Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.
Memorial day is a day which we set aside each year to remember, and to honor, those men and women who have given their lives to protect and defend our freedom. It's a very, very special day.
And of course everyone has their favorite way of celebrating. Here at Camellia Cottage we usually spend a bit of time working in the yard, and a lot of time just relaxing, and plenty of time eating good things - most of them cooked out on the grill. One thing that I do love doing is driving up through Dahlonega, Georgia where they line the streets with white crosses, each bearing the name of a fallen soldier and a small waving flag. Very thought provoking, to say the least.
One of our favorite summertime meals is baby back ribs. I've tried lots of ways of making ribs, and none have compared with this recipe, and it is one of my own creation.
A few years ago we had a couple of neighbors families over for cookout and I made these ribs. Brent said, "Becky, these ribs are the best I've ever eaten - even better than mine!" And later his wife, Crystal, pulled me aside and said that was quite an honor as he fancied himself quite a rib connoisseur. He even wanted my recipe, and I kindly obliged!
So here goes, my recipe for . . . . .
Baby Back Ribs Camellia Cottage Style
For this recipe you need one slab of baby back ribs. You can multiply this recipe up for however many slabs you need to prepare. This is one rack cut into half. When I got the 'freezer special' from a local butcher a while back, they asked if I minded if they cut them in half because it was easier to wrap them. Didn't bother me a bit as I usually cut them in half anyway.
To start, wash the ribs with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. On the underside of the ribs there is a papery tissue that holds them together. You want to take a paper towel and pull that tissue off of the ribs. I have to admit, I never could find a place to pull that tissue off of these ribs, and I wondered if maybe the butcher did that for me!
Now you are ready to mix up all the good stuff, but before you do, pull out two pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil the size you'll need to wrap the ribs in when they are slathered with the rub. You'll be glad you did this ahead of time - trust me!
These are the tools you'll need - a 1/2 cup measuring cup, a bowl, spoon, and set of measuring spoons.
You will also need all of this . . . . .
The full recipe will follow at the end for easier copying, but this is all the stuff that, once mixed together and slathered on some ribs, becomes heaven!!!
Measure all the ingredients except the ribs into a bowl. I just love stainless steel bowls for mixing!
When you have mixed it all together, it should look something like this. It should be grainy and moist, but not enough to dissolve the sugar. If you think it's too dry, add a few drops more of Worcestershire sauce.
Place each piece of ribs onto the heavy duty aluminum foil and spread, no - massage, each piece with the grainy rub. The juices in the ribs will make the rub soften as you go.
When you have that done, roll up the foil TIGHTLY around the ribs, pulling each end up above the ribs and rolling down. Then rolling each end UP to keep any juices from oozing out the ends. Believe me, you want ALL those juices staying in that pouch!
Then place the pouches on a baking sheet, and place into your oven, preheated to 350 degrees.
Here comes the fun part. I have no idea 'how long' to leave those ribs in the oven, but trust me, you will know! When the smell becomes so wonderful you can't stand it another minute, that's when you take them out! And once they have cooled a bit, this is how they look . . . . .
Now you have to make a decision. Do you want to eat these today, tomorrow, or in a few days??? Because once these pouches have cooled, you can put them into plastic bags and keep them in the refrigerator for several days, and the longer they stay in the fridge, the better they taste. I've made these ahead for camping trips, or I've made them on Wednesday for a Saturday cookout. It's all up to you! These, however are for tonight, so I'm going to put them on the grill.
Now, I'm only used to a gas grill, so if you use charcoal, you are on your own! But for gas, you want to heat it up and get it really hot, then before you put on the ribs, reduce the heat to about medium or lower. Then put the ribs on, meaty side down.
Cook them for just 2 - 3 minutes, then turn them over and put on your favorite BBQ sauce. Use what you like! For these ribs I used Kraft Original with a little extra brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce to thin it a bit.
So you baste on that sauce and get a nice coating on the top. Then turn them back over onto the meaty side and cook for another 2-3 minutes. You'll want to baste that bony side on bottom with sauce, too.
I do this two or three times, cooking on each side about 2 to 3 minutes. Remember, the ribs are already cooked, so you only want to get that sauce kind of caramelized.
Okay, let's eat! Barbecued ribs, Parmesan roasted potatoes, fresh corn on the cob. What a way to end the weekend!!!
Here's the recipe . . . . ..
Baby Back Ribs - Camellia Cottage Style
Use Baby Back Pork Ribs - This recipe is for one (1) rack of ribs.
Remove skin (papery) from bony underside of ribs. Using a paper towel helps to grip the skin to pull it off.
Per rack of ribs, mix together:
- ½ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ +/- teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ +/- chili powder
- A few drops of hot sauce (optional)
Take out of the oven and let sit to cool, then store in refrigerator for up to 2-4 days - they just get better!
Unwrap from foil, heat on grill until warm through, basting with your favorite BBQ sauce.