Throwback Ribs

Everyone has their own favorite rib style.  There are St. Louis style ribs, baby back ribs, Texas style, Memphis style.  Some like them swimming in sauce while others like to eat them dry.  My personal favorite is a sort of mixture of a lot of different types of ribs.  No matter what way you like, you must give these ribs a try.

My dad makes the best ribs in the world, in my opinion.  I’m not a huge fan of tons of BBQ sauce.  It’s usually too sweet (though Dorothy Lane Market here in Dayton, OH makes a killer sauce that’s just right).  So growing up my dad would make his own basting sauce that would act like a BBQ sauce.  His ribs involve two parts:  a rub and a baste.  The longer you let the rub sit on the ribs, the more flavorful they’ll be.  I always make baby back ribs because that’s what I was raised on, but you can make whatever type of ribs you like.

Dry Rub
5 T Salt
6 T Sugar
2 1/2 T Black Pepper
2 T MSG  (Yes I know MSG isn’t a good thing, but that’s just what this recipe calls for.  You could probably just leave it out, though it may alter the flavor a little.)
1 T dried lemon powder (I had a hard time finding this so I used lemon pepper instead and just back a little on the black pepper)
1 T paprika

Combine all the ingredients together and mix WELL.  You want everything to be evenly distributed.  Put your baby backs on a cookie sheet and sprinkle the mixture liberally over them.  Massage the mixture into the ribs.  You want to make sure every inch of the ribs gets a little bit of the rub on it.  Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.  As I said, the longer it sits, the more flavor it has!

“Mop” Barbeque Sauce
I’m not real sure why it’s called a “Mop” BBQ sauce. I personally believe it’s because the creator of this recipe used to use a “mop” baster to put the sauce on the ribs.  It is an extremely thin sauce that would benefit from a mop baster.  At any rate, it smells amazing when it’s cooking and gives great flavor to the ribs!

4 cups beef stock
1 cup worchestershire sauce
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
1 T Tabasco sauce
1 T salt
1 T dry mustard
1 T paprika
1 T MSG (I left this out the last time I made it and it seemed fine)
1 T garlic powder
1 T chili powder
1 T ground bay leaf (I didn’t read the “ground” part of this until I was home the first time so I just threw in four small bay leaves.  It seemed to do the trick.)

Combine the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil.  Shut off the heat and let it cool on the stove.  When storing, put the entire batch in a tupperware container and store in the fridge.  It keeps for a pretty long time (like a year or so).  When reheating the sauce, put the entire contents into a pot to reheat as many of the spices will settle to the bottom of the container.

As I said before, the first step is to liberally coat the ribs with the dry rub and massage in.  Let sit for at least an hour or overnight in the fridge.  Pull out the ribs about a half hour before cooking to raise the temperature of the meat.  Preheat your oven to 300*.  Place the ribs in heavy duty aluminum foil and return to baking sheet.  Pour 1/2 cup of the mop bbq sauce over the ribs in the foil.  Gather the sides of the foil at the top and crimp them down, then crimp in the ends to make a somewhat tight package.  You want to leave a little room around the ribs so they can “breathe” in the liquid. Place in the 300* oven for 2.5 hours.

After the ribs cook for 2.5 hours, move them to the grill to get a little color on them.  Baste each side frequently with the mop bbq sauce and cook until desired color is achieved.  I believe I cooked mine for about 15 minutes total.  This step is optional.  You can remove the ribs from the foil and put them back in the oven to achieve a similar outcome, though there’s nothing like cooking meat on a grill.

**Originally my dad would cook the ribs on the grill at a very low heat the entire time, but it sometimes resulted in overcooked meat.  Cooking the meat in a little bit of the bbq sauce in the oven allows it to essentially boil, thus retaining some of the liquid.  Either way you go, these ribs are sure to be a hit!  If you MUST, you can serve regular BBQ sauce alongside for dipping, though that’s blasphemy in my book.  🙂


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