The Rib Rack
I have two memories of ribs as a kid. The ONE TIME - ONCE - that my Korean mother made them in the oven and told people for two weeks how she made them so tender. (Why she never made them again irritates me, but it certainly made them memorable.) But once she left, there were so many nights of take out. When my dad would suggest "The Rib Rack," my brother and I would cheer every time. I can see the pile of fried onions on top of white bread served alongside the best ribs ever.
So, I've always been on a quest for the "perfect ribs." I thought I had it thanks to Cook's Illustrated when Ryan and Jenn called from their Steamboat ranch to ask me to send the recipe we had used in Vail. They didn't have the cookbook with them. And in truth, the recipe is SO similar to what my mother had done and repeated to everyone: slow and low under foil for two hours. . . with some type of liquid underneath to steam them as well.
BUTT, someone recently announced HE had nailed the "best ribs ever." It was after I had made ribs for the Strickers my mom's way and worried that the ribs were underdone. . . No matter, when we had Chip's birthday dinner, I told him to pick his menu, and he asked for the ribs. . .
So, I went to work on the "best ribs ever" recipe. And - oh - my - Pig. . . The butter foil trick is a GAME CHANGER at the end - and I think there are so many ways you could subsitute and play with your palette.
1 Rack of Ribs with membrane REMOVED!
(I've used pork loin back and St. Louis. I prefer St. Louis because they are fattier.)
2 T yellow mustard
(I'm toying with using Aji Amarillo on my next round since I love it and use a sauce of it for dipping,)
1/4 cup BUTT RUB (I've found it in every grocery store, Costco, Amazon. . . And if you're not up for rubbing, Costco has ribs that are already rubbed and those are just as good.)
2 1/2 cups apple juice (divide 1/2 cup and two cups)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
8 oz. Kerrygold butter
~ Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
~ Be sure the membrane is ALL removed from the rack before covering with mustard as binder.
~ Mix 1/2 cup apple juice and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar in spray bottle or mister.
~ Sprinkle BUTT RUB all over the ribs - the sides too! (I have done this the night before and let dry marinade, but I have also done it in the moment. Works either way!)
~ In a jelly roll sheet pan, pour the 2 cups apple juice on the bottom of the pan, place a wire rack over the pan, and lay the ribs on the wire rack. COVER WITH FOIL AND PLACE IN OVEN. (This was what my mom and Cook's Illustrated do to ensure the ribs are steamed and don't dry out. I didn't have apple juice once and used beef stock.) . . HOWEVER!. . .
~ I was also told to mist the ribs every hour for six hours with the apple juice/apple cider vinegar mixture.
~ He said six hours. . . I've done it for two, four, and six. I've settled on FIVE, BECAUSE. .
~ Take the ribs out of the oven and turn oven off.
HERE IS THE GAME CHANGER
~ Place the ribs in aluminum foil and cover with butter. (The reason I like the Kerrygold is because you can cut LARGE slats and place it over the ribs.)
~ Place back in oven which has been turned off for one hour. (I couldn't wait one night and after 45 minutes, I was in heaven.)
UN - REAL
There is a sauce that I had to recreate on my own since I crave it with roasted chicken. Thanks to my Arlington friends, Caribbean Grill was a go to growing up in DC and the yellow Peruvian sauce is crave worthy. So after months on Pinterest and ten experiments, this is the yellow sauce I LOVE with nearly any roasted meat.
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 T Aji amarillo paste LINK HERE, but I have found in grocery stores.
1 T ketchup
2 garlic gloves
1 green onion
salt and pepper to taste
~ Chop and mix in food processor or blender (or whisk. . . ).