If you want to make Dad the BEST Father’s Day dinner..hands down…it would be my lip smacking, finger licking, fall off the bones, tender, juicy, extra yummy nummy Baby Back Pork Ribs! (Say that three times really fast!) Every Dad deserves a rack or two, of these bad boys! I just asked Mars this morning what he wanted for dinner for Father’s Day and he said “Honestly?” I said, “Yep! Honestly!” He said… “The Ribs! Those Ribs are SO good!”
Now, I’ll admit I do 80% of the labor involved in this recipe but…the “Grill Master” he puts the smoke, char and the sauce on’em and brings them up to absolute stunning perfection! He is…after all…the Grill Master! (You gotta admit…those are some yummy looking ribs!)
I created this sauce about 15 years ago. I was tired of regular BBQ sauce! I wanted something totally different. I did not want another tomato based sauce. Noooo! I wanted the beautiful color of the pork to shine through. So, I came up with this alternative. Now,until today…I have only given this sauce recipe to one other person and she had to swear on her life that she wouldn’t give it out… Thanks Mom! (I had grand illusions of opening a restaurant…eh…maybe some day… “The Nest” has a nice ring to it!) Anyway… If you are going to share only one post from my sight…(which I sincerely hope is not the case) please pick this one!
There are two secrets to making really great ribs, in my opinion…pre-cooking and the sauce! (I wish I had taken shots of the prep for these but, I was busy being Grandma. Sorry folks!)
I purchase my baby back ribs from Costco…cause when it comes to meat they just ROCK! Please (insert praying hands) don’t do pork ribs any other way than baby back. They’re meatier, and the meat is much more tender and flavorful! If you’re going to go to all the work, and cost, to make ribs…make the best! When you purchase the ribs at Costco you will get three full racks of ribs. If I’m feeding the whole clan…Seven of us…there is not a rib to be seen when we are done!
So, let’s get started! Rinse the ribs off and then place them in a large deep pan. I use my Wilton Sheet cake pan and line it with foil. (It just makes clean-up easier…and who wants to scrub a pan with a belly full of ribs?) After they are rinsed and laying side by side in your deep pan, season them with garlic salt and coarse black pepper. Then pour 2-3 cups of water in the bottom of the pan. This will create steam which will make for tender and juicy rib meat. Cover tightly with foil and place in a 225 degree oven for 2.5 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool back to room temp.
So, you may be asking “Why pre-cook the ribs when you are going to throw them on the grill?”. Great question! The answer … you want the meat tender and juicy! Pork contains a lot of fat. Great fat because it adds amazing flavor! However, fat on a open flame equals FIRE! By pre-cooking and then allowing the meat to firm back up to room temp you are allowing the juices to remain in the meat. You don’t want that juice dripping onto your flames. You want that juice to stay in the rib meat so pre-cooking allows those juices to stay put! Also, they are perfect to throw on the grill now that they have “firmed” back up. You do this step so the meat won’t fall off while grilling. Don’t ever go straight from the oven to the grill. You’ll have a huge mess on your hands!
While your ribs are pre-cooking in the oven, it’s time to make your sauce. This sauce is different. Remember…no tomato base in this sauce. This is NOT a traditional BBQ sauce. It’s sweet and tangy. It’s finger licking good! IT. MAKES. THIS. RECIPE! (Don’t think I can stress that enough…lol) It’s a blend of apricot jam, orange marmalade (What?…I know! I don’t even like orange marmalade except in this recipe!), ginger, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, corn syrup, mustard, etc…(I know, I know…trust me on this…you just gotta trust me!) Once the sauce has been brought to a boil you want to let it cool to room temp until you are ready to use it.
Now, it’s time to stoke up that grill. The”Grill Master” has requested that I always pre-cut the baby backs into sections of three. He tells me it is easier to handle and it’s the perfect serving size. ( I don’t question the Master! Well…at least not on this!) Another great reason is because some peeps like their ribs with a lot of Char and some don’t. This makes cooking portions for those that prefer a lot of Char much easier! The Grill Master throws the ribs on the grill and begins basting them immediately with the sauce. It’s just flipping and basting folks. Always making sure to end with a good baste before you pull them off the grill. You may have some extra sauce left over and that’s okay, you can use it later on pork chops. Just make sure you have coated both sides and that you have the char you want.
You’ll need to hurry and plate these… cause by now the dog three streets over is howling for one! Honestly if you’re not drooling when these puppies come off the grill your taste buds have up and died on ya and you best be seeking some medical attention! Course after ya have a bite you may just up and pass out cause they’re so darn good!
So, there ya have it. My special Father’s Day gift to all the Wonderful Awesome Amazing Dad’s out there! Show your Dad, or your “Mars”, how much you love’em by cooking up a few slabs of these fantastic flavorful ribs. I don’t know any man who doesn’t love to sink their teeth into a nice juicy rib! (Guess they always feel their one short! Wink, wink)
I’m including a printable version of the recipe…my secret sauce recipe! Be the first to get your copy! Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check back this week for yummy sides to go with these incredible ribs! It’s all about Dad and the men we love, this week… here at the Nest!