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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall off the Bone Baby Back Ribs

A foolproof recipe with a guaranteed satisfaction especially for anyone particularly has a liking for fall-off-the-bone ribs, the end result came as a pleasant surprise for myself the time I made my very first attempt at it. This is a recipe so lovable we hardly do hunt for ribs at restaurants outside anymore these days. Barbeque baby back ribs is one of the many dishes that I probably would have never imagined myself having it in the past. Generally not too much of a meat lover, the thought of having the whole slab of ribs to myself is too big a picture for me to swallow. It does amaze me thinking back now of how I would have always conveniently overlooked them every time I screened through the menus, never failing to revert and target my attention to only those that I am more familiar with. Loyal? Maybe, although boring probably fits the picture better lol.

With hubby being an all-time big fan of this, my perception towards this took a change the very time hubby made an order for this dining out and I finally braced myself and had a fair try at it. And amazingly a bite (or maybe two or three even lol) was all that was needed to make everything else a history now. Juicy, moist and succulent, they are so tender that you see them falling off the bone the moment you try picking the rib up. So there it goes - the bite that change the close to three decades old of a perception that I once thought was unchangeable. Making this at home is unbelievably easy, almost too good to be true. Three steps (trim and skin, cook undisturbed and baste with sauce) and four ingredients - the ribs, a good sauce, salt and pepper are pretty much everything needed for a fantastic homey version of the ribs.

Fall off the Bone Baby Back Ribs 
Adapted from Steamy Kitchen

Serves 2
1 slab baby back ribs (about 3.5lb)
salt and pepper
1 18oz bottle of barbeque sauce (I used the Weber Kick'N Spicy BBQ Sauce this time around)

1.  Set the oven to preheat at 275F. Begin with trimming off any visible large areas of excessive fat on the meaty side.

2. Flip if over to get to the membrane covering the boney side. There are plenty different comments as to whether this should be removed. While some have said that it should be retained giving the rib its texture and holding the meat well together, others have claimed that the membrane prevents the flavor from any rubs or marinades from reaching the meat well. Not particularly worried about the lack of a membrane to keep the meat intact, personally I have always made it a point to have it removed - more for a heatlh-related reason I guess. Plus we are always in for the fall-off-the-bone version of ribs after all.   

3. Pick one end of a rib to begin with. Insert the tip of a butter knife and try wedging it in between the membrane and the meat loosening the connection.

4. Wedge the knife further towards the opposite end, pulling the membane upwards as you go creating a gap and separating it from the meat.

5. Get a grip on the skin using fingers and peel off the rest. When done right, it should be able to be stripped off in a single long layer.

6. Marinate with salt and pepper on both sides before placing it on a roasting pan lined with a sheet of heavy duty aluminium foil. At this point, the rack of ribs may have to be halved to fit well into the pan.

7. Cover the pan tighly with a double layer of heavy duty aluminium foil. Make sure the pan is nicely sealed to contain the steam formed within the pan when put in oven later.

8. Bring to bake at 275F for four hours undisturbed. 
9. Removing the pan from the oven after that, carefully lift the ribs out of the pool of essence and place on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Begin with the back, baste the ribs generously with the barbeque sauce. Flip over and brush thoroughly on the other side.
10. Set the oven to broil. Replace the rack into the oven (uncovered) on the top rack and let broil for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the oven be careful not to let them burn.
11. Remove and brush another layer of sauce all over the top, and put back to broil for another 10 minutes, caramelizing the sauce further.
12. Again remove and give a final stroke of sauce on just the top of the slab of ribs, then serve on a bed of fries and salad with optionally an additional serving of barbeque sauce on the side.

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