It's like a holiday in my house tonight, the sun was out all day, daughter broke out of her scoring slump on the soccer pitch today and back ribs are on sale at IGA Marketplace.
Ribs are hands down daughter's number one thing to eat, she even changes into old clothes so as not to have the experience lessened in any manner by having to worry about barbecue sauce ending up on a favourite shirt, and it's easily in the top ten for wife and I. My druthers are for sideribs that have had the tips removed, the so called St. Louis cut, but they are hard to find and most commercial cuts of siderib are full of cartilage from the tips. Windsor Meats on the North Shore have the most consistent sideribs and I just learned they have an outlet in Vancouver now so maybe my siderib luck will change.
For now though I'm reduced to Costco or the vagaries of on sale backribs, which is how this whole post started. Marketplace IGA's weekly flyer advertised Chilean baby backs on sale for a ridiculous $2.99 a pound so I dashed down just before kickoff and was pleasantly surprised to find that the ribs were in abundance and Canadian. There is a tinge of nationalism involved here but mostly my joy was that Canadian ribs are longer and generally meatier than the Chilean racks. Ribs were bought and bundled home before soccer and are now just waiting to be eaten.
Ribs need a touch of work before cooking, the membrane on the bone side should be removed for added tenderness, just put a sharp knife under the membrane near the narrow end of the rack and force up enough so that you can grab the membrane with your fingers, the membrane can be slippery so paper towels or a kitchen towel may help, then just pull the membrane off. Now comes the wonder of ribs, so much taste so little work, I just rub them with a mixture of coarse salt, fresh ground black pepper, dry mustard powder and smoked paprika and roast them in a 300 degree oven for 2-2 1/2 hours until the bones wobble or use a smoker at 250 degrees for 3-3 1/2 hours. Drain off the fat, baste with whatever tomatoey, spicy sauce you wish to create and roast again at high heat, 450+, for 5 or so minutes to glaze the sauce and then dig in, if it's grilling weather you can finish them off on the grill which is even better but the oven is fine.
I allow at least a pound per person, serve with plain white rice or boiled spuds smashed with butter and Italian parsley and coleslaw or simple green veg and some full throttle red with big fruit, or cold pilsner, and you are good to go.