Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Little Labor Baby Backs

This past Labor Day, my family and I decided to celebrate the unofficial end of summer by making ribs reminiscent of fall flavors. Apple cider vinegar and cinnamon are the two ingredients that remind me most of fall. There is not a lot of labor involved in making these ribs, which kept me out of the kitchen and enjoying the work free spirit of Labor Day. We enjoyed the succulent baby backs (that were fall-off-the-bone tender!) with delicious mashed sweet potatoes (maintaining the fall theme), a simply crisp garden salad and sweet, juicy grilled corn (not pictured).

Baby back ribs, mashed sweet potatoes and salad
Little Labor Baby Backs

Servings: ~3
Time: 15 min. prep, 2 - 2.5 hrs. cook

3 lbs. baby back ribs
2 tbls. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2-3 tbls. canola oil
3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
3 c. chicken stock/broth
2 tbls. dried thyme

1. Preheat oven to 325 deg. Combine all spices in a bowl and rub into topside of ribs.

All rubbed up
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet and portion the ribs so they will fit in the pan. Once the oil is hot, place the ribs in the skillet topside down until a crust forms. Do this one portion at a time.

Pre-bake crust
3. After all ribs have been crusted, deglaze the pan with the vinegar. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 4 to 5 min. Add the chicken stock and thyme. Allow liquid to simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Put the ribs into a baking dish and add the chicken stock and vinegar mixture. Bake tightly covered for about 2.5 hrs.

5. Once the ribs are done, heat the grill and grab your favorite bbq sauce. I made my own, and would suggest a sweet sauce so the sugars can caramelize on the grill and help create a nice second crust layer.

6. Brush the sauce on the top of the ribs and place topside down on the grill. Grill for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until your desired crustiness has formed.

Grilled finish and ready to feed
1. The post-bake grilling can be skipped. I like the charred textured from grilling, but if you'd rather eat them straight out of the oven, go for it!

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