warm Southern Sunday afternoon. While they were cooking I listened to Dan Mangan over and over again. It was a good day.

How could I ever resist a recipe with a title like 'Oven-Baked Ribs with Maple Barbecue Sauce'? We often make ribs in the Summer but baking them in the oven might be my new favourite way to enjoy this particular treat. I had been thinking about ribs all week and had them on my grocery list, then in a happy coincidence they were on sale at my local butcher counter. I love it when that happens.

These ribs are both rubbed and sauced. Neither step is difficult. Start with some ribs. I had two racks of pork side ribs. I put together the rub in a small bowl (paprika, sugar, salt, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, oregano) then..well, rubbed the spices into the ribs. I was a bit worried that the rub might be too spicy (particularly for the kids) but I decided that the sweet sauce would balance the heat. Then all I had to do was put them in the oven to bake. I used my turkey rack / roaster and it worked just fine.

The BBQ sauce is also pretty easy to put together: ketchup, cider vinegar, maple syrup, wooster sauce and chili powder. Muck it all together in a small saucepan, bring it to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Slap it on your ribs during the last 10 minutes of cooking. What made your kitchen smell really good will now make your kitchen smell really, really good.

I wish the scalloped potatoes I made to go with these ribs had been thicker and creamier. (That's what happens when you use 1% milk...) I love the combination of ribs and scalloped potatoes. I have no idea why. I have a very vague memory of attending a spare-rib supper sponsored by the Legion in the small town where I grew up years and years ago. Maybe that menu featured scalloped potatoes? I know there were ribs. And something called pigs tails which probably really were pigs tails, now that I think about it. I always just assumed they were joking when they passed the pigs tails.

We knew the boys would like the taste of these (they seem to really be liking pork lately) but not the idea of gnawing meat off of a bone. So yes, we cut their portions off the rib for them. The sauce is every boy's dream - ketchup and maple syrup? Yes please! And just as I had thought, there was a slight heat to the meat but the sweet sauce cut the hot so you noticed the rub but not in a bad way. A great way to do ribs in the Winter.

Oven-Baked Ribs with Maple Barbecue Sauce - from Canadian Living

1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
3 lb pork back or side ribs

Maple Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp wooster sauce
1 tsp chili powder

Combine paprika through oregano in small bowl. Rub all over ribs. Place ribs on rack in roasting pan. Roast in 425 degree oven for 45 minutes, turning once. Pour off fat.

For sauce: Meanwhile, combine ketchup through chili powder in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Brush all over ribs, roast until sticky, about 10 minutes.

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