It's jean jacket season again! Have you got your brooch(es) ready?
(I posted this picture because it's something pretty to look at
because any post about cooking meat is just darn UGLY.)
Good MONDAY morning to ya! I hope you all had a nice weekend. I did, and that means it was a normal, relaxing weekend. You see, my husband doesn't have every Saturday off, he works every other.
So on the Saturday/Sunday he's home, it's a celebration of being NORMAL. I love it. For most of our marriage, he has worked Saturdays, and believe me, sleeping in together on a Saturday morning is not taken for granted by me--it feels special and wonderful.
We attended the football game at my son's school on Friday night to kick things off, that's always fun--and the bonus was they won; the downside the score was in the high sixties to ZERO, so not a lot of excitement. Luke went to an "Overtime" youth group activity afterwards that lasted until midnight. We stayed up so we could go pick him up. Of course, we got to bed really late.
We slept in on Saturday morning, I love that feeling of knowing when you go to bed on Friday night that you don't need to get up and rush away for anything in the morning. We shocked ourselves by sleeping until 11:30! I can't even tell you the last time that happened, but the cooler fall weather probably had that effect, it just feels so good to sleep! :0)
Saturday, with what we had left of the day, we worked around here getting normal chores done, taking the pool down, and a few extra things around the house and yard, the dogs played outside, and I hung laundry out in the sunshine and crispy wind and made a good dinner.
In this interest of full disclosure, this photo taken with my iPhone.
I got venison steaks out to marinate for Sunday dinner and after church we came home to grill them on a smoky mesquite on our old-fashioned Weber charcoal grill. YUM! Then the rest of Sunday was spent relaxing and I actually got to watch a movie Sunday night.
The weather for the whole weekend was soft, golden and absolutely beautiful for early fall, the air wasn't too cold, but the nights were crisp and the corn all around us is starting to dry out and turn brown. It's almost time to pick the pumpkins and decorate for fall!
Now onto the "not pretty" part of this post...
Pork ribs. The elusive tender but delicious ribs had stymied me for years, I tried everything. A par boil. A slow boil. A slow boil in coke. A slow boil in anything at all, the crock pot, the pressure cooker, all the way from start to finish on the grill...everything I tried ended with frustrating results--and a less than pleasing rib...maybe it was just me.
Until the last few years. I finally decided just to bake those suckers slow in the oven. It works to tenderize almost every other cut of meat that goes in tough.
Since it will be a long, slow bake, put foil onto a jelly roll pan. Spray with PAM.
Take your country ribs and smear them with seasonings, anything you like--a BBQ rub would be fine. Pepper, Kosher salt, seasoned salt, garlic salt, onion salt, and whatever else you normally like to smear on, and rub that stuff right into the ribs with your fingers.
Be generous with the seasonings. Pour it ON. If a little is good, more is better.
It ain't no time to get skimpy.
("Skimpy" is another funny word that my mom says all the time--meaning stingy.)
Put water into the pan to come at least halfway up the ribs or so. You might want to do this after you've already set your pan into the oven rack, so you don't spill. Do NOT cover.
In the morning, this is how these came out. I had to get up a time or two in the night to make sure of the liquid not drying out.
Now, since these are usually for a holiday, I like to bake them all night so they'll be ready for lunch on the holiday. If you were to have these for dinner, you could bake from early morning until supper time and you'd be good, but let's just say these babies need to bake slowly, uncovered in a 250 degree oven for at least four hours but for me six is the minimum.
You do want the tops of the ribs to be a bit dry and crusty on top for a finish. You want them to be really done, perhaps even to be a little bit blackened, on the corners on top... the only thing you might need to do is check to make sure the liquid hasn't dried up a couple of times during the baking time.
Now remove these beauties from the pan with a stiff pancake turner...so they don't fall off the bone. Get rid of all the yucky stuff with the foil to the garbage and drain the ribs on paper toweling.
Then apply the barbecue sauce to the top surface and grill them for a short time to get the sauce to stick to them-- on your gas grill or your hot charcoal grill and maybe even smoke them a bit with wet mesquite or any other kind of wood chips.
The finished product: lick your fingers and smack your lips goodness, and tender yet not dry, perfectly ready to serve with the rest of your meal, and nothing to be ashamed of. I think you'll be quite pleased with this method, with the result of fall-off-the-bone goodness.
Have you got a favorite way to make great ribs? I would love to hear your method.
(I LOVE Blue Jean Jacket season...otherwise known as FALL.)