It’s time to fess up. I do love ribs. The Goddess likes to gnaw on bones…it’s a thing. And she prefers her ribs to be slow-roasted in the oven, not on the grill. You knew she was unorthodox, but the ribs don’t dry out in the oven. You can control the moisture and well, they’re just better. And dry rub is the secret to great ribs.I purchased these ribs, already cut into individual ribs, not in a slab. Hey, they were on sale. I was a bit concerned they might end up drying out during roasting, but I needn’t have worried. These were unbelievably moist and delicious. I almost always roast ribs in the oven and I roast them with moisture. I used to “finish” them on the grill, but I don’t bother with that anymore, because if I want caramelized ribs, the broiler is a good friend! The added bonus with oven-roasting, is that you can have a little bit of summer in your life, any time of the year.
To dry rub or not to dry rub? That is the question. With sauce alone, they’ll be good, but for truly great ribs, a dry rub is absolutely essential. Sometimes I make my own dry rub, but today I’m using a nice little rub I picked up at Whole Foods™ called “Maya Coffee Rub”. It’s a really nice rub with lot’s of nuanced flavors and coffee. Coffee is a wonderful enhancer of the umami! So I drizzle on some olive oil, then a very, very liberal dusting of your dry rub. The oil helps the dry rub adhere to the meat and it helps the meat brown a bit. Now, for about four pounds of ribs, I used a bit more than 1/3 cup of dry rub. The key is finding a happy medium…too much dry rub and you can’t taste the meat. Too little, and it’s just “meh”! So, I find this amount to be about right, but I always find it takes more rub than I think it will. Also, because these are already cut, you have four sides to cover, instead of two, as you would with a slab of ribs. So rub ’em up really well with the dry rub. I have a large, heavy-bottomed pan, that I use, but I’ve used those throw-away foil pans successfully, too. The bonus with those, of course…no messy pan to wash up! I combine frozen apple juice concentrate, water and wine or apple cider vinegar. We’re going to slow-roast the ribs…really slowly. I start out at 250°F for about two hours (with the pan covered), then I raise the temperature to 275°F for another two to three (with the cover removed) or until they are tender. You do have to check on them after you raise the temperature a bit and I usually turn the ribs over when I raise the temperature. That’s pretty much it. I like to serve these with Quick and Easy Fruity BBQ Sauce, North Carolina-Style, Smokey Mustard BBQ Sauce or Guava-Onion-Rum Sauce, but you should use whatever you like. I heat some of the BBQ sauce and serve it on the side. Part of the reason is that I can’t decide which one I like best, so I can have a little of this and a little of that…yeah, The Goddess is greedy like that. Now, if you prefer to have your ribs caramelized, then about 5 minutes before you’re going to serve them, lay them on a foil-lined sheet pan, brush them with whatever sauce your little heart desires and toss the pan under the broiler…but don’t walk away…burned ribs are no one’s friend! I served sweet corn today and Smoky, Mustardy Cole Slaw, which is an optional flavor for the Mango-Cabbage Slaw with Sweet Chile Vinaigrette. Enjoy!
Dry Rubbed, Slow-Roasted Not-Adam's-Ribs
- 4 pounds pork ribs, either in a slab or cut into individual ribs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup dry rub, or more to taste (see the NOTE)
- 1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
- 1/4 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- BBQ Sauce, of you choice
Preheat the oven to 250°F.
Place the ribs in a large bowl; drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the dry rub. Rub the dry rub into the ribs to thoroughly coat them. Place the apple juice concentrate, vinegar and water together in a large, heavy-bottomed pan; swirl to combine thoroughly. Lay the ribs in the pan, in a single layer. Cover the pan; roast for two hours. Raise the heat to 275°F; continue to roast for 2-3 hours or until the ribs are tender. Serve with the pan drippings, with BBQ sauce on the side or brush with BBQ sauce, and broil until the ribs caramelize. Excellent served with Smoky, Mustardy Cole Slaw and sweet corn.
NOTE: Sometimes I make my own dry rub mixing equal parts of garlic granules, onions granules, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, brown sugar, dry mustard, finely ground coffee (espresso grind) and ground cumin. But, I also purchase dry rubs. Maya Coffee Rub® from Whole Foods™ is wonderful with pork.
Dry Rubbed, Slow-Roasted Not-Adam’s-Ribs Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.