Food: best BAKED back RIBS

Talking about Austin Texas and barbeques yesterday got me thinking about mouth watering ribsribs2Of course you cannot beat barbequed ribs for the best smoky flavour but I just made an amazing batch of ribs that were completely baked in the oven – while still maintaining a smoky flavour.  That’s right!  Even I was surprised at how delicious they turned out.  I first rubbed them all over with a homemade tex-mex dry rub which I provided the link to below (from a previous blog post) but you can always improvise.

  • 3 -5 lbs pork ribs (I used baby back ribs)
  • 3 or more tablespoons dry rub (use your favourite and add a smoked sea salt as part of your seasoning – Trader Joe’s makes an excellent one).
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce (this time I used Stubb’s Hickory Bourbon but there’s a link at bottom for a good one made from scratch).ribs1


  1. Pre-heat oven to 300* F.
  2. Season all sides of the ribs with the dry rub of your choice.
  3. Using a 13x9x2 baking dish (or most likely a larger 15x11x2), place the rib slabs *meaty side up into the pan but make sure not to over crowd.  I usually put the baking dish (or pan) right on top of another slightly larger pan/dish that has at least a half inch of water in it.  This helps tenderize the ribs and keep them from drying out.  You can always try it without but this seems to work better.
  4. Cover the baking dish with foil and place on center rack of pre-heated oven. Bake for approximately 2 1/2 – 3 hours (depending on the size of the ribs you are using).
  5. Remove the ribs from oven and drain any grease from dish; reserving the foil. Slather with your favorite BBQ sauce and return the dish to the oven (un-covered) for an additional 30 minutes.
  6. Once done, remove the ribs to a platter, loosely tent the platter with the reserved foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes. (This step is important — the resting period gives the ribs time to re-distribute their juices, just like a steak would).
  7. Enjoy!

*other recipes call for you to first place the ribs with the bone side facing up – until step #5 when you put the barbeque sauce on at which time you flip them over to the meaty side up.  I’m just telling you this but the way I did it (above) turned out to be excellent.

Dry Rub Recipe:

Homemade Barbeque Sauce Recipe:

If you make them, let me know how they turn out.







Simply Satisfying – slow cooked Pulled Pork

Southern Comfort.  I have a sneaking suspicion that you can put a pork shoulder into a *slow cooker all on its own (with no rub, sauce, etc.) and it will still turn out pretty darn tasty…but why chance it.  pulled_pork_sandwich This delicious ‘once on occasion’ recipe (as filed under guilty pleasures or football games) was served on buns this past weekend (with other food like stuffed peppers, etc.) as a request. 

Pulled Pork

One 3 or 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder (boneless is easier for shredding).  Have butcher roll and tie for you if it doesn’t come packaged that way.

Combine the following dry spices and rub them all over the pork.  Make sure you get all surfaces well covered.  Place seasoned pork in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. smoked paprika

1 Tbsp. black pepper

1 Tbsp. ancho chili powder (or any Mexican chili powder)

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cumin

Next morning – remove the pork from refrigerator.

Put into slow cooker the following:

1/2 cup of water

1 cup of apple juice

1 cup of barbecue sauce (if you buy it try to get one with a smoky BBQ flavor – I like Kentucky wild whiskey or a wild hickory smoke).  See  homemade version below.

Juice of 1 lime

hot sauce, to taste

Add pork shoulder, cover & turn on low for at least 8 hours.

When done, remove roast from stoneware (slow cooker), and pull the meat into shredded pieces using two forks.  Pour out any liquid in the stoneware. Combine shredded pork with a chopped medium onion & put back into stoneware with about 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid & bit more barbeque sauce.  Turn on low for one more hour.  Keep warm until serving on hamburger buns or rolls.  Warm up extra BBQ for buns if needed.

*If you don’t have a slow cooker then put it into a covered roasting pan set on a low heat (250 F) for same amount of time.  Just be sure to check & baste periodically.

Homemade BBQ Sauce (great for ribs too).  A little more time but I promise it’s totally worth it:

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp. molasses

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. ketchup

1 tsp. yellow mustard like dijon, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and kosher (or Lawry’s seasoned) salt.

1 cup chopped onion (optional)

1/2 cup strong black coffee

dash of Louisiana-style hot sauce

(makes two cups)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Whisk thoroughly or combine with a hand-held blender to ensure there are no lumps.  Simmer over low heat while stirring frequently for 1 hour (this pasteurizes the sauce). Cool for at least 1 hour before transferring to an airtight container for storage.  Store for up to 1 month in the refrigerator but you can also freeze what you don’t use.

This will feel like summer all winter long