Ribs are the manliest food on Earth, probably only second to one of those giant turkey legs at Disney World. Then again you have to eat it at Disney World, and that’s about as soft as Drake watching a meteor shower. Nevermind, RIBS are the manliest food in the world® and knowing how to cook them is like an ancient secret passed down from generation to generation.
The problem with ribs is that you can’t just say “Oh, I feel like a rack right now.” It takes a lot of time and patience to get perfect ribs, especially since your house will start to smell better than a Domino’s pizza at 2 am. You need to plan this out and make a day of it that will end in a feast bestowed upon you by the gods. So go out to your supermarket, grab a case of beer and a rack of baby backs, and get ready for a Saturday to remember.
A rack of baby back ribs, about 4 pounds
For the rub:
1/8 cup of salt
1/8 cup of black pepper
2 Tablespoons of cayenne
1/8 cup of onion powder
1/8 cup of paprika
For the sauce:
A bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (16 ounces)
4 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
½ cup of brown mustard
A dark beer, I used Breckenridge’s Vanilla Porter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of brown sugar
1. The night before you’ll be cooking, wash the ribs under cold water, patting dry with a paper towel afterwards.
2. Mix together all of the rub ingredients and spread it evenly over the meat. The bone side is important too, so make sure it’s all over the rack. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight.
3. Half an hour before cooking, take the ribs out of the fridge to warm up and preheat the oven to 225oF. (Yeah, these are oven baked. Don’t judge them for not being on a grill; they come out moist and falling off the bone just as if Freddy from House of Cards made them).
4. Boil the beer, which will cook off the alcohol, keeping the meat from getting tough. Wisk together half of the beer with the rest of the sauce ingredients.
5. Using a deep baking sheet or a roasting pan, place the ribs bone side down in the pan. Put a coat of the sauce on the ribs, saving the rest for later. Pour the second half of the beer in the bottom of the pan, not over the meat, along with the two onions cut in half. These will add flavor and keep the meat from drying out.
6. Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil. This is very important because the moisture needs to be locked in the pan to keep the ribs from drying out. Place on the middle rack in the oven. Don’t open the oven for the next three hours. Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t forget.
7. Go to your fraternity’s day drink and get hammered. This is probably the hardest part of your endeavor, as you will want to brag about your ribs to everyone. DON’T DO IT. You’ll be like the only hot chick at last call; everyone will want to go home with you. There’s a limited amount of wealth, and it’s not worth sharing if you can’t get your fill.
8. After 3 hours, take the ribs out, drain the drippings, and lather on more of that sauce. They should be a little charred from the caramelization of the first coat, which adds a smoky flavor to the rib. Re-cover with foil and place back in the oven for 30 more minutes.
9. Take the ribs out for the last time, but do not open them. Place a towel on top of the roasting pan and let the meat to sit for half an hour. This allows the meat to rest which makes it detach from the bone, all while locking in the moisture left in the pan. If you are too hammered, skip this step and tear right into a rack with those worthy of sharing your gift. They will be forever grateful, and although not everyone will remember the day drink, they’ll tell stories of these ribs for years to come.