BREAKING NEWS: The season of summer cookouts is coming to a close. Luckily, you have one last hoorah to solidify your place as grill master among your friends: Labor Day. By now, we’ve all grown to know Labor Day is conversely one of the least labor-intensive days of the year. But, you can do some work by treating your friends to a tasty meal. There’s just one thing that’s been bothering me lately: summer BBQs are pretty cookie-cutter at each rooftop and poolside. Burgers, hot dogs, and maybe some caprese salad or Italian sausage if you’re friends are feeling fancy. But, the one smokey, spicy treat that seldom makes an appearance at your local summer fiestas are ribs. Sweet, tangy, fall off the bone, suck the marrow out ribs.
For some reason, most of us can never shy away from Matt Lang and Joe Carrolls ribs at Fette Sau, or the incomparable treasures at Dinosaur, hey I’d order a rack of baby backs at a Ruby Tuesday’s, but the creation part always intimidates most self-proclaimed amateur chefs. I think there’s something about the lack of practice due to the endangered species known as grills in New York
Taking into account the impending end of Summer, and the thought of having to wait another year to test things out, we threw caution to the wind. With the help of my ambitious roommate (who had a fantasy football draft to attend in Hoboken, where a grill was present), delectable ribs with homemade barbeque sauce were born.
We took a look at the Dinosaur Baby Back Ribs Bar-B-Que recipe for inspiration, then perused Grub Street for some manageable comparisons, and finally made some adjustments to work with the ingredients and tools we had. The end product was inspiring to say the least. Now, I’m not saying they stand up to Mr. Lang’s masterpiece but they can certainly help you be elected President of the Pit, and next in line for a Bobby Flay Showdown.
Stern Ribs (affectionately named after my roommate)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon habanero chile powder (or cayenne)
1 cup caramelized onions
Pan drippings (however much you have)
1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 head garlic, roasted and peeled
2 tablespoons good maple syrup (not aunt jemima)
11/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Full Rack of Baby Backs
BBQ Sauce: [Makes 3 1/2 cups] Wait until the ribs have been in the oven for about 45 minutes before you start on the sauce. Get all ingredients other than drippings in food processor. After ribs have been in the oven for an hour, add drippings to food processor, puree until smooth.
Ribs (full rack of baby backs): Heat oven to 325. Season ribs with salt and pepper on both sides and wrap in foil. Place foiled ribs on baking sheet (to catch drippings). Cook for one hour, remove from oven, unwrap foil and pour drippings into food processor. Most likely will be about 1/8 – 1/4 cup of drippings, if you have more than that, use discretion in how much you include in the sauce. When drippings have been incorporated into the sauce, baste ribs on both sides, re-wrap ribs with foil, and place back in over for one more hour. Remove from oven. Baste again before finishing ribs on a very hot grill for a couple minutes on each side to get a nice char.
See the Dinosaur Recipe Here